BANEPA, June 10: Farmers from five hill districts of central region staged agitation on Sunday protesting the worsening shortage of chemical fertilizers in the market for standing maize crop and upcoming paddy season.
They picketed and chanted slogans in front of state owned fertilizer distributor Agriculture Inputs Company (AIC) at Dhulikhel, Kavre. The Dhulikhel branch of AIC has been distributing fertilizers to the farmers in Kavre, Sindhupalchowk, Dolakha, Ramechhap and Okhaldhunga districts.
“AIC has already distributed the fertilizers to different cooperatives before the onset of paddy season. Genuine farmers now are deprived of fertilizers,” said Ram Kumar Shrestha of Nala, Kavre.
The government has taken a policy to distribute the fertilizers through agriculture cooperatives. Farmers who are not associated to the cooperatives have been denied the fertilizers.
“We have drawn the attention of the government through the Chief District Officer of Kavre toward the deepening shortage of fertilizers. We have formed a 20-member struggle committee to exert pressure on the government, which has been indifferent to our problem,” said Basudev Upadhya.
“Since we can´t distribute limited stock of 115 tons of urea to all aspirant farmers, we stopped selling them from our outlet,” said Nawaraj Mahat, a dealer. A District Chemical Fertilizers Coordination Committees has assessed that five districts need 15,000 tons of urea and 1500 tons of Diammonium Phosphat (DAP).