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Farmers in Southeast Nepal face scarcity of fertilizers

SARLAHI: Farmers in Sarlahi district have been worried due to acute shortage of chemical fertilizers in the peak paddy plantation season.
The farmers have been facing the scarcity of fertilizers in the district after the Agriculture Input Company Limited and Salt Trading Corporation failed to supply adequate fertilizers to the farmers even in the paddy plantation season.
The shortage of fertilizers has compelled the farmers to buy fertilizers from the traders by paying higher price than the actual retail rate.
The traders are selling fertilizer in black market cashing in on the situation.
Ram Biswas Ray, a farmer of Haripurwa Municipality of Sarlahi, said that the farmers were compelled pay Rs. 1,500 to buy a sack of urea (50 kg) and Rs. 3200 for same amount of DAP.
He said that a few traders were selling even 40 kilograms of fertilisers by taking price of 50 kilograms.
“It is compulsion for the farmers to buy fertilisers even paying higher price that the market price. But still we are unable to get the fertilizers even in the black market,” he said.
The shortage of chemical fertilisers has also affected the paddy super zone programme being operated in Haripurwa of the district.
Gopal Thakuri, a farmer of Bagmati Municipality-8, said that the farmers were facing problems to get fertilizers during the paddy plantation and weeding season.
According to him, no fertiliser is available in his area even if they were ready to pay higher price.
“We are planting paddy without using chemical fertiliser,” Thakuri said.
Farmers of Malangawa, Barahathawa, Bayalbas, Baripurwa, Lalbandi, Hariwan, Haripur and Solti expressed their grievances over the shortage of fertilisers.
Bajramani Lama, officiating Subsection Manager of AICL Malangawa, admitted the shortage of Urea in the district.
He said that they had not distributed fertilisers to the farmers right from the beginning of the current fiscal year.
But he said they were planning to distribute 150 tonnes of fertilisers in the districts within a few days.
“It is true there is a shortage of chemical fertilisers. We are distributing fertilisers through the cooperatives as we have received fertilisers from the regional office of AICL,” Lama said.
According to him, they were going to distribute fertiliser kept in the stock from Thursday.
AICL Malangawa Depot has distributed 4,000 tonnes of Urea, 2,700 tonnes of DAP and 162 tonnes of potash by mid-July this year.

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