250,000 tonnes of fertiliser distributed
KATHMANDU, JUNE 23
The Agriculture Inputs Company Ltd (AICL) has distributed around 250,000 tonnes of fertiliser so far. As per the company, it has sold a total of 149,798 tonnes of urea fertiliser, 91,542 tonnes of DAP and 5,993 tonnes of potassium till date.
According to the AICL, fertiliser have been imported by utilising the remaining budget of the previous fiscal year and the grant amount allocated for the current fiscal. For the next fiscal year the government has allocated a total of Rs 11 billion as fertiliser grant.
Netra Bhandari, managing director of the company, claimed that farmers need not worry as there is no shortage of fertiliser. Although the import of fertiliser was affected due to the lockdown, imports have resumed gradually as the lockdown has been gradually eased in both Nepal and India. He added that people who had returned to their villages have started cultivating their barren lands, which is another reason for the increase in fertiliser demand this year.
“Moreover, farmers are purchasing more fertiliser than they require in fear of shortage due to which the company is struggling to manage the supply,” Bhandari said.
He further stated that the lockdown has also affected the production of fertiliser along with the supply. “As there are less numbers of workers, factories are producing less quantities and distribution has also been affected this year.”
As the monsoon has begun, farmers have started paddy plantation and this is also the time to spray fertiliser on maize crops. Thus, farmers are worried about a shortage of fertiliser. However, Bhandari informed that as the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) along with other stakeholders are working jointly, there won’t be any fertiliser shortage this year.
According to the company, 71,075 tonnes of fertiliser that had been ordered are yet to be delivered. Of this total, 50,129 tonnes are urea, 20,815 tonnes are DAP, 89 tonnes are potassium and 39 tonnes are other inputs.
As per Bhandari, the company still has 9,038 tonnes of fertiliser in storage.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 24, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.