Farmers not to face shortage of chemical fertilisers this year

Kathmandu, June 13: Unlike in the previous years, farmers across the country will not face a scarcity of chemical fertilisers during this paddy plantation season.

There will be no scarcity of chemical fertilisers in the coming paddy plantation season, which will start very soon, as the Agriculture Inputs Company Limited (AICL) has enough stock of fertilisers, said Bishnu Prasad Pokharel, Information Officer at the AICL.

According to him, the AICL has already taken initiations to import chemical fertiliser and manage its proper distribution to the farmers across the country with a view to preventing a shortage of chemical fertilisers this year.

"We are working seriously and importing chemical fertilisers in time targeting the paddy plantation season as chemical fertilisers are in high demand during the season," Pokharel said.

He assured that the farmers would get fertilisers as per their needs as the AICL had sufficient stock of urea while the amount of DAP is not adequate at present.

He said that the AICL was importing around 38,000 tons of fertilisers, including 18,000 tons of urea, which will arrive within two weeks.

AICL has 10,000 tons of DAP and around 40,000 tons of urea in stock, he said.

Likewise, the AICL has already sold around 28,000 tons of DAP and 23,000 tons of urea in the last one month, which will be used for the paddy season, he said.

The government has authorised Salt Trading Corporation to import around 30 per cent fertilisers out of the total budget allocation by the government.

The Salt Trading Corporation has also been selling chemical fertiliser to the farmers for the last couples of years.

He said that the demand for DAP would be 45,000 tons and urea 80,000 tons during the paddy plantation season.

He, however, said that the supply of chemical fertlisers in some districts of the western region would be affected for a few days as there was not sufficient stock of fertiliser in this region.

The AICL and Salt Trading Corporation imported around 300,000 tons of chemical fertilisers from the annual budget provided for the current fiscal year.

Rise in the prices of chemical fertilisers in the international market has affected the plan to import more chemical fertiliser from the allocated budget this year. The government had allocated Rs. 4.91 billion budget for importing chemical fertilisers.

Talking about the budget for the current fiscal year 2074/75, the AICL Information Officer said that low allocation of budget for the import of chemical fertilisers affected our plan to provide fertiliser to the farmers as per the needs.

“We are distributing only half of the national requirement of the fertilisers due to low budget allocation. The national demand for fertilisers stands at 700,000 tons annually,” he said.

He said that the private sector was also selling fertilisers, which helped the AICL to meet the demand to some extent.

He pointed out that the government should allocate sufficient budget to import fertilisers to distribute to the farmers, which would help increase the overall production of crops.

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