Nepal | January 16, 2021

Fertiliser import from Bangladesh still uncertain

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Almost two weeks after the Cabinet decided to purchase fertilisers from Bangladesh, the Agriculture Inputs Company Ltd (AICL) has received a letter from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development to begin the procedure for the same.

Earlier, during a bilateral meeting between Nepal and Bangladesh, it was decided that the latter would provide 50,000 tonnes of fertilisers on loan.

However, the Bangladeshi government later refused to provide the fertilisers on loan citing their policies and suggested Nepal to instead purchase the required quantity of fertilisers.

Thereafter the Cabinet meeting held on November 9 decided to purchase chemical fertilisers through the government-togovernment (G2G) process.

However, no significant progress has been made so far.

“We received a formal letter from the ministry today — 15 days after the decision was made public by the Cabinet. We will go through it and submit it to our board of directors to begin the necessary procedures,” said Netra Bhandari, general manager of AICL.

He, however, said that fertiliser import is uncertain. “This is just the initial process of importing the fertilisers,” he said, “Thus, we cannot say for certain about when we will be able to bring the fertilisers. We have to go through a long process. Since, we are starting the import process from the scratch, it is uncertain by when we can bring the commodity.”

Meanwhile, Bhandari claimed that farmers do not need to worry about availability of fertilisers during the wheat season.

Earlier, AICL had also called a global tender for the import of fertilisers from Bangladesh and the government has also allowed companies to transport the fertilisers through the China border. “Now we have to go through the overall decision of the government and proceed from the beginning to import the fertilisers,” he added.

Paddy harvesting season has almost come to an end and farmers are now in a rush to cultivate wheat. “Unlike during the paddy cultivation season, farmers do not need to worry about wheat,”

Bhandari said. “During wheat plantation, DAP and potash are used and we have enough stock of those fertilisers. The required amount of urea will begin to arrive from other countries besides Bangladesh in the next nine to 10 days.”

Feature image: File

A version of this article appears in print on November 24, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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