Agro sector witnesses loss of almost Rs 11bn
Kathmandu, July 12
Owing to various catastrophes, the country's agriculture sector witnessed loss amounting to Rs 10.89 billion in the ongoing fiscal year, according to statistics compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives (MoALMC).
This accounts for the loss that the sector faced from floods and landslides triggered by the heavy monsoon rains, hailstorms and storms in the current fiscal 2017-18.
As per MoALMC, various catastrophes had adverse impact on plantation and production of vegetables, paddy, maize, pulses, millets, bananas, oil seeds, ground nuts and fishery in the ongoing fiscal year, which might affect the agricultural output during the year.
Other than standing crops, the statistics also include the impact on agricultural products and food that were in warehouses of the government and farmers.
“The ongoing fiscal year was not too generous for the agriculture sector as the floods between July and September across the country swept away planted crops worth billions of rupees,” said Yogendra Kumar Karki, spokesperson for MoALMC.
As these losses that the farmers across the country faced during the year have to be compensated through some means and MoALMC lacks financial resources, Karki informed that the ministry has forwarded the loss assessment to the Ministry of Finance (MoF) seeking reimbursement.
If MoF reimburses the claim, MoALMC plans to compensate farmers through various subsidy packages on seeds and agricultural equipment, including loans and loan waiver facilities.
According to the statistics of MoALMC, eastern development region topped the chart in terms of agricultural loss in 2017-18, with Rs 6.20 billion. While central development region saw Rs 3.76 billion agricultural loss during the year, far-western development region witnessed Rs 0.56 billion in loss.
Likewise, the western development region and mid-western development regions witnessed agriculture losses amounting to Rs 0.27 billion and Rs 0.08 billion, respectively.
In an optimistic note, Karki informed that MoALMC has not received any information regarding the destruction on agriculture by the ongoing monsoon in the Tarai.
“With timely onset of monsoon, paddy plantation is being carried out uninterruptedly across the country. We expect the monsoon to be favourable this year,” added Karki.
MoALMC statistics show that paddy plantation has already been carried out on 45 per cent of arable land across the country till date. Plantation of the cereal crop had been completed on only 36 per cent of cultivable land until mid-July last year, as per Karki.
At a glance
Rs 6.20 billion
Rs 3.76 billion
Rs 0.27 billion
Rs 0.08 billion
Rs 0.56 billion