September 28: The government is planning to import 15,000 metric tons of chemical fertilizer from China through the Tatopani customs point to address the current shortage of chemical fertilizer required for vegetable and winter crops.
The government has started importing chemical fertilizers produced in China on G2G basis as there is a shortage of fertilizers for vegetables and there is a need to keep stocks for wheat during the winter. The government is planning to import 10,000 metric tons of urea and 5,000 metric tons of DAP.
Netra Bahadur Bhandari, managing director of Agriculture Inputs Company Limited, told New Business Age that the 15,000 metric tons of chemical fertilizer will be imported by a Nepali company called Silk Market. According to him, the fertilizer has already arrived at Shigatse in Tibet as of Monday and will reach Tatopani border within four days.
According to Bhandari, the Nepali side has requested the officials of Nepal’s Consulate in Lhasa, Tibet, to make arrangements for the import of chemical fertilizers as soon as possible. "If the Chinese side eases customs clearance, the fertilizer would arrive here within 15 days," he said.
The import of fertilizer is likely to face some problems due to the landslides at Tatopani area, which has resulted in one-way traffic towards the Nepal side of border.
The Agricultural Inputs Company Limited and the Salt Trading Corporation, the two government companies responsible for the sale and distribution of fertilizers at subsidized rate, now have limited stocks of fertilizer.
The Agricultural Inputs Company Limited currently has a stock of 1,500 metric tons of urea, 233 metric tons of DAP, 1,000 metric tons of potassium, and about 300 metric tons of agricultural lime. Apart from this, 30,000 metric tons of urea are being brought from Kolkata and 25,000 metric tons of DAP are also being imported.