Chitwan farmers facing fertilizer scarcity

Published On: September 9, 2018 05:30 AM NPT By: Sabita Shrestha

CHITWAN, Sept 9: Sita Sunar, a peasant from Sharadanagar village, had to queue up for four hours to buy 10 kg of fertilizer. She lamented that she had been struggling to get some fertilizer for two months. "After four hours of wait, today I got it, but only 10 kg," she said.She started facing fertilizer woes right from she planted paddy in July.

Her paddy, planted in 16 katthas of land is going to go waste if she can't find adequate amount of fertilizer on time."Ten kg of urea is not going to solve my problem. I have to share my production with the owner as well. But it seems this time there would be no production," said Sunar.The field where Sunar has planted paddy is not her own. So, she has to share half of the produce with the owner, she explained.

Sunar is now short of 15 kg of urea. She needed 25 kg of the fertilizer. Scarcity of the fertilizer is a great hassle for farmers in this part. And this is the not the first time they are facing it. According to the district development office, paddy has been planted in 28,000 hectares of land in the district this time. But due to the lack of fertilizer, paddy production in the district is feared to go very low.

Salt Trading Corporation and Agricultural Inputs Company Limited (AICL) are responsible for fertilizer supply. However, they have not been able to provide enough fertilizer.

"We do not know why they make it so scarce. We are ready to pay money, we want to buy it, but why they don't have it in enough quantity?" asks Sunar.                                                

According to Rabindra Gautam, chief of AICL the scarcity of urea is a nationwide problem. "We bring in urea from India. That is important in normal quantity throughout the year, but the demand goes very high during some seasons. And this creates scarcity," he said.

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