March 28: The National Food Bank Limited is preparing to open an organic fertilizer factory. The bank, which was established with the aim of reducing dependence on agricultural products by producing organic products, said that since the country is completely dependent on chemical fertilizers, billions of rupees are lost every year. So, it is preparing to establish a natural fertilizer factory.
The company informed that studies are currently being conducted at various stages with the involvement of experts for the establishment of the factory. The chairman of the bank, Sankarnath Upreti informed that the study has been initiated for the establishment of an organic fertilizer factory so that organic fertilizers can be provided to more than 100,000 farmers associated with the food bank within the next few years. He said that plan is to gradually expand it nationwide.
Upreti said, “We are also studying its potential in Nepal by collaborating with companies that are producing organic fertilizers in countries like China, South Korea, and Japan. Preliminary studies have shown a lot of potential and its production cost seems to be much cheaper than chemical fertilizers.”
According to Upreti, Korean companies have also shown interest in collaborating on this. He added, “That's why we will cooperate with them and advance the work.”
Agricultural production is almost impossible without chemical fertilizers. At this time, more than half of the total budget allocated by the government for agriculture is spent on buying chemical fertilizers, so there is a risk that the budget will not go to other areas of agriculture.
According to Upreti, the organic fertilizer factory can be the best option to reduce the dependency on chemical fertilizers as the budget will be spent on chemical fertilizers and there is a growing threat of the development of agricultural infrastructure being delayed. That is why the Food Bank has taken the initiative to start it.
The bank informed that organic manure, vegetable manure made from Azola plant, cattle manure, earthworm manure etc. are being studied as alternatives among the organic fertilizers in use in Nepal. The possibility of producing fertilizers in high-tech factories in a modern way and increasing the production capacity and bringing them to the market in the form of grains or bags is being explored.
According to Mohan Prasad Panthi, botanist at the Food Bank, the soil has deteriorated due to the increasing use of chemical fertilizers. The soil will not loosen up for crop cultivation if chemical fertilizer is not used in even small amount. Therefore the dependency on chemical fertilizers can be gradually removed by using 50 percent chemical and 50 percent organic fertilizers in the first year, 60 percent organic and 40 percent chemical in the second year, 70 percent organic and 30 percent chemical in the third year, and 100 percent organic fertilizers in the fourth or fifth year. If only organic fertilizers are used at once, there is a risk of decreasing production rather than increasing it. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the use.
Now in Nepal, various organizations and companies are producing organic fertilizers in small quantities. Those fertilizers are more expensive than the crop itself and do not even give good results. Therefore, it seems necessary to expand its capacity. The organic fertilizer that the bank is trying to produce will have the same nutritional capacity for different crops including fruits, vegetables and grains.