National Rice Day marked

Kathmandu, June 29

The Ministry of Agriculture Development today marked the 14th National Rice Day throughout the country, including at Jhaukhel of Changunarayan Municipality, Bhaktapur.

On the occasion, District Agriculture Development Office, Bhaktapur, organised paddy plantation programme in the locality. Paddy plantation usually starts after the onset of monsoon and continues for almost one-and-a half months.

Nepal has been observing the day since 2005. Fourteen years ago, as many as 43 UN-member states had requested the UN General Assembly to announce the Year of Rice. Nepal, however, is the only country among the UN members to mark the day as a national day since the UN General Assembly announced the year as the Year of Rice.

According to Co-spokesperson at the ministry Shankar Sapkota, rice is cultivated in 1.5 million hectares of land in the country. It is the staple among the major six grains cultivated and consumed in the country,

Farmers gathered in their fields to plant paddy during today’s paddy plantation programme and relished curd and beaten rice delicacy. They splashed mud at each other and sang folk songs that glorified agriculture.

As many as 81 species of rice developed by Nepal Agriculture Research Council are grown in the southern plains, hills and upper hills across 73 districts of the country. Manang and Mustang districts have very hostile climate for rice.

While agriculture contributes 33 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product in Nepal, rice production alone contributes 20 to 21 per cent to the GDP, said Sapkota.