Electronic system to keep tabs on fertilizer stocks at depots

Published On: March 19, 2020 10:39 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

System will ensure smooth availability of fertilizers to farmers: Agriculture ministry

KATHMANDU, March 19: The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development is preparing to launch an electronic system to track distribution of chemical fertilizers in the country.

The system will keep records of chemical fertilizers entering the country, and details of fertilizers sent to depot and distributed to farmers by them, according to the ministry. 

Hari Bahadur KC, the spokesperson for the ministry, said that the electronic system will play an important role in getting stocks of chemical fertilizers in depots across the country in real time basis.

“The system will be ready within a month. We will test it internally to see whether it serves our purpose," KC said, adding that the system will help the ministry to track fertilizers received and distributed by the depots, and helps to control irregularities in distribution.

Last year, farmers had faced shortage of DAP and urea during paddy transplantation season. Chemical fertilizers resulted in low production in some areas, according to the ministry.

"The system will be implemented early next fiscal year during paddy transplantation season. It will help us to gauge the effectiveness of the system," said. "As were building electronic system of this time for the first time, we want to execute it only after completing necessary tests so that there are no technical glitches when the system goes live."

The ministry started work on fertilizers tracking system following complaints regarding shortage of fertilizers from farmers from across the country. Farmers have long been complaining that government depots do not supply fertilizers in sufficient quantity during cultivation season. They also accuse that depots often sold fertilizers to private shops at higher rates and return farmers empty-handed.

“We distribute fertilizers to farmers through cooperatives. But farmers are always facing shortage of chemical fertilizers. Our studies have showed that cooperatives are not fulfilling their duties properly," KC said, adding: "The electronic system will address all these issues and ensure smooth availability of chemical fertilizers."

Salt Trading Corporation and Agricultural Inputs Company Ltd (AICL) are the designated agencies responsible for distribution of fertilizers. These agencies distribute fertilizers to farmers through cooperatives.

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