Farmers in Sarlahi are struggling to procure chemical fertilisers for the cultivation of winter crops.

Sarlahi is considered the pocket area for winter crops and farmers accuse fertiliser dealers of creating artificial price rise, thus hampering their access to the agricultural input.

"The season is for wheat crops and farmers are not sure they will be able to get their hands on the fertiliser for the crops. They fear whether their toil would turn futile," said one Ram Pukar Mahato.

According to Deepak Thapa Magar, branch office chief at Agricultural Tools Co Ltd, 1,000 sacks of urea and 800 sacks of DAP were imported in the district and urea fertiliser was supplied at Rs 815 per sack and DAP at Rs 2,265 per sack.

The dealers were supplied with the fertilisers on a fair basis as per the recommendation of local levels.

But farmers said the chemical fertiliser provided by the government at a subsidy is being sold at an exorbitant price.

They claimed that the products are on the sale from grocery stories to pharmacies at exorbitant price, which is unaffordable for them. "The market price of urea is Rs 1,200 per sack and DAP is up to Rs 3,500," they complain. They demand prompt market monitoring from the authorities responsible for curtailing supply irregularities.

The farmers accused local bodies and the District Administration Office of just becoming mute spectators to the market irregularities.

The fertiliser is being distributed from 170 agricultural cooperatives recommended by 20 local levels in the district.

A version of this article appears in the print on December 27, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.