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Urea Deep Placement (UDP) Technique

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Philippines

The Urea Deep Placement (UDP) technique, developed by the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC), is a good example of a climate-smart solution for rice systems. The usual technique for applying urea, the main nitrogen fertilizer for rice, is through a broad-cast application. This is a very inefficient practice, with 60 to 70 percent of the nitrogen applied being lost, and contributes to GHG emissions and water pollution.  In the UDP technique, urea is made into "briquettes" of 1 to 3 grams that are placed at 7 to 10 cm soil depth after the paddy is transplanted. This technique decreases nitrogen losses by 40 percent and increases urea efficiency to 50 percent. It increases yield by 25 percent with an average 25 percent decrease in urea use.

UDP has been actively promoted by the Bangladesh Department of Agricultural Extension with IFDC assistance. The widespread adoption of the UDP technique in Bangladesh had important impacts: farmers’ incomes have increased thanks to both increased yields and reduced fertilizers’ costs. Jobs have been created locally in small enterprises, often owned by women, to make the briquettes. There are now 2 500 briquette making machines in Bangladesh. On-farm jobs have also been created as the briquettes are placed by hand, which requires 6 to 8 days labour per hectare. Higher yields and savings on fertilizer expenditures more than compensate for the additional field labour expenses. At a global level UDP has reduced GHG emissions caused by the production and management of fertilizers. It also increases the agricultural system’s resilience. As fertilizers prices are linked to energy prices, and consequently very volatile, reducing fertilizer use also increases farm and country’s resilience to economic shocks.

Problem addressed: The usual technique for applying urea, the main nitrogen fertilizer for rice, is through a broad-cast application. This is a very inefficient practice, with 60 to 70 percent of the nitrogen applied being lost, and contributes to GHG emissions and water pollution.

International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
Los Baños, Philippines
Tel: +63 2 580 5600 or +63 2 845 0563
Fax: +63 2 580 5699 or +63 2 845 0606
http://irri.org/

International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC)
IFDC Headquarters
P.O. Box 2040
Muscle Shoals, Alabama 35662 U.S.A.
Tel: +1 (256) 381-6600 Fax: +1 (256) 381-7408
www.ifdc.org

Washington, D.C. Office
1050 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20036
U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 (202) 772-4152
pdu@ifdc.org

Source : FAO website Climate-Smart Agriculture
http://www.fao.org/3/a-i3817e.pdf

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