BIRATNAGAR, July 28: Agricultural Inputs Company (AIC), which failed to supply fertilizers in the market during peak plantation time, has finally received 10,000 tons (0.2 million sacks) of diammonium phosphate (DAP) on Friday.
However, the DAP - much needed input for paddy cultivation - has entered the country at a time when the plantation season is about to end. So far, farmers across the country have planted paddy in around 40 percent of total paddy cultivable land.
They had managed the plantation by fetching one or two sacks of supply that illegally found their way into Nepal from India.
“The supply came 6 months later than anticipated, hence there is little demand for DAP now,” said Dinesh Kumar Shrestha, regional chief of AIC in Biratnagar. The AIC on the day stockpiled 50,000 sacks of DAP that it received for sales in the eastern region in its regional warehouse.
Of this, 38,000 sacks have been allocated for farmers of the eastern region, including 10,000 sacks for farmers of Morang, while the rest will go to farmers of Sindhuli, Janakpur and Dhalkebar.
“But there is very little demand for the fertilizer at the moment,” Shrestha said.
AIC Biratnagar, for instance, had allocated 200 sacks of fertilizer for every cooperative in Morang. “But most of the cooperative have said they do not need more than 100 sacks each,” Shrestha said.
To paraphrase words of Ramesh Sada, a farmer, the arrival of fertilizer at the moment is like extending medicine to a person who has already recovered from illness.
The Ministry of Agriculture which had signed an agreement to purchase 30,000 tons of DAP. Of this, 10,000 tons of the fertilizer has been received, under the first phase.
AIC said apart from Biratnagar, Birgunj has received 100,000 sacks of the fertilizer, while Bhairahawa has received 50,000 sacks of DAP.
“We will begin distribution of the agricultural input from Sunday,” AIC said.
These inputs, however, will cost at least Rs 400 more per sack than last year´s Rs 1,600.