Mid-plantation fertiliser crisis in Morang

BIRATNAGAR: Morang district is facing a shortage of fertiliser required for the rain-dependent season of paddy sowing. With the monsoon in progress, sowing activities in the district have gained momentum and the demand for seeds and fertilizer has gone up.

The District Agricultural Office, Morang, is facing a tough time handling farmers’ grievances and making arrangements for smooth supply. “We have sent 5-7 metric tonnes of chemical fertilizer to each VDC. However, that quantity will not meet the huge demand,” said Basanta Aryal, planning officer at the agricultural office.

The demand per hectare land is 100 kg of urea, 30 kg of phosphorus and potassium each. With the supply falling short of demand, farmers are forced to purchase sub-standard fertiliser brought illegally from India. Farmers say they have been purchasing fertilizer from Indian markets paying Rs 10 each to both the Nepali and Indian police. Meanwhile, the agricultural office said that paddy sowing has been completed on 63 percent of land in the district. But sowing in the marginalised area is dismal. Paddy has been sown on only 35 percent of the marginalised land, the agricultural authority added.