Nepal bolsters agricultural sector with significant urea import to kick off 2024

An old man and women are cooperating with each other to harvesting matures on the Green Peas at Dhankuta, Nepal

Nepal has announced the arrival of new shipment of 30,000 metric tonnes of urea that would help to strengthen the country’s agricultural sector at the onset of 2024. This development is critical for the country, which relies heavily on agriculture for both income generation and employment, and is entirely dependent on imports for its fertilizer needs.

Agriculture, the cornerstone of Nepal’s economy, contributes approximately 27.5% to the national GDP and supports about 65% of the population. This sector’s success hinges on the timely availability of chemical fertilizers. For the current fiscal year, the total estimated demand for chemical fertilizers in Nepal stands at around 520,000 metric tonnes. This includes 310,000 metric tonnes of urea, 190,000 metric tonnes of DAP (Diammonium Phosphate), and 20,000 metric tonnes of potash.

To address this demand, Krishi Samagri Company Limited (KSCL), a state-owned enterprise, plays a pivotal role in procuring and distributing agricultural essentials such as fertilizers, seeds, and agrochemicals. KSCL has initiated an international tender (Contract Identification No: KSCL/U/1CB-160/080/081) for the import of urea, with bids closing on 23 February 2024.

KSCL routinely conducts eight to ten global tenders annually, typically taking four to five months to complete each fertilizer importation process. Historical imports have seen fertilizers sourced from various countries, including Turkey, Oman, China, Egypt, and India. The current tender specifies import either through CIF Kolkata/Haldia (India) port or directly to KSCL border warehouses in Nepal.

Additionally, KSCL acquires fertilizers from India based on the government-to-government agreement and India’s Import Parity Price (IPP). The company is also responsible for managing fertilizers obtained through grants or aid from donor governments, ensuring these resources are used as buffer stocks and distributed effectively.

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