Agro cooperatives swindling farmers in Kaski district

Pokhara, September 1

Agriculture cooperatives in Kaski have been found selling subsidised chemical fertilisers at double the market price. The cooperatives are taking advantage of lack of regular inspection by the authorities concerned.

Agro cooperatives are found procuring urea at Rs 16.24/kg and selling the same to farmers at Rs 35/kg. In urban areas, minimal transportation cost puts price of urea at Rs 23/kg. Same is the case for other fertilisers. Farmers are forced to pay Rs 60 for one kg of Diammonium Phosphate, which is bought by cooperatives at Rs 45 per kg. Likewise, potash is bought at Rs 33/kg and sold at Rs 45/kg.

Locals complained cooperatives in the rural areas were selling fertilisers at higher rates. Above 60 agriculture cooperatives purchase chemical fertilisers from Agriculture Materials Company Limited and Salt Trading Corporation Limited and sell them to farmers in rural areas.

Fertiliser inspector Prakash Bastakoti at District Agriculture Development Office, Kaski, said his office had not carried out monitoring as farmers had not registered any complaint. He pledged to inspect the cooperatives swindling the farmers.

An agriculture cooperative gets Rs 12.50 commission per sack of fertiliser weighing 50 kg from Agriculture Materials Company and Salt Trading Corporation Limited.

Salt Trading Corporation Limited Pokhara Chief Suresh Rajbhandari said lack of fertiliser inspectors was to be blamed for the anomaly.