BANKE, JUNE 25 : Abdul Rais of Janaki Rural Municipality-5 is preparing to transplant paddy in his fields. He is compelled to plant paddy 2-3 days later than planned due to the unavailability of fertilizers. Similarly, Sarif Khan of the same village has not been able to transplant paddy saplings in his fields for the same reason.
Farmers in Banke are deprived of fertilizers even during the paddy transplantation season. This is because the government did not import fertilizers at the right time. Dhan Bahadur Khatri of Nepalgunj Sub-metropolitan city-19 said that not getting fertilizers in spite of keeping seed beds has become problematic.
“It is the time to transplant paddy,” he said, “It is still not sure whether we will get the fertilizers.” The farmers grew the seedlings with the help of the organic manure they had made by rotting the wild weeds in the fields. But chemical fertilizers are essential while transplanting paddy.
Farmers who have waited for long for the fertilizers are disappointed as they haven't got the same even in the paddy transplantation season. Even if not during bedding, they were hopeful that they would get it at the time of transplantation. But their hopes have been turned into despair.
Following the scarcity of fertilizers in Nepal, Nepali farmers bring fertilizers from India. According to In-charge Madhav Rijal of the Area Police Office, Jamuna, farmers bring fertilizers all the way from India even for regular farming.
“During the scarcity of fertilizers in Nepal, farmers bring 1-2 sacks of fertilizers from India,” he said, “Fertilizers cannot be brought in a large quantity, small quantities for normal farming are allowed.”
Banke, which is known as the district of food storage, is facing scarcity, which shows possible impacts in production. In Banke, farmers are deprived of Urea fertilizer since the wheat planting season. The district has only 770 metric tons of DAP fertilizer in stock. About 7,000 metric tons of Urea and 4000 metric tons of DAP fertilizer is needed in Banke.
According to Sagar Dhakal, the head of Agricultural Knowledge Center Banke, the scarcity of fertilizers across the country has also affected Banke. “Fertilizers as per the agreement have not arrived from India,” he said, “We will start the distribution as soon as fertilizers arrive from India.”
He added that organic manures should also be used to address the scarcity of chemical fertilizers. Paddy is cultivated in 36,500 hectares of land in Banke. Various political parties and stakeholders have been drawing the government’s attention to provide fertilizers to the farmers.