Kathmandu: A number of lawmakers on Monday demanded that the government should immediately address the problem of fertilizer shortage facing the country for quite a long time. In the meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR), lawmakers took part in deliberations over a proposal of urgent public importance presented before the session by CPN (UML) chief whip Bishal Bhattarai.
Taking part in the deliberations, HoR member Purna Kumari Subedi said the issue of chemical fertilizer supplies was constant despite efforts to address it. According to her, import of chemical fertilizers from only one country was one of the reasons for the problem and import market should be sought in other countries as well.
Shakti Bahadur Basnet said the crisis of chemical fertilizer was perennial due to a series of causes. He said that the government should be focused on finding ways to intervene.
“Cartels have their influence in chemical fertilizer supplies. Problem is unmanageable by the ministerial-level efforts therefore a high-level dialogue from the Prime Minister level is needed to address the problem,” he said.
Similarly, Mahesh Basnet presented an idea of utilizing solid waste as raw materials for manufacturing compost fertilizer, highlighting the need for policy-level reforms to behavioural changes among the people concerned to improve the situation. Dev Prasad Timilsina said the fertilizer shortage was a longstanding problem.
After lawmakers put their views on the matter, Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota announced the adjournment of the session by half an hour.
Khagaraj Adhikari asked the government when it would supply 400 thousand metric tonnes of fertilizer required in the country. He added that the proposal of public importance regarding the problem of fertilizer shortage should be brought as there is acute shortage of fertilizer during the cultivation season.
Adhikari also shared that the country was facing a shortage of 1 million metric tonnes of rice and it would be hard to purchase rice when several countries of the world have stopped exporting it.
He also pointed out that the rice production would sharply decrease if the government failed to supply fertilizer to the farmers in time and this situation would push the country towards a food crisis.
Min Bishwokarma reiterated that the farmers should get the fertilizer on time. He also said that the Agriculture Inputs Corporation should cancel the tender process for procurement of fertilizer as the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has sent a letter to this effect.
Parbati DC Chaudhary stressed on the need of providing fertilizers to farmers on time. Likewise, Dila Sangraula called on the government to bring the fertilizer from India at the earliest through the G2G process.
Gopal Bahadur Bom said the shortage of fertilizer faced by farmers is a common problem of all the parties and all the parties should be united in bringing fertilizer at the earliest.
Laxmi Pariyar said the government should be sensitive in resolving this perennial problem of fertilizer shortage.
Ganesh Kumar Pahadi underscored the need of setting up a fertilizer industry in the country.
Surya Prasad Pathak stressed on promoting the use of organic fertilizer for addressing the problem in a sustainable manner. Sanjaya Kumar Gautam said all political parties should come together to resolve public interest matters like a lack of seeds, fertilizers and a price increment of petroleum products.
Tulasi Thapa suggested that the government be serious about managing godowns to store fertilizers.
Prem Suwal sought a clarification from the top leaders of the coalition parties on ‘failure’ to supply fertilizers.