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Nepal: Farmers walk for hours, queue for hours but in vain

"Despite the risk of Coronavirus, we queued up for ten kgs of fertilizer but now we are asked to come back tomorrow", Kumal said, "but of course it's not certain that we will get it tomorrow."
people qued up for fertilizers despite the risk of cornavirus . Picture- Krishna Neupane

DAMAULI:- Sita Thapa, a farmer of Tanahusur in ward no. 11 of Byas municipality walked to Damauli early in the morning as there was no public transportation available due to the lockdown.

She was in the queue at 8:00 am on Friday for buying fertilizers, but at 4:30 pm she was told that the depot was closing and that she should come back the next day. “It was not that they ran out of stock, but they are asking us to come again tomorrow,” Thapa said,” I stood in the queue for the whole day since morning in the hope of buying fertilizer but in vain”.

She also lamented that some people received 35 to 40 kilograms of fertilizers, while some had to return empty-handed. It was a similar story for Puja Kumal of Kalesti, who had arrived at 9:30 am. “Despite the risk of Coronavirus, we queued up for ten kgs of fertilizer but now we are asked to come back tomorrow”, Kumal said, “but of course it’s not certain that we will get it tomorrow.” The Nabin Consumers Cooperatives in Damauli has been selling fertilizers from its two depots.

It has reportedly received a truckload of fertilizers but farmers complained that the depots were closed before the stock ran out. Some even complained that people with connections and influence were getting the fertilizer through the backdoor.

Meanwhile, the farmers went to the District Administration Office on Friday late afternoon to share their grievances with the Chief District Officer. CDO Sagar Acharya gave assurances to the farmers that the distribution will resume if the stock remains.

He even called the police authorities to check the matter. Following the assurance from the CDO, the farmers returned back to the depot, but the farmers could not get the fertilizer. The depot operators had left after shutting it down. Many efforts to contact the Nabin Consumers Cooperatives did bear fruit. The chairperson and representatives did not respond to telephone calls either.

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