Nepal | July 13, 2020

Enough fertilisers for this year’s paddy plantation: MoALD

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The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) has assured that the country will not face shortage of fertilisers required for paddy plantation this year.

Due to the border restrictions, the fertilisers that were earlier ordered by Nepal have been stuck at Kolkata for the last two months. Farmers are also anxious about procuring fertilisers because of the transportation hurdles due to the lockdown.

However, the MoALD has claimed that fertilisers are being distributed smoothly and the government has enough stock until paddy plantation begins across the country.

“Indeed the border restrictions, lockdown in both countries and transportation hurdles have affected import of chemical fertilisers. However, we have been distributing fertilisers to the farmers from the available stock,” said Hari Bahadur KC, spokesperson for MoALD.

Diammonium phosphate (DAP) is in higher demand for paddy plantation than urea fertilisers, and the government has enough stock of DAP, he said. “There could be shortage of urea, but the ministry will figure out a way to bring it within a few days.”

“Fertilisers halted at Kolkata will soon be delivered once the railway services resume.

Likewise, the fertilisers ordered from Gujrat are also ready to depart for Nepal,” he said, “So, there shouldn’t be any issue of fertiliser availability this year. Farmers will not face fertiliser shortage specifically for the paddy plantation.”

He further said the paddy plantation across the country will begin in July, so within one month fertilisers will be imported and distributed.

“This year, we have concrete plans of importing and distributing fertilisers. All the tender processes were completed on time, but the COV- ID-19 pandemic has affected its delivery,” he said, “Hopefully within a week the problem will be resolved and the fertilisers will be delivered smoothly.”

According to Agriculture Inputs company, the country requires 120,000 tonnes of urea and 50,000 tonnes of DAP for paddy plantation this year. Currently there is a stock of 35,000 tonnes of DAP and 25,000 tonnes of urea.

Meanwhile, Navaraj Basnet, president of Nepal Farmer Group Federation (NFGF), said that every year the government promises to provide fertilisers on time, but fails to deliver. “Every year the government says it will distribute fertilisers on time but it never happens,” he said, “Plantation season has started in the valley and farmers outside the valley have begun making preparations and are naturally worried about possible shortage of fertilisers.”

He further stressed that the government cannot be complacent saying there is enough stock to meet the current demand and should take immediate actions as the time is running out.

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