Paddy plantation completed on 10.5 % of arable land
Kathmandu, June 29
Paddy plantation has been carried out on 10.5 per cent of 1.55 million hectares of arable land across the country as of today.
According to Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives (MoALMC), commercial paddy plantation across the country began from Sunday with the onset of the monsoon, which looks favourable this year.
“Along with timely monsoon this year, farmers are busy planting paddy. Plantation of the cereal crop has been
completed on 10.5 per cent of the arable land so far,” informed Maniratna Aryal, information officer at MoALMC.
Aryal, who is also a senior agriculture economist, opined that paddy plantation will be completed on more than 35 per cent of cultivable land within the next week.
While paddy plantation was completed on 42 per cent of arable land till mid-July last year, MoALMC officials said that plantation of the cereal crop will be completed on more than 50 per cent of arable land by the same time this year.
Owing to timely and favourable monsoon, MoALMC is optimistic that the entire paddy plantation will be completed by the end of July.
Meanwhile, the government expects the paddy output in the upcoming fiscal year to surpass the production of fiscal 2017-18. The country produced 5.23 million metric tonnes of paddy in the ongoing fiscal year against the production target of 5.4 million metric tonnes.
As per MoALMC, paddy production target was missed in the ongoing fiscal year owing to the unfavourable monsoon that inundated many paddy farmlands during the year.
However, Aryal informed that different government initiatives to promote commercial farming of paddy in the country, with due focus on implementing the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project to mechanise paddy farming, timely supply of seeds and fertilisers and increased availability of irrigation facility, are expected to boost production of paddy in the next fiscal.
Just a few days ago, the government had inked an agreement with the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for technical assistance to boost paddy production and help Nepal become self-reliant in rice.
Though paddy production in Nepal has been gradually increasing in recent years, it has not been able to substitute
imports. The country has already imported rice worth Rs 24 billion in the first 10 months of the ongoing fiscal year.
MoALMC officials say that the country needs to produce almost 5.8 million metric tonnes of paddy every year to meet the domestic demand.