Govt importing 135,000 tons of fertilizers for winter season
KATHMANDU, Sept 12: The government has claimed that farmers - who were badly hurt by the scarcity of chemical fertilizer at the prime paddy cultivation season - would not face similar shortage while planting winter crops, saying they had already initiated procedures to acquire around 135,000 tons of fertilizers by mid-January, 2013.
A R Khair, procurement manager of Agriculture Inputs Company (AIC) said the state-run fertilizer importer and distributor is importing 40,000 tons of Diammonium Phosphat (DAP) and 30,000 tons of urea from China.
"Also, additional 60,000 tons of urea and 5,000 tons of Potash are coming from India and Uzbekistan respectively," he stated.
Officials disclosed that the AIC is making final preparations to procure 60,000 tons of urea from Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC) of India. Similarly, South Korean company Samsung is supplying 20,000 tons of DAP and 30,000 tons of urea from China.
"Desh Trading of Bangladesh and another overseas firm are supplying 20,000 tons DAP and 5,000 tons of potash respectively,” said Khair.
Though AIC earlier planned to procure 30,000 tons of urea from Indian Potash Ltd, only 15,000 tons of urea was imported from the Indian firm in view of declining demands for urea after the end of paddy plantation season.
“There will not be any dearth of chemical fertilizers in the coming paddy season as we are going to stock the required fertilizers for coming winter season,” said Prabhakar Pathak, spokesperson of the Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD).
At the peak of paddy planting season, farmers were compelled to go to different depots of AIC and resorted to the street protests demanding fertilizers.
According to Pathak, the government can procure around 300,000 tons of fertilizers this year against the around 700,000 tons of annual requirement if the government provides the committed amount 3.67 billion rupees.
Currently AIC has a total stock of around 7,000 tons in its different warehouses across the country.