Assessment of Fertilizer Policy, Farmers’ Perceptions and Implications for Future Agricultural Development in Nepal

Nani Raut, Bishal K. Sitaula


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. This paper looks at the environmental implications of the concentrated application of chemical fertilizer, particularly as far as food security is concerned. Questionnaire surveys, group discussions, a workshop, soil analyses and archival materials were used to collect data for this study. 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. However, timely and effective fertilizer distribution by the government has always been a problem. Only few farmers (12 %) know about recent changes in the fertilizer policy; most of them (44 %) were satisfied with the new subsidy scheme. Valid proof of land ownership is a requirement for qualifying for subsidized fertilizer, and this makes it difficult for some small farmers who are tenant. The soil analysis indicated a significant decrease in the soil pH as a result of intensified agriculture. One reason is due to the intensive use of chemical fertilizers and the declining use of farmyard manure. The ineffectiveness of the extension services also influences farmers’ use of fertilizer as they are not aware of which fertilizer and how much to use. The use of fertilizer may increase yields in the short term, but in the longer term, it may worsen the food insecurity in the country.

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Sustainable Agriculture Research   ISSN 1927-050X (Print)   ISSN 1927-0518 (Online)  E-mail:

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