7,500 tonnes fertiliser arrives in Birgunj, Bhairahawa

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By A Staff ReporterKathmandu, Nov. 16: The fertilisers imported by Agriculture Inputs Company Limited (AICL) through global tenders have started arriving in Nepal.

Some of the 30,000 tonnes of urea that AICL is purchasing through tenders have started entering Nepal since Sunday this week, according to Rajendra Bahadur Karki, acting managing director of AICL.

Of the 30,000 tonnes of urea purchased through the tender, 7,500 tonnes has been delivered to the Birgunj and Bhairahawa warehouses so far, he said.

The entire amount of fertiliser will arrive in Nepal within two weeks, he said.

Karki said that the distribution of the fertilisers, including DAP, would begin across the country targeting the winter crops such as potatoes and wheat.

However, he said, when there is a high demand in some places or districts, the supply may not be at par with the demand of the farmers.

According to him, there is a stock of fertiliser, including DAP in some districts where the season to plant winter crops has not begun and in other districts, the farmers have complained unavailability of fertlisers as per the demand.

"It means, there is a need to amend the provincial quota fixing system based on the season and demand to address this issue," he told The Rising Nepal.

"We, the AICL, are effortful to import and distribute fertilisers as per its responsibility and budget," he said.

He said that for easy supply of fertiliser, the Company will supply and distribute fertiliser by following the budget and responsibility received from the government.

The AICL and Salt Trading Corporation are importing and distributing fertilisers subsidised as per the budget allocated by the government.

The AICL uses around 70 per cent and STC 30 per cent of the budget to import and distribute the fertilisers across the country.

Karki said that out of about 40,000 tonnes of DAP purchased by AICL last time, about 22,700 tonness is currently in stock in various depots and continuously distributed through the dealers.

Around 60,000 tonnes of DAP is required for winter crops.

Similarly, around 11,500 tonnes of urea is in stock at present whereas around 22,500 tonnes are entering currently.

In the meantime, around 30,000 tonnes of urea fertilisers will start to arrive within a week from India under the government-to-government procurement process, he said.

Lack of DAP in Kavre for potato plantation 

According to our Kavre correspondent, the potato planting season has started in Mandandeupur, Panchkhal, Panauti municipalities and other places in the district.

Till now, the farmers of Kavrepalanchowk have been facing the shortage of DAP chemical fertilisers required for planting potatoes in every potato planting season.

Currently, there is a need for hundreds of thousands sacks of DAP and urea in the district, but only a few thousand sacks of chemical fertilisers have been supplied.

Since there is no DAP fertiliser required for planting potatoes, the farmers are in a dilemma whether to plant potatoes or not, while the government has also set a quota for fertiliser distribution to the municipality, so less fertiliser is being supplied to the municipalities than the demand of the farmers.

Rishi Ram Tiwari, a farmer of Mandandeupur Municipality-11, said that due to the lack of chemical fertilisers, he thought of planting potatoes this year only for household consumption.

Similarly, Nabaraj Adhikari, a farmer from Panchkhal, said that there is a problem in planting potatoes due to lack of chemical fertilisers.

He complained that demands of farmers were not addressed even though they repeatedly drew the attention of the concerned bodies to ease the supply of chemical fertilisers. The federal government has been distributing 12.02 per cent of the total fertiliser in Nepal for Bagmati Province.

A meeting of the Bagmati Province Fertiliser Distribution Management Committee on October 16 determined the quota of 357 tonnes (7,140 sacks) for the 13 local levels of Kavrepalanchowk.

Similarly, the meeting of the Committee held on November 7 has also fixed the quota of 329 tonnes (6,580 sacks) of DAP for the district.

Around 686 tonnes (13,720 sacks) of fertilisers have arrived in the district twice.

Bashudev Sharma, chief of the AICL, Dhulikhel, said that the district currently needs 5,000 tonnes of DAP and 3,000 tonnes of urea.  

Currently, the demand for DAP and urea is high in Kavrepalanchowk as the season of potatoes and wheat plantation has arrived, he said.

"Since there was less supply since a year ago, farmers and cooperatives do not have enough stock of fertiliser, so the demand for fertiliser is higher than usual this time," he said.

He said that at the time of planting potatoes, the fertiliser could not be distributed as demanded by the farmers.

He said that the fertiliser received at the office was distributed to the local levels according to the quota.

Meanwhile, Surendra Awal, acting chief of STC, Banepa, said that although the office has some urea, there is no DAP for distribution.

He said it will take about two months for the DAP to arrive.

The people of some districts have demanded that the candidates for the House of Representatives and the Provincial Assembly, who come to ask for votes, should ensure the supply of fertilisers.

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