Paddy productivity up 8.6 per cent

Kathmandu, December 26

Paddy productivity is estimated to go up by 8.6 per cent in the current fiscal year to 3.8 tonnes per hectare on the back of favourable monsoon, timely availability of fertilisers and use of modern tools and equipment. Paddy productivity stood at 3.5 tonnes per hectare in 2017-18, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD).

With this output, Nepal has narrowed the productivity gap with India, where 3.9 tonnes of paddy is grown on every hectare of land. But Nepal’s achievement pales in comparison with per hectare yields in another neighbouring country, China, where average per hectare paddy productivity hovers around 6.6 tonnes.

“The government’s priority has always been to enhance crop productivity rather than cultivation area. We will continue to focus on this aspect,” said MoALD Secretary Yubak Dhoj GC.

With the growth in productivity, paddy output is expected to hit an all-time high of 5.6 million tonnes in the current fiscal year, up 9.8 per cent than in the last fiscal year, data released today by the MoALD show. Nepal grew 5.1 million tonnes of paddy in the last fiscal year.

Province 2 is likely to top the paddy output chart this fiscal year, with production expected to hit 1.3 million tonnes. Next in the line is Province 5, which is likely to generate 1.12 million tonnes of paddy, followed by Province 1, where 1.1 million tonnes of paddy is expected to be grown.

“One of the reasons from hike in paddy production apart from favourable monsoon, timely availability of fertilisers and use of modern tools and equipment is expansion in plantation area,” said GC.

Paddy was planted on 1.5 million hectares of land this fiscal year, as against 1.47 hectares in the last fiscal year.

The jump in paddy production is expected to raise total agricultural production, as the crop makes a contribution of over 25 per cent to overall agricultural output.

A hike in agricultural production tends to push up gross domestic product, as agriculture makes a contribution of around 28 per cent to the economic output.