Village loses sufficiency in agro output

Rup Narayan Dhakal

Pokhara, April 20:

The number of people buying foodgrain for their daily consumption is increasing in Parche VDC due to shortage of agricultural labourers.

A local teacher, Suraj Gurung said the VDC is facing shortage as most healthy persons are heading abroad looking for better job prospects, while richer persons are migrating to urban areas for better facilities.

Gurung added, the trend of economic migration is more visible in villages of Sikles and Parche of the VDC. At least one family member from each household is working outside the country there. Many villagers also have houses in Pokhara. Locals said the labour problem has also cropped up due the fact that half of the village families live in the city.

There is, however, no official figure available on people resorting to purchasing grains

and vegetables instead of producing them, alongwith economic migrants and other kinds of migrations. Hundreds of ropanis of arable land became fallow due to lack of required manpower. During a move to afforest such lands in recent years, these were converted into forestland. As a result, the existing field area is inadequate to produce enough grain to support the villagers, forcing villagers to buy it from Pokhara.

As Gurung put it, over 500 ropanis of field has been turned into a jungle. The land used to produce paddy, corn, buckwheat, potato and millet. At present, the Utis trees and grass cover the land. The species of Cherry, Nimaro and Amriso are being planted.

Former ward chairman of Sikles village Kum Bahadur Gurung said the trees were planted in the last 10 years as per the suggestions of Annapurna Conservation Area Camp (ACAP) with the introduction of the concept of environment tourism.

An available figure said 25 per cent of villagers have planted trees on the barren land. They have not been able to take direct advantage of the grown forest. Instead, wild animals are thriving there threatening the population. Locals claim Sikles to be the largest Gurung village in the country where most people have opted for foreign labour.