December 10, 2016 10:55 AM NPT
By: Dilip Poudel
Offers Rs 4.74 million in subsidy on fertilizers
KATHMANDU, Dec 10: The government has reduced the price of chemical fertilizers. According to the Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD), the government cut the price of urea and diammonium phosphate (DAP) to provide farmers some relief.
Shankar Sapkota, the deputy spokesperson at MoAD, said the government had reduced the price of urea and DAP by Rs 4 and Rs 2 respectively.
The price of urea has been reduced to Rs 14 from Rs 12, and DAP to Rs 43 from Rs 45.
The price of potassium was left at Rs 31.50.
“We have reduced the price of fertilizers based on international market prices,” Sapkota said.
The government has been granting subsidy on chemical fertilizers to farmers to increase production.
According MoAD, the government this year has provided Rs 4.74 billion in subsidy to farmers on fertilizer.
The government has given the responsibility to sell the chemical fertilizers to the Agriculture Inputs Company Ltd (AICL) and Salt Trading Corporation Ltd (STCL).
Both companies have been calling global tenders to send fertilizers to villages through co-operatives.
“The government has reduced the price of fertilizers to decrease the production cost of farmers,” Yogendra Kumar Karki, assistant secretary at MoAD, said.
Nepal has been importing 340,000 metric ton chemical fertilizer annually, Karki said. The government has granted 58 percent subsidy on urea, 38 percent on DAP and 2 percent on potassium.
Farmers use the chemicals for paddy, corn, vegetables and cash crops.
According to Ishwori Prasad Pandey, undersecretary at MoAD, the government has kept 59,000 metric ton fertilizer in stock to provide to farmers during any crisis. There are around 44,000 metric tons of urea, 9,700 tons of DAP and 5,000 tons of potassium in stock. Pandey said that 7,000 tons of fertilizer was ‘under-process’ of coming to Nepal.
Nepal imports fertilizer worth millions annually as the country lacks a fertilizer-producing industry. The government is conducting a study, through the Investment Board Nepal, to establish a factory to produce chemical fertilizer within the country.
Despite the government’s efforts, farmers have said that they are not getting chemical fertilizers on time.
The Agriculture and Water Resources Committee of parliament has formed a sub-committee to study the problems faced by farmers.
The sub-committee, formed on the leadership of Kasi Nath Adhikari, MP, will study the fertilizer distribution process and fertilizer imports, amongst others.