Morang district declared drought-hit zone

Biratnagar, July 11:

Morang district has been declared a drought-hit zone after paddy could not be planted on most of the land here due to insufficient rainfall. The district agriculture development office said Morang was declared drought-hit zone as only 20 per cent of cultivable land was utilised, whereas at least 60 per cent should have been covered.

Most of the cultivable land has remained barren in Morang, a district known as the granary of east Nepal. Paddy was planted on so little land as only 20 per cent of the land in the district has irrigation and deep borewell facilities, head of the office Mohan Bahadur Thapa said. “Due to insufficient rain, paddy could not be planted in Morang’s southern areas,” he said.

Statistics available at the office show that of the total cultivable land, at least 86,000 hectares should have been cultivated. Planting was done on hardly 20,000 hectares. There is sparse cultivation in eight VDCs of Morang’s northern part — Pati, Yangsila, Bhogeteni, Ramitekhola, Madhumalla, Tandi, Govindapur and Letang. Rice expert at the district agriculture development office, Rajendra Upreti, said the paddy cultivation could be hit if the drought continues.