Crop yield low in Rolpa

ROLPA: Starvation looms large in the district this year as well, thanks to poor yield due to adverse weather condition.

Residents in most of the village development committees are facing shortage of food grains as the crop yield is on a declining trend each year. Consequently, rural folks have been flocking to Liwang — the district headquarters — and other adjoining markets in search of food. The crowd in Liwang is particularly noticeable as foodstuff is comparatively cheaper here.

Another reason for poor yield this season was shortage of manpower. Most of the youths of northern parts have left their homes for jobs in India.

District Agriculture Office estimates a decline

of 50 per cent in agricultural harvests. Maize production dwindled by 50 per cent while wheat yield fell by 40 per cent.

Saradchandra Shrestha, a DAO officer, said, pests too contributed to a poor yield. Traditional way of cultivation and low quality seeds are also responsible for low production.The district produced 20,000 metric tonnes of food this year, while the deficit stands at 25,000 metric tonnes, according to DAO.

The farmers are compelled to purchase rice as the production of maize — the main crop produced here — has gone down considerably. Families who cannot afford to buy the grains have been hit hard due to the reason. Prem Gharti, a Korchawang local, said starvation was knocking on the door.

The prevalent situation, however, has been a boon to local shopkeepers as they are opening up shops in the villages. The rice business has also seen a rise in the recent times. Although the government has distributed grains worth Rs 10 million through the Maoist-run cooperatives, the threat has not been averted.

Gorkha villagers face acute shortage of foodstuff

GORKHA: Residents of Chuchet VDC and its adjoining areas in the northern part ofGorkha district are facing an acute shortage of foodstuff.

They said that the production of wheat — the main staple food of

the locals — had decreased by as much as 90 per cent this year. “We don’t know how to manage food for our families,” complained a local.

The village folks lamented as even the good harvests were sufficient to sustain their families for three months.

Most of the villages rely on food bought with the money obtained after selling medicinal herbs found in the area. Some of them are also supported by their family members working abroad

for their livelihood. They harvest wheat every year around the first week

of August.

“Ward No 3, 4, 5, 8 and 9 of Chumchet VDC were not able to produce anything due to the drought this year,” Serap Gurung, a local said. He said the villagers have been clueless as to what to do next to make the ends meet this time on.

Thirty kg of rice costs Rs 750 in the district headquarters; however, it costs as much Rs 2,500 in the VDC. The locals said that they could neither afford the expensive rice nor had been able to produce sufficient food.

There are around 266 households in the VDC which lies some 110 km north from Gorkha bazaar, the district headquarters. — HNS