KATHMANDU, DECEMBER 15
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) is preparing to coordinate with the local governments to import fertilisers for the next fiscal year.
Aiming to end the recurrent issue of lack of fertilisers, MoALD has come up with this concept of coordinating with the local governments to better ensure timely and sufficient import of fertilisers, as per the ministry.
According to the ministry, it has sent a letter to all local bodies asking them to study and prepare a report on the quantity of fertilisers needed in their respective jurisdictions. And the report must be submitted to the provincial committee by mid-February. The letter has mentioned that the report should also include the type of fertilisers the local governments need for their areas.
The ministry has further stated that from now onwards it will work on this model of collecting the details of need of fertilisers beforehand to arrange the plant food for that particular time period.
The direction has been made based on the recently issued Fertiliser Import and Distribution Directive. The ministry has further claimed that the perennial problem of fertiliser shortage will end from the next fiscal year.
MoALD has further claimed that the government has arranged enough fertilisers for this season. Currently, Agriculture Inputs Company Ltd (AICL) and Salt Trading Corporation are importing fertilisers.
Amid this, a team from AICL has departed for Dhaka today to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Bangladeshi government to purchase urea.
A team including AICL Managing Director Netra Bhandari, Joint Secretary of MoALD Kanchan Raj Pandey, Spokesperson for the AICL Bishnu Prasad Pokhrel, and Agriculture Communications Officer Arun GC have departed for Dhaka. The AICL has claimed that they will try to purchase the fertiliser at a concessional price.
Earlier, the Nepal government had proposed to borrow fertilisers from Bangladesh. Even though the Bangladeshi government had seemed willing at first, later on it turned down the proposal. Rather, Dhaka requested Kathmandu to purchase the required fertilisers citing that Bangladesh did not have any legal provision that allowed lending of fertilisers.
A version of this article appears in print on December 16, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.