Fertiliser shortage hits farmers in Western TaraiMany farmers in the country’s southwest have been facing a shortage of fertiliser, urea in particular. According to the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), around 40 percent of the farmers have been affected by the scarcity in the midst of the wheat and mustard growing season.
Many farmers in the country’s southwest have been facing a shortage of fertiliser, urea in particular. According to the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), around 40 percent of the farmers have been affected by the scarcity in the midst of the wheat and mustard growing season.
For the last two months, farmers have been making trips to the DADO to obtain fertiliser, but they are having to return empty-handed. Madan Chaudhary from Barbardiya-4 and Laxman Khatri from Madhuvan-3 are among the farmers who have been visiting the office.
As per the DADO, farmers are growing wheat on 22,500 hectares of land in the district and need a total of 3,417 tonnes of urea. Similarly, an estimated 1,060 tonnes of DAP and 800 tonnes of potash are required for wheat cultivation.
“However, around 40 percent of the farmers have not been able to get the required quantity of these soil nourishers,” said Jay Bahadur Mahatara, crop development officer at the DADO.
Narahari Pokharel, chief of Agriculture Inputs Company, Gulariya, said they had written to their regional office in Bhairahawa but had not received any reply. According to him, the district’s demand for urea stands at 14,000 tonnes annually. Similarly, 10,000 tonnes of DAP and 5,000 tonnes of potash are required annually.
According to Pokharel, the farmers instantly need 12,000 tonnes of urea for wheat production and 6,000 tonnes for mustard production. “The Bhairahawa-based depot has assured us that they will increase shipments in one to two days,” he said.
Bishnu Chaudhary from Gulariya-12 expressed dissatisfaction over the delay in the distribution of fertilisers. “We are not getting fertilisers even when we are ready to pay the full price,” Chaudhary said.
According to Chaudhary, they need to apply the fertiliser to their fields three times a year to improve yields. “However, we are not getting sufficient fertiliser for even one time,” he said.
Meanwhile, frustrated farmers are reported to have started importing substandard fertiliser from bordering markets in India. According to agro experts, a number of traders have started smuggling soil nourishers due to the shortage.
The fertiliser shortage was expected to ease after a shipment stuck at Kolkata Port, India for the last three months was transported to Nepal after Indian Railways dedicated a rake for Nepal-bound cargo. Two weeks ago, Nepal imported nearly 34,000 tonnes of fertiliser piled up at Kolkata Port.
Nepal’s annual fertiliser demand stands at 700,000 tonnes, of which 90,000 tonnes are required for winter crops.