Farmers seek irrigation in Tanahun vegetable zone

Tanahun, May 13

Farmers of Tanahun vegetable zone are seeking government’s support for proper irrigation in the area.

Under the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project, the government had in October announced vegetable zone in Tanahun that includes Vyas municipality, Abu Khaireni rural municipality and Bandipur municipality. And soon Bhanu municipality will also be included in this zone. While the zone is supposed to provide various benefits to the farmers, irrigation has remained a major problem in the area.

Currently around 1,600 households are involved in vegetable farming in this zone.

The zone covers a total of 698 hectares of land for vegetable farming. However, facility of irrigation is still to be improved in the area, said Som Lal Magar, a farmer from the district.

“Lack of proper irrigation in the area may affect our production capacity,” he said, adding, “Government has given subsidy in machinery and provided us with skill training as well as technical support, but it makes no sense as long as we don’t have proper irrigation.”

Currently the farmers are applying drip irrigation system for farming in the zone.

Another major problem facing the farmers in the zone is that of market access.

While a number of cooperatives are working to bridge the gap between the farmers and traders, they have been unable to ensure the market for the produce. “The climate favours us, but the lack of market for our produce is a major deterrent,” Magar added.

He however, admitted that after the zone was set up, farmers have become more aware about newer farming technologies.

Earlier, farmers would use fertilisers haphazardly — a practice that had been controlled to a large extent. Moreover, they were taking care of their farms in traditional way, which affected their production. But with the implementation of this project, farmers are now aware of benefits of commercial farming, Magar told THT.

The government has allocated a total of Rs one million for this vegetable zone for this fiscal.

“Since this is the first phase of the project, a few things need to be sorted out still,” said Ishwar Babu Gyawali, chairman of the Zone Operating Committee, adding that addressing the issue of irrigation in the zone is in high priority.