Paddy plantation completed on 64 per cent of arable land so far

Kathmandu, July 24

Paddy plantation has been carried out on 63.79 per cent of 1.37 million hectares of arable land across the country as of Monday, according to the latest update provided by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) today.

The plantation data is over eight percentage point less than that in the same period of last year. As per MoALD, paddy plantation had been completed on 71.96 per cent of arable land during same period of last year.

This year, late monsoon and heavy rainfall affected the paddy plantation in the beginning.

However, the ministry has been claiming the production will not be affected.

The MoALD data show that paddy plantation has been carried out across 56.13 per cent of arable land in Province 1, 50.48 per cent in Province 2, 69.18 per cent in Province 3, 79.28 per cent in Gandaki Province, 63.48 per cent in Province 5, 90.13 per cent in Karnali Province and 86.62 per cent of arable land in Sudurpaschim Province.

In terms of geography, paddy plantation has been completed across 75 per cent of arable land in the high-hills, 72.86 per cent in mid-hills and 60 per cent of arable land in the Tarai.

Meanwhile, the ministry has said that this year the government is more focused on increasing productivity of the country than the quantity of production. “While we are prioritising production, our major focus will be on productivity this year,” said Tej Bahdur Subedi, spokesperson for MoALD.

Currently paddy productivity of the country stands at 3.76 tonnes per hectare while the government has targeted to increase it to four tonnes per hectare this year, he added.

Moreover, the ministry had signed a five-year work plan (2018 to 2023) with International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) of the Philippines to work jointly in seven sectors and 16 major projects for development of agricultural sector.

The IRRI project had also contributed towards realising record high paddy production last year, he added.

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