Govt fixes new timeline of mid-January to provide farmers with fertilizers

Published On: December 27, 2020 07:30 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 27: Agriculture Inputs Company Limited (AICL) has set a new timeline of mid-January to import chemical fertilizers which Bangladesh is providing to Nepal on a refundable basis.

On December 20, the governments of two countries reached an agreement for the purchase of 50,000 metric tons of chemical fertilizer through the G2G mechanism. After dilly dallying of the long awaited fertilizers import, the state-owned enterprise said it opened a letter of credit last week to import fertilizers.

The AICL has already selected Gentrad FZF Company of the United Arab Emirates to transport chemical fertilizers from Bangladesh. Through a process of international bidding, the AICL on September 19 awarded the shipping contract to the company.

Netra Bahadur Bhandari, managing director of the AICL, said they were purchasing fertilizers at the US $ 259.19 per metric ton. According to him, the fertilizers will be available to farmers for plantation of the winter crops.

Earlier, the government had contracted Shailung Enterprises Pvt Ltd, Lalitpur, and Honiko Multiple Pvt Ltd, Kathmandu, to supply chemical fertilizers for last rainy season. However, the companies had failed to work as per the contract, following which farmers faced shortage of the agriculture inputs for their harvest.

Following the incident, the government took initiatives to import fertilizers from Bangladesh with a promise to refund it later. According to the AICL, the government looked to import the fertilizer by signing an agreement between the companies of the two countries as it is cumbersome and time consuming to procure fertilizers through the tender process. 

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