Agro output to fall by 3.71 per cent

Kathmandu, June 8

Growth of agriculture sector is projected to plunge below one per cent in this fiscal as the total agriculture production is expected to go down by 3.71 per cent.

As per the preliminary data of agriculture production obtained from the Ministry of Agricultural Development, total agriculture output (excluding livestock and poultry sectors) is projected to hover around 13.99 million tonnes as compared to 14.53 million tonnes last year.

Production of cereal crops, which has around 64 per cent weightage in total agriculture output, is expected to drop by 6.9 per cent this fiscal. Production of major cereal crops like paddy, wheat, millet and barley is projected to decline heavily. The late monsoon, shortage of chemical fertilisers and drought affected the agriculture output this fiscal.

Production of both summer and winter crops declined this fiscal. However, production of maize and buckwheat is expected to increase by 3.72 per cent and seven per cent to 2.23 million tonnes and 11,640 tonnes, respectively.

Despite the increase in production area from 245,000 hectares to 265,000 hectares, the total output of vegetables remains similar to that of the last fiscal.

Total vegetable production this fiscal is expected to hover around 3.63 million tonnes. According to MoAD officials, drought affected the production of vegetables this fiscal.

However, fruit productivity is expected to increase this fiscal.

The MoAD expects a 10 per cent increase in production of fruits to 1.1 million tonnes this fiscal, as production area has increased by six per cent to 120,000 hectares.

Production of pulses is expected to increase by one per cent to 353,000 tonnes, according to MoAD.