Paucity of fertiliser hits farmers hard


Local farmers could not get chemical fertilisers to prepare their land for sowing seasonal crops in Bardiya.

The shortage of fertiliser has hit local farmers hard in Banke and Bardiya districts.

Farmers of these districts buy chemical fertilisers that are brought from India through illegal channels at high cost.

Farmers said they could not sow wheat and mustard, among other seasonal crops, due to lack of fertiliser. The farmers added they could not get chemical fertiliser even in the black market.

The fertilisers bought by Agriculture Material Corporation Company Limited had sold out. Uncertainty looms as farmers wait for a decision from the Cabinet to procure fertilisers from Bangladesh.

AMCCL Banke Chief Ramesh Poudel acknowledged the problems faced by local farmers in Banke and Bardiya. “The stock of fertilisers brought from China has depleted,” he added.

He said Banke’s demand stood at around 3,000 metric tonnes DAP, 6,000 tonnes urea, and 100 tonnes potash. As many as 150 agriculture cooperatives have registered with AMCCL to sell fertilisers in Banke.

Similarly, Bardiya needed 12,000 tonnes urea, potash and DAP and around 120 cooperatives have registered with AMCCL for selling fertiliser there. The cost of fertiliser has increased this season in comparison to the rainy season. “Farmers are ready to pay, but how to bring fertilisers,” Poudel wondered.

He added there was no guarantee when the fertilisers would arrive.

Jabed Khan, a local farmer at Khajura Rural Municipality, said police had also interfered when farmers bought fertilisers from the black market at a very high price. He said the farmers in Bardiya had reached Indian markets to bring fertiliser. However, this year they were could not buy fertilisers for seasonal crops.

Another farmer, Mohammad Ali Shesh, said they would have finished sowing wheat if they had received fertilisers on time. He added that the farmers faced shortage of chemical fertilisers every year in the winter.

Feature image: File