BANEPA, April 30: Shortage of chemical fertilizer has hit farmers in five mid-hilly districts, affecting maize and paddy plantation.
Farmers of Kavre, Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha, Ramechhap and Okhaldhunga have been facing shortage of the key agricultural input for the past few months and they fear the shortage will affect maize and paddy productions.
“The demand for chemical fertilizers has increased but Agriculture Inputs Company (AIC) has supplied us meager 200 sacks against the demand for 3,000 sacks,” said Rudra Bahadur Bisunke, president of Jorsalla Vegetable Seed Producers´ Cooperatives, Kavre. Bisunke said the cooperative hasn´t distributed the 200 sacks it received from AIC.
“We just don´t know how to distribute it. It will only create chaos,” added Bisunke
The government has authorized 552 farmers´ cooperatives in the five districts to distribute chemical fertilizers. In total, they need around 15,000 tons of chemical fertilizers for the ongoing plantation season.
“More than 50 people from different cooperatives approach us every day, requesting us to provide them chemical fertilizers,” Navaraj Mahat, official of AIC Office in Banepa said. “But there is nothing we can do because we don´t have fertilizers in stock.”
The shortage of fertilizers, meanwhile, has compelled farmers to use substandard fertilizers.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) - the parent agency of AIC - has blamed the Ministry of Finance (MoF) for the shortage. MoAC officials said the ministry couldn´t procure chemical fertilizers due to MoF´s refusal to allocate fund.