Nepal has signed a much-awaited commercial agreement with India for the supply of chemical fertilisers for the next five years, officials said on Thursday.
The long term deal signed between Nepal's Krishi Samagri Company Limited and India's Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers Limited will allow Nepal to buy about 900,000 tons of chemical fertilisers for the next five years.
In recent years, Nepali farmers have been facing severe shortages of chemical fertilisers during planting season.
The agreement states that Nepal will be able to purchase 150,000 tons of crop nutrients�100,000 tons of urea and 50,000 tons of diammonium phosphate (DAP)-from India in the first year.
In the second year, the country will be able to buy 170,000 tons, in the third year 195,000 tons, and in the fourth and fifth years, 210,000 tons each.
"To minimise the uncertainty and assure the timely supply of fertilizers to the farmers of Nepal for the next 5 years, an agreement has been signed between Nepal and India," Nepal's ambassador to New Delhi Dr Shankar Prasad Sharma said on Twitter on Thursday.
The agreement follows a government-to-government deal, which was signed in February this year.
Rajendra Bahadur Karki, general manager of Krishi Samagri Company, said that the Indian side will deliver fertilisers at various border areas including Birgunj, Biratnagar and Bhairahawa.
The general manager said that Nepal will start the procurement to avail fertilizers for the wheat plantation season.
"The Indian company will begin supplying fertilizers 30 days after getting the supply order from us," he said.
Ram Prasad Subedi, deputy chief of mission at the Nepal Embassy in New Delhi, said that the commercial agreement for the supply of chemical fertilizers to Nepal is welcome news for Nepali farmers.
"The negotiation took place for a couple of months between the two sides to finalize the commercial agreement on the purchase of chemical fertilizers. We also sincerely thank the Indian government for its warm cooperation to finalise this much-awaited deal," he told India Narrative over phone.
Earlier in June, a Nepali delegation led by then Agriculture Minister Mahendra Yadav visited New Delhi to finalise the commercial agreement for the supply of chemical fertilizers, targeting the paddy transplantation season which begins in mid-June. However, the two sides had failed to sign commercial agreements on time owing to legal constraints.