Farmers face fertiliser shortage once again

- BHARAT JARGHAMAGAR, SIRAHA

Jul 26, 2018-

The paddy farmers of the district are facing acute shortage of fertiliser during peak paddy plantation season. Around 3645 tonnes of chemical fertiliser is needed in the district to plant paddy on around 60,757 hectares of land. The amount is equivalent to 72,908 sacks of fertiliser.

However, Agriculture Inputs Company Limited, Lahan has a stock of only 5,000 sacks. Out of the total stock, 4,000 sacks have been distributed already, according to Chadra Chaulagain, chief of the district office of the company. These days, one can see a long queue of farmers seeking fertiliser at the premises of the company office.

According to Kiran Devi, a paddy farmer of the district, she got only 50kg of DAP after staying in the queue for six hours. “The amount I got is not enough to plant paddy on 2 biggas of land I own,” Devi lamented.

Chaulagain claimed the company was planning to receive inventory of 100,000 sacks of fertiliser targeting the paddy plantation season. “To date, only 500 sacks have arrived and the remaining is on the way,” he claimed. “Once the new stock arrives there will not be a shortage.”   

The farmers, however, blamed local businessmen who purchase fertiliser from the company in the name of cooperatives for the shortage. “The traders purchase the fertiliser at subsidised rate from the company in the name of farmer cooperative,” said Surya Narayan Yadav of Lahan. “They then sell it to the farmer at a higher price.”  

The company adopted the policy of distributing fertilisers to farmers via cooperatives to ensure easy supply and allowed such cooperatives to sell with a profit margin of 5 percent. But the policy has backfired with farmers being hit hard financially as the subsidised fertilisers find its way to the warehouses of traders instead.

The company supplies a sack with 50kg fertiliser at Rs2,188 but local traders are charging as much as Rs2,800 for a sack of 50kg DAP. Farmers even blamed company officials of taking commission from such traders.

Published: 26-07-2018 08:18

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