Chemical fertiliser crunch hits farmers hard in Saptari

Rajbiraj, August 8

Farmers in Saptari have been hit very hard due to lack of chemical fertilisers in the market. Maheswor Rajak has been visiting the headquarters for the past one month on a daily basis for chemical fertiliser, but he has had to return empty-handed.

The plight of Sabina Khatun of Bathanaha is no different. Khatun has been visiting the headquarters for the last two weeks. She complained that she had to return empty-handed every time she visited the headquarters. “I am exhausted standing in line for hours in the sweltering heat,” Khatun lamented.

The majority of the peasants in the district are suffering the same plight. They fear that their investment and hard work might go in vain as the paddy has already been planted, but they still haven’t received the fertiliser.

Yogendra Ray of Bishnupur Rural Municipality accused the people’s representatives at the local level of not being very serious towards their problem. “Who should we trust --- the people’s representatives have been elected by us but, they are least bothered about our problems?” Ray asked.

Farmers complained that the cooperative had hiked the price of DAP, urea and potash by Rs 400 to 600 per sack, taking full advantage of the paddy plantation time.

District Cooperative Union Saptari manager Ramesh Kumar Gupta said farmers were facing a shortage of fertilisers as Agriculture Material Centre had failed to supply fertilisers as per the demand.

Fertiliser Supply Committee Coordinator and CDO Surendra Poudel said that they had carried out market monitoring following complaints that chemical fertiliser was being sold in black market.