March 17: The problem of farmers facing shortage of chemical fertilizers for paddy planting is sure to repeat this year as well. It is estimated that 90,000 metric tons of chemical fertilizers may be insufficient for the paddy crop during this year’s planting season.
As the chemical fertilizers purchased from the budget of the current financal year did not arrive on time, it seems certain that there will be a shortage of fertilizers for the paddy crop.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development said that there may be a shortage of fertilizers for major crops. About 100,000 metric tons of urea and 50,000 tons of DAP are needed from the time of planting paddy. After that, 60,000 tons of urea and 30,000 tons of DAP are required separately for top dressing.
According to the spokesperson for the ministry, Prakash Kumar Sanjel, the government allocated Rs 31 billion for the purchase of fertilizer in the current financal year through the budget announcement.
Arrangements were made to buy 331,500 tons of fertilizers, including 30,000 tons through the G2G process via Agricultural Inputs Company Limited and Salt Trading Corporation. Out of that, 237,500 tons of fertilizer have been imported and 94,000 tons still remaining. Sanjel said that due to this, there is a sign that there may be a shortage of fertilizer during the rice planting season. Currently, the Agricultural Inputs Company Limited has 52,000 tons of urea, 4,000 tons of DAP and 500 tons of potash. Another 20,000 tons of DAP is in the process of arrival to Nepal with 20,000 tons of urea in the pipeline for import.
Salt Trading Corporation has 27,000 tons of urea and 18,000 tons of DAP.
Rajendra Bahadur Karki, head of the purchasing department of the Agricultural Inputs Company informed that all these fertilizers are enough only for the pre-monsoon paddy and maize crops, so more fertilizers are needed for the annual crops.
As per him, if fertilizer is not brought according to last year's demand, it is certain that there will be shortage of fertilizer in May and June. He said, “However, if the stuck fertilizer can be brought on time and if the government can proceed with the purchase process of fertilizer on time even from the allocated budget of Rs 7.5 billion, it will avoid the shortage.”
The shortage of fertilizer has surfaced because the Salt Trading Corporation failed to bring 50,000 and 27,000 tons of urea and three tenders of 20,000 tons of fertilizer from last year's budget.