National Rice Day marked

Himalayan News Service

Lalitpur, June 29:

A member of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Dr Ram Prasad Chaudhary, today inaugurated the National Rice Day by planting paddy on the premises of the Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC).

Addressing a function, he said the NARC should help farmers to adopt new technology to increase agricultural production in the country. He stressed on the need to adopt modern and scientific farming system.

The programme was organised for the first time after the government announced to mark Asar 15 as the National Rice Day.

Bhola Man Singh Basnet, spokesperson for the NARC, said the day is being observed in different parts of the country.

Dr Julian Lapitan, manager of the International Programme Management Office of the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute, stressed on the need to

increase rice production. FAO representative to Nepal, Kazuyuki Tsurumi, said Nepal is the first

country to celebrate Rice Day after the UN declared 2004 as the International Year of Rice.

Meanwhile, farmers celebrated the day by planting rice saplings and eating curd and beaten rice. Every Asar 15 holds a special significance to the Nepali farmers and they enjoy in the field. Rice is one of the five major crops grown in Nepal. According to the NARC, paddy is cultivated in as much as 154,200 hectares of land and the production reaches to 4.3 million metric tonnes. The productivity is 2.8 metric tonnes per hectare.