Paddy plantation coverage hints at output rise next fiscal
Kathmandu, July 12
It seems that paddy output will rise in the next fiscal year as paddy plantation has been carried out in around 53 per cent of the total paddy fields of 1.43 million hectares as of Monday, according to the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD). Paddy plantation was completed in only around 30 per cent of the total cultivation area in the corresponding period last fiscal.
Paddy plantation coverage is on the rise due to the timely monsoon this year. The country is largely dependent on rainfall for paddy cultivation because only 25 per cent of the totalcultivation area is covered by irrigation facility.
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 in 60 per cent and 61 per cent of the paddy cultivation land in high hills and mid-hills, respectively. Paddy is cultivated on 382,569 hectares and 58,438 hectares of land in mid-hills and high hills, respectively.
Around half of the paddy fields in the Tarai have been already cultivated due to favourable monsoon this year. The Tarai region, which is also termed as the rice bowl of the country, covers around 70 per cent of the total production area. It also produces 70 per cent of the total paddy output. Paddy is cultivated on 984,339 hectares of land in 21 districts of the Tarai region.
Paddy plantation has been carried out in 89.54 per cent of total paddy cultivation area of 170,117 hectares in the far-western development region. The mid-western development region has ranked second with plantation carried out in 63 per cent of total plantation area of 172,468 hectares. Likewise, paddy plantation has been completed in 61 per cent of the total paddy fields of 308,090 hectares in western development region. Paddy plantation has been completed in less than half of the total paddy fields in central and eastern development regions, as per MoAD.
Paddy plantation has been completed in 40 per cent of the total 391,624 hectares of paddy fields in central development region and 37 per cent of 382,867 hectares of total cultivation area in the eastern development region.
Paddy is the major agricultural crop of the country, which contributes around 58 per cent in the total cereal crops production. Paddy contributes around 18 per cent in total agricultural gross domestic product and 4.5 per cent in the country’s gross domestic product.
Production of paddy had declined sharply in the last two years due to late monsoon and drought. The country’s total paddy output in fiscal 2013-14 was 5.47 million tonnes, which declined to 4.79 million tonnes in fiscal 2014-15 and dropped to 4.30 million tonnes in the current fiscal.
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.