India had its highest-ever urea production of 24.5 million tonnes in 2015-16. This could lead to reduction of import by two mt, the government said on Thursday.
Production was 22.5 mt in 2014-15. Ananth Kumar, the minister, said the next target should be produce 31 mt annually in the next two-three years, negating the need for any import. "In the past year, a silent urea revolution has taken place in the country...a remarkable achievement," he said.
Urea's now-compulsory neem coating was also acting as an insecticide and benefiting soil health, he said.
Annual domestic demand is estimated at 30 mt. Production had been stagnant in recent years at around 22 mt a year. The rest is met through import. The government is reviving units closed earlier to boost domestic production.
Urea is a controlled fertiliser and is sold at a fixed Rs 5,360 a tonne. The difference with cost of production is paid as a subsidy to manufacturers.