Farmers again Deprived of Fertilizers which Remain Stocked in Govt Warehouses

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Farmers again Deprived of Fertilizers which Remain Stocked in Govt Warehouses

KATHMANDU: Despite adequate stocking of chemical fertilizers for annual crops, farmers have been deprived of them. With the arrival of the monsoon, farmers in various parts of the country have started planting paddy without access to fertilizers.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, about 250,000 metric tons of fertilizer are required for annual crops. Currently, 94,500 metric tons of fertilizer are in the government warehouses.

The ministry informed that an additional 131,000 metric tons of fertilizer is being imported. Over 75,000 tons of chemical fertilizers are expected to reach Nepal within the third week of June, and another 25,000 tons will be shipped from China at around the same time. Thus, the government claims that sufficient chemical fertilizers will be available by the time of rice plantation in the country.

With the onset of the monsoon, paddy planting has started in various parts of the Terai. However, farmers have begun planting paddy without fertilizer.

Agni Aryal, former coordinator of the Paddy Superzone in Rajapur, Bardiya, complained about the lack of fertilizer for farmers.

Fertilizer is sold and distributed through cooperatives, but a cooperative typically receives only 40 bags of fertilizer, which is insufficient for its 200-300 members.

"Even those who get fertilizer receive only 5-7 kg," Aryal said, adding, "A single farmer cultivates paddy on 3-4 bighas of land. What can they do with 5-7 kg of fertilizer?"

Due to the insufficient supply of fertilizers by the government, most of the farmers depend on smuggled fertilizers from India. Although there has been no rain in western Terai's Banke, Bardiya, Kailali, and Kanchanpur, farmers have begun planting paddy since late May in areas with irrigation facility.

Farmers in Madhesh and Koshi provinces of eastern Terai face similar issues. Bhuvaneshwar Yadav, a farmer from Rautahat, prepared to plant paddy on five bighas of land but lamented the lack of adequate fertilizer.

"Fertilizer is not available even in cooperatives. Even if it comes, only those with access get it, making it impossible for everyone to benefit," he said.

Acknowledging these issues, Joint Secretary of the Ministry, Ram Krishna Shrestha, admitted there is a problem with the fertilizer distribution system in Nepal.

"Although the government warehouses have stocks of fertilizer, farmers cannot access it due to distribution issues. Problems arise when municipalities fail to collect their quota on time and when cooperatives distribute only to their members," he explained.

Preparation of Revised Guidelines to Facilitate Distribution

To address these issues, the government plans to amend the guidelines to facilitate fertilizer distribution. The government has formed a committee, coordinated headed by the ministry’s Joint Secretary Ram Krishna Shrestha for this purpose.

Despite the rights given to the provincial and local governments to distribute fertilizer through the Agricultural Inputs Company Limited and the Salt Trading Corporation, there are frequent complaints from farmers about the unavailability of fertilizer at the local level. Therefore, the government has initiated the process of amending the law to streamline distribution.

The committee is working to revise the Subsidized Fertilizer Distribution Guideline, 2077, to make fertilizer distribution more effective across local, provincial, and federal levels, with implementation expected from mid-July.


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