Will There Be No Shortage of Chemical Fertilizer this Year?

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Will There Be No Shortage of Chemical Fertilizer this Year?

KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development on Sunday assured that there will be no shortage of chemical fertilizer for paddy plantation this year. 

It may be noted that farmers of Nepal facing extreme shortage of chemical fertilizers every year during the main planting season has become a perennial problem.

According to government authorities, they often fail to import fertilizer on time due to lack of adequate budget for fertilizer procurement, failure of procurement process and lack of provision for back-up tenders.

With the planting season just around the corner, the promise made by the ministry seems unlikely to materialize as the government does not have sufficient stock of fertilizers and the quantity it intends to import seems to be too less than the requirement.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, 700,000 metric tons of chemical fertilizers are required per year for a total of 3.391 million hectares of land.

Information Officer of the Ministry, Mahananda Joshi, told RSS that the Agriculture Inputs Company Limited has a stock of 52,000 metric tonnes of urea while the Salt Trading Corporation has 26,050 metric tones of urea. Similarly, the Agriculture Inputs Company Limited has 5,434 metric tonnes of DAP in stock and the Salt Trading Company has 4,092 metric tonnes of DAP. Furthermore, the two state-owned companies have a stock of more than 11,800 metric tonnes of potash.

The ministry said that both the companies are importing an additional 242,119 metric tonnes of urea and almost 98,000 metric tonnes of DAP. Information Officer Joshi shared that the remaining quantity of fertilizers will be imported within a month. 

The adverse effect of fertilizer shortage has also started to be seen in Nepal's gross domestic product (GDP) in recent years. During the last decade, the contribution of agriculture sector in GDP decreased from 32.7 percent to 23.9 percent.

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