Dadeldhura, February 24
Food crisis is looming large in the seven hilly districts of the far-west due to prolonged drought.
Lack of timely rainfall has led to significant drop in the production of paddy and maize. Wheat production too is sure to go down by 60 per cent, said the far-western Agriculture Directorate.
Acting Chief Nabin Sharma at Regional Agriculture Directorate said that food crisis was looming as the region had not received rainfall for the past seven months.
It was supposed to rain within 21 days after the farmers sowed wheat. “Since it has not rained for months, wheat produce is sure to drop overwhelmingly,” said Sharma.
Farmers at Aalital VDC in the inner Madhes of Dadeldhura are worried their family members might starve. Tek Bahadur Budha Magar, 52, warned that drought would spell great disaster this year.
“It has been months since we have sown wheat. But, no wheat plant can be seen,” Budha Magar said, adding, “I am tense. How am I going to feed my family?”
Like Budha Magar, the protracted drought has other farmers worried and disappointed.
Taradevi Deuba, a Farmer lamented, “Drought destroyed the maize crop. Now, it is sure to eat away the wheat crop too.” The longstanding drought has put people from the Raute community in trouble.
Raute farmer Dan Bahadur Raute said the wheat crop planted by 77 Raute families in Jogbudha and Sirsha VDCs had wilted on the field due to drought.
Janak Thapa, a local, said that Raute people had started cultivating crops some years ago. “They had adopted farming a few years back.
Till date, they were elated. But, drought this year has let down the hopes of Raute people,” Thapa said.
Dan Singh Raute said that their dependency on rainwater had brought the current crisis. “We sought irrigation facility. But, our demand went unheeded,” Dan Singh bemoaned.
A version of this article appears in print on February 25, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.