Late monsoon delays paddy plantation
KATHMANDU, July 7
Paddy plantation has been carried out on just 27.4 per cent of total paddy cultivation area of 1,486,951 hectares till date due to reduced rainfall this year.
Delayed monsoon has affected paddy cultivation in high-hills and mid-hills, even as the seedbeds have already been readied for plantation, according to the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD).
“Normally, paddy plantation in the hills is carried out by mid-July and by the first week of August in the tarai region of the country.”
Paddy plantation has been carried out on 50.53 per cent of the total 61,620 hectares of land in high-hills. Likewise, in mid-hill areas, paddy plantation has been carried out on 146,643.84 hectares, which is 35.82 per cent of the total 409,393 hectares of arable land. High-hills and mid-hills cover 30 per cent of the total plantation area in the country.
Tarai, also known as the rice bowl of the country, covers higher portion in terms of production and production area. About 70 per cent of the total production area falls in tarai region. However, rice plantation has been carried out on 229,618.96 hectares — only 22 per cent — of the total cultivation area of 1,015,933 hectares.
In terms of development regions, far-western development region has topped the list. Paddy plantation has been carried out on 64.45 per cent area of the total area of 175,500 hectares. In other regions, paddy plantation has been carried out on less than 30 per cent of the total arable land.
Western development region is in the second position with plantation carried out on 28.34 per cent of the total plantation area of 324,566 hectares. Likewise, paddy plantation has been carried out on 20.96 per cent of the total cultivation area of 417,007 hectares in eastern development region; 20.23 per cent of the total 183,174 hectares in mid-western development region and 20.13 per cent of the total plantation area of 386,704 hectares in central development region, according to MoAD.
“Paddy plantation has been slow-paced till date due to below average rainfall in the country, except in the far-western development region which has received adequate rain,” said Uday Chandra Thakur, spokesperson for MoAD, adding, “The increased rainfall witnessed in the last two days should help farmers to pick up the pace of paddy plantation.”
Thakur said 50 per cent of paddy plantation is expected to be carried out by mid-July.
MoAD has said that if the paddy plantation is carried out completely by mid-July in the hills and by the first week of August in the tarai region, it would not affect the output too much.
Paddy is the major cereal crop, which contributes 20 per cent to the total agricultural production and about seven per cent to the country’s economy.
A total of 4,788,000 tonnes of rice was produced in fiscal 2014-15, which was a fall of five per cent compared to the production of the previous fiscal year.
Though a large section of the country’s workforce is involved in agriculture — 60.4 per cent of the working age population — Nepal is a food importing country.