BANEPA, July 23: Farmers in Banepa on Sunday intercepted a vehicle carrying subsidized urea belonging to a cooperative and confiscated the chemical fertilizer, alleging black marketeering. The act comes at a time when the country is facing acute shortage of the key agricultural input.
The confiscated fertilizer was bought by Deep Jyoti Women´s Savings and Credit Cooperative of Saramthali VDC in Kavre from Agricultural Inputs Company in Dhulikhel. Records say the cooperative had bought 100 sacks of urea.
Hari Prasad Dulal, president of All Nepal Farmers Federation (Kavre Chapter) claimed the fertilizer was confiscated after it was found that the cooperative was selling subsidized urea at higher prices.
“That reflects ulterior motive. That´s why we later sold it (fertilizer) to locals,” Dulal said.
It is said the cooperative had sold three sacks of fertilizer for Rs 1,500 per sack and another 18 sacks at Rs 1,600 per sack in Dhulikhel. The price of urea as fixed by Agricultural Inputs Company is Rs 1,027 per sack . After deducting dealer commission, the cooperative had bought the fertilizer at Rs 1014.50 per sack.
The inputs company had handed over urea on condition that the cooperative sell the fertilizer without adding any other cost, other than transport cost.
“We have distributed all 79 sacks that were confiscated to farmers of Panchkhal,” one of the activists Ishwari Rajkumar Mainali told Republica on telephone. “The farmers bought each sack for Rs 1,100 and handed over the money collected to representatives of the cooperative.”
The federation has also confiscated over Rs 10,000 in profit that officials of cooperative had generated by selling urea at higher price at Dhulikhel. The federation said the money would be returned to farmers who bought the fertilizer.