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Banana farmers face problem of lack of fertilizers

2022 Apr 16, 12:06, Jhapa
Representative Image Photo: Xinhua/RSS

Farmers who have been cultivating bananas have said that the crisis is due to lack of chemical fertilizers. As a result, banana production has declined and cultivation has shrunk.

Benu Parajuli of Kankai Municipality-3, who used to cultivate bananas on 50 bighas of land in the past, said that he has grown 30 bighas of bananas this time as his income was less than expected. He said that even though the farming was started with the objective of creating a 'banana zone', it had to bear huge losses due to lack of fertilizer and logging.

Farmers who have received government subsidy by declaring pocket and block areas in the past have started reducing banana cultivation by returning the rented land to the land owners. In the past, Durgamata and Kolakheti agricultural farms in Kankai-5, Shivasatakshi Municipality-7, Bahardashi Rural Municipality-6 and Jhapa Rural Municipality-7 of the district had been cultivating commercial bananas on 400 bighas of land.

Farmers Benu Parajuli, Himdal Parajuli, Kul Prasad Chimariya, Laxmi Chimariya and Ganesh Sangraula jointly operated the farm. They started collective banana farming by taking the land of a local farmer for five years, but after failing to raise investment in three years, they returned the land and started cultivating bananas.

The Durgamata and Kolakheti agricultural farms, known as the largest banana farming farms here, have cultivated about 100 bighas of land this time. Laxmi Chimariya, Chairperson of the farm, said that the production was declining due to non-availability of chemical fertilizers when needed.

Stating that bananas need to be fertilized up to three times a year, he complained that the production has declined due to failure to apply fertilizer even once last year. Banana cultivation requires urea, DAP, potash and phosphorus fertilizers.

"In the past, the office of Salt Trading used to provide the required amount of fertilizers based on the recommendations of the Agriculture Knowledge Center," said Benu Parajuli, a farmer from Kankai who has been cultivating bananas.

The farm had received a grant of Rs 5 million from the Agriculture Knowledge Center for two years on the condition of investing 50 percent for agriculture. He informed that Rs. 3.2 million was received in 2066/77 BS and Rs. 1.3 million in 2077/88 BS.

Due to the cumbersome process of getting subsidy and non-receipt of fertilizer on time, the attraction of farmers towards banana cultivation is declining. "The banana market is good but we don't have direct access to traders. We don't get the same price when we sell it through a contractor," said Parajuli, frustrated. He has cultivated sugarcane and Malbhog banana.

According to the Agriculture Knowledge Center, commercial cultivation of banana was done in an area of ​​1,800 hectares in the district in the fiscal year 2077/78. Ganesh Shiwakoti, Information Officer at the Agriculture Knowledge Center, said that the farmers were affected due to untimely availability of fertilizer, various diseases and seasonal winds.

He informed that farmers were affected as banana farming requires chemical fertilizer along with organic which was not available in time. According to him, the farmers who are engaged in commercial banana farming are suffering huge losses due to natural calamities even when they are not getting relief. He said that the bananas produced by small farmers had to be sold through middlemen.


Chemical fertilizers farmers bananas agricultural farms BANANA FARMING investment fertilizers grant sugarcane Malbhog banana Natural calamities
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