The Assessment of State Fertilizer Scenario and Promoting Efficient Nutrient Management (ASPEN) project (2021-2023) is an initiative of the Assam Rural Infrastructure and Agricultural Services (ARIAS) Society, funded under the auspices of the World Bank-funded Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project for India (APART).
The project provides technical backstopping to the fertilizer sector assessment of Assam state and introduces fertilizer deep placement (FDP) and nanofertilizer for promoting efficient nutrient management. The fertilizer sector assessment is conducted in consultation with various stakeholders, including policymakers, the Department of Agriculture, the fertilizer industry, wholesalers, dealers, farmers, and researchers.
An efficient nutrient management component includes the mechanization of production with a briquette-making machine and a combination FDP and zero-till seed placement drill. The technologies are demonstrated in different crops in collaboration with the Agricultural Technology Management Agency (ATMA), Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), IRRI, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research Directorate of Rapeseed-Mustard Research (ICAR-DRMR), and WorldVeg.
Knowledge generation and skill development for stakeholders, with a major emphasis on youth and gender, is one of the key objectives of the project. An innovative business model for FDP is being developed with the farmer producer companies established by APART in Assam state. The inception workshop was attended by the IFDC Asia team, including participants from Nepal and Bangladesh.
- Objective 1: Assessment of the Fertilizer Sector in the Assam State for an Efficient and Transparent Fertilizer Value Chain.
- Objective 2: Demonstration on Fertilizer Deep Placement (FDP) and Nano-fertilizer in targeted crops and agro-ecologies of the state.
- Objective 3: Strengthen mechanization of the NPK briquette making and fertilizer deep placement through innovative FPC business model for the smallholder farmers of the state.
- Objective 4: Strengthening human and institutional capacity, generating new knowledge and skills on FDP and fertilizer value chains.
- Developed innovative FDP seed-and-fertilizer drills and transplanters for upland and lowland crops to reduce fertilizer losses, avoid manual broadcasting of fertilizers, and enhance nutrient use efficiency by 25%.
- Introduced the innovative FDP seed-and-fertilizer drills and transplanters at farmers’ fields through the farmer producer company business model.