Low paddy harvest alarms farmers in Far-West

DHANGADI: While paddy is being harvested everywhere, it has proved a challenge for farmers who planted a type of the crop in Kailali and Kanchanpur districts.

Farmers have become disappointed as paddy type 'Garima' is not bearing grains.

Farmer Phulram Chaudhary of Godavari Municipality in Kailali district, who bought paddy seeds from a store in Dhangadhi, planted the crop with the hopes of harvesting a good produce. However, Chaudhary is now worried about what to eat this year as the crop is not showing signs of good harvest.

This has been a cause of worry for farmers who cultivate paddy, both on small and large scales.

"Other types of paddy that were planted ahead of 'Garima' have been harvested already but the specific type of crop is not even showing signs of good cultivation," lamented Chaudhary, adding that the problem in paddy harvest has also delayed potato cultivation on the land.

Belauri, Shuklaphanta, Krishnapur, and Bhimdutta in Kanchanpur, and Gauriganga, Ghodaghodi, Tikapur and Dhangadhi in Kailali, among other areas have been cultivating Garima paddy. Director at Sudurpaschim Agriculture Directorate, Yagya Raj Joshi, said that the problem has been caused due to fake seeds of the crop, which have been widely distributed across these region.

According to the Director Joshi, seeds of Garima rice are produced by Hyderabad Renovo Company based in India. A Dang-based company is the wholesaler of the seeds, selling and distributing them in Nepal.

The crop has recorded low yields for farmers from Kanchanpur to Chitwan, said Joshi.

According to Ram Chandra Bhatta, acting head of the Agricultural Knowledge Centre, Mahendranagar, 968 farmers of Kanchanpur and Kailali, who have cultivated Garima rice on 272 hectares of land in the region, are facing the same problem.

Lokraj Upadhyaya, chief of Agriculture Division at Dhangadhi Sub-Metropolitan City, said that more than 200 farmers in the sub-metropolis alone cultivated the crop without any produce so far.

(Translated by Madhavi Marasini)