Assessment of Fertilizer Policy, Farmers’ Perceptions and Implications for Future Agricultural Development in Nepal
This paper assesses the origins of and changes to fertilizer policy in Nepal over a period of time. It assesses farmers’ awareness of the recent changes to the subsidy policy and examines their perceptions of the extension services. It looks at the environmental implications of the concentrated application of chemical fertilizer, particularly as far as food security is concerned. Changes in fertilizer policy have occurred in four different phases: (i) without subsidy; (ii) with subsidy; (iii) with deregulation of fertilizer trade; and (iv) the current phase of subsidies for fertilizer. Only few farmers know about recent changes in the fertilizer policy; most of them were satisfied with the new subsidy scheme. Soil analysis indicated a significant decrease in the soil pH as a result of intensified agriculture. Use of fertilizer may increase yields in the short term, but in the longer term, it may worsen the food insecurity in the country.