‘Limited impact of faulty Garima seeds’

Kathmandu, December 27

Against the anticipation that the faulty Garima brand paddy which did not yield rice grains in the country’s western region would hit national paddy production this year, the preliminary paddy production report of the government has shown that the ‘Garima’ factor had less impact on the overall national production.

Though the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) is accumulating the paddy production data of this year from across the country, preliminary report has shown that production of the cereal crop has increased in other parts of the country beyond areas where Garima paddy had been planted thereby not altering the national production significantly, informed Ram Krishna Regmi, statistician at the ministry.

“Farmers who had planted Garima seeds had to bear losses and they will be compensated. However, as production of paddy in other parts of the country is seen to have increased, this will compensate the fall in production due to Garima ensuring that the national production is not affected significantly,” said Regmi.

As per MoALD, the paddy was planted in around 1,500 hectares of land in Chitwan, Rautahat, Nawalparasi, Nuwakot, Lamjung, Gorkha and Tanahu. Compared to other districts, paddy production in Chitwan was most affected.

Though Regmi was unwilling to disclose the national production of paddy this year citing that data are yet to be compiled, he informed that most of the provinces have witnessed paddy production above the target. “Especially, the use of hybrid paddy seeds in a majority of arable land has boosted productivity.”

The government has set paddy production target of almost six million tonnes for this year. Though the government is unlikely to meet this target, the production of paddy will be around last year’s production of 5.6 million tones, as per MoALD officials.

This year, paddy plantation has been carried out on 94.42 per cent of the total 1.37 million hectares of arable land used for paddy plantation across the country.

Paddy production alone has over 20 per cent contribution to the total agricultural production of Nepal, while agriculture sector has around 27 per cent contribution to national gross domestic product.