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ENGRO'S NPK FERTILIZER PLANT STARTS PRODUCTION

 

Different grades are available in specific bags for important crops

 

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Sep 02 - 08, 2002
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Engro's NPK fertilizer plant has commenced production at Port Qasim, near Karachi. The plant has been built at an estimated cost of Rs 539 million and completed in a record time of 13 months. It has a designed capacity to produce 100,000 tonnes of granulated NPK per annum. The project is based on a basic design provided by the International Fertilizer Development Centre and all the financing has been arranged locally. Availability of locally produced NPK is expected to result in saving of foreign exchange, currently being spent on its import.

Engro Chemical Pakistan has the distinction of being the first ever chemical fertilizer plant in Pakistan. At present, it enjoys a large share of urea market and also sells imported DAP fertilizer. Commencement of NPK type fertilizer has expanded its product range. The company has also established two fully owned subsidiaries, one operating a jetty and bulk liquid storage facility and the other producing PVC resin. Engro has also started marketing of certified seeds in the country.

With limited land and water resources there is a dire need to improve agriculture production to improve socio-economic condition of the large segment of the population, directly or indirectly connected with this trade. This has assumed even greater importance in the light of present situation of declining water availability.

It has been observed that there is a wide gap between the yield of an average farmer and that of a progressive farmer within the available crop varieties and farming technologies. The gap is because a progressive farmer uses the right mix of nutrients, use appropriate agronomic practices, which the average farmer does not.

One of the prime reasons for lower agriculture production in the country is the unbalanced usage of Nitrogen (N), Phosphatic (P) and Potassic (K) fertilizers. Engro's NPK is a mixture of all these three nutrients required by different crops. Salient features and benefits of NPK are: used worldwide, ensure supply of all the three ingredients in a balanced ratio, ensure correct application in appropriate dose for each crop, enhance fertilizer use efficiency and minimize nutrient losses. The different NPK grades are crop specific and increase income of farmers.

Based on different grades, NPK is available in specific bags for rice, cotton, wheat, potatoes, maize, sugarcane, chilies, vegetables, mangos, banana and citrus fruits. The company also plans to produce specific grades for tobacco and other crops. The design of the plant has provision to produce different grades according to the requirement of the farmers.

The company produced 36,000 tonnes of NPK and sold 32,000 tonnes. The company managed to get 72 per cent capacity utilization of the NPK plant. Improvement in the plant operations were achieved but the NPK business suffered a loss of Rs 47 million during the six months period. During this period sale of DAP was 65,000 tonnes, a market share of 26 per cent.

NPK fertilizer are an all-in-one source of plant nutrients for the individual crops and soils. The farmers will be able to conveniently procure all the major nutrients in the same bag. The use of NPK will provide balanced nutrition and enhance soil fertility, maximize crop yield and ultimately will boost the agricultural economy.

This plant was recently inaugurated by two federal ministers, Abdul Razzak Dawood and Khair Mohammed Junejo. The presence of two ministers indicate the commitment of government to improving the performance of agriculture sector for achieving higher GDP growth rate, self sufficiency in food and higher production of different crops. Both the ministers applauded the role being played by Engro in the economy of the country.