Police in Bardiya crack down on farmers importing fertilisers from IndiaFarmers, on the other hand, are troubled further, as many of them had taken loans to purchase the fertilisers.
For months, farmers in Banke and Bardiya have been struggling to get hold of chemical fertilisers, especially Urea, as paddy plantation season got underway. So when they started bringing in fertilisers from the bordering town of Balaigaun in India, they were relieved. But their relief was short-lived, as the Area Police Office in Motipur has started confiscating the imported fertilisers.
Farmers, on the other hand, are troubled further, as many of them had taken loans to purchase the fertilisers.
The farmers had resorted to the Indian town after the Nepal Government couldn’t supply them with fertilisers. For a few days, the local administrations had turned a blind eye. But now, farmers say that Nepali police has started cracking down on them.
Superintendent Kedar Rajaure of Bardiya Police said that for a few days, his office had allowed the import of fertilisers from India on local representatives’ requests. Rajaure claimed that they had begun cracking down on the farmers after the fertilisers were peddled to other districts, including Banke.
“The ban on the import of fertilisers was lifted for a few days, as farmers were reeling under a crisis of fertilisers, but it is not allowed to transport it to other districts,” Rajaure said.
On Friday, fertilisers carried by more than a dozen farmers were confiscated and handed over to the customs office.
The Indian government has subsidised fertilisers for its farmers and has restricted its export, but the Nepal police had coordinated the import for a few days.
The farmers have been purchasing the fertilisers at a price ranging from Rs1,000 to Rs1,500 per sack of Urea.
Ward Chair of Badhaiyatal Rural Municipality-7 Indra Luitel said that his office had temporarily opened the Mahammadpur border for farmers purchasing fertilisers.
“We were compelled to ban the import of fertilisers after we found the fertilisers were sold at high price back in other districts of Nepal,” Luitel said. The border has been closed back from Friday night.
Mohan Singh KC, chief of Agriculture Inputs Company Limited, Bardiya, said that while farmers are reeling under the crisis, there’s no certainty when the government would make the fertilisers available.
“This is a crucial period for paddy farming,” he said. “A shortage of fertilisers would have a long-lasting impact on the produce this year.”