During the meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR), on Monday 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, Lawmaker Purna Kumari Subedi said there was no progress regarding the supply of chemical fertiliser despite efforts to address it in past. According to Subedi, import of chemical fertiliser just from only one country was one of the reasons for the problem and import market should be diversified.
Shakti Bahadur Basnet said the crisis of chemical fertiliser was perennial due to a series of factors and the promotion of the use of green economy was significant to adjust to the situation. He stressed on the need to focus attention on good governance so as to immediately intervene at the time of shortage. “Cartels have their influence in chemical fertiliser supplies since a tender procedure and the problem is unmanageable by the ministerial-level efforts and a high-level dialogue from the Prime Minister level is needed to address the problem.”
Similarly, Mahesh Basnet advised to utilising solid waste as raw materials for manufacturing composed fertiliser. He also highlighted policy-level reforms to behavioural changes among the people concerned to improve the situation while Dev Prasad Timilsina reminded the House that the fertiliser shortage was a longstanding problem.
After lawmakers put their views on the matter, Speaker of the HoR Agni Prasad Sapkota announced the adjournment of the session by half an hour.
Khagaraj Adhikari wanted to know from the government when it would supply 400 thousand metric tonnes of fertiliser required in the country. He said that the proposal of public importance regarding the problem of fertiliser shortage had to be brought in as there is an acute shortage of fertiliser during the cultivation season when the farmers direly need it.
Adhikari also shared in this context 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.
The rice production would sharply decrease if the government failed to supply fertiliser to the farmers in time and this situation would push the country towards a dire food crisis, he also pointed out.
Nepali Congress Lawmaker Min Bishwokarma reiterated that the farmers should get the fertiliser on time and the Agriculture Inputs Corporation had to cancel the tender process for procurement of fertiliser as the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority had sent a letter to this effect.
Parbati DC Chaudhary stressed providing fertiliser to farmers on time as not doing so would be detrimental to their meagre income. Dila Sangraula called on the government to bring the fertiliser from India at the earliest through the G2G process.
Gopal Bahadur Bom said the shortage of fertiliser faced by farmers is a common problem of all the parties and all the parties should be united in bringing fertiliser at the earliest.
Nara Bahadur Dhami expressed regrets that the contribution to the GDP from the agriculture sector was a mere 25 per cent when 60 per cent of the population was farmers. He also complained that the farmers who lost their rice crop to massive flooding last year were not yet compensated.
Surya Prasad Pathak stressed promoting the use of organic fertiliser for addressing the problem in a sustainable manner as it will take 226 days to complete the process of purchasing fertiliser.