Fertiliser crunch hits Makawanpur farmers

Hetauda, October 5

Farmers in Makawanpur are facing acute shortage of fertiliser due to obstruction at Nepal-India border points following the prolonged Tarai agitation.

The fertiliser crunch is likely to diminish the production of vegetables and crops like paddy.

Scarcity of fertiliser at a time when paddy plants require it the most has worried peasants in the district.

Farmers are visiting shops, District Agriculture Development Office, Agriculture Material Company Limited for chemical manure. They, however, have been forced to return empty-handed.

Senior agriculture development officer Nirmal Gadal from District Agriculture Office Makawanpur expressed worry that unavailability of fertiliser at this moment would cause depletion in paddy and vegetable yields. Gadal added that fertiliser crunch had hit even before the new statute was promulgated.

Agriculture Materials Company and Salt Trading had been assigned to provide fertiliser in Hetauda, but they have miserably failed to do so.

District Agriculture Development Office Makawanpur said that the district was in short supply of urea, potash, DAP, and zinc sulphate.

Gadal said some fertilisers had been brought from India and sold to the farmers.

Agriculture Material Company Limited Hetauda Office Chief Purusottam Singh said that stock of chemical fertiliser had run out. He said the blockade at border points had caused the dearth.

According to Singh, around 40,000 tonnes of the fertiliser has been stranded in Birgunj. He added that the fertiliser, which was being used in Nepal had been brought from China. Makawanpur, Chitwan, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat get their supply via Birgunj.

Farmer Tara Prasad Sharma from Hatiya in Hetauda said that scarcity of fertiliser would reduce paddy yield. “Paddy plants have begun to produce rice grains. If the shortage persists, paddy production will wane,” Sharma added.