No rain, paddy plantation delayed

POKHARA: Plantation of paddy has been delayed due to lack of rainfall in Kaski. Farmers usually start planting paddy from the first week of June.

Harikrishna Sigdel, a farmer, said that the rivers and rivulets used to be filled up to the brim during rainy season. However, they were still dry this year due to lack of rainfall.

"The farmers might start planting paddy from mid-July if it rained," he said. Farmers have planted paddy only on plots that were irrigated by the water from Seti River and Fewa Lake.

"Even the sodden lands have not been cultivated due to lack of rainfall," said Chakrapani Bastola, a farmer, adding that only 10 per cent of the land was cultivated. Vegetables had parched as a result of drought like weather condition, he said. Pokhara's temperature has reached 32 degree Celsius because of lack of rainfall for the last several days.

According to District Agriculture Office about 27,000 hectors of land is cultivable in Kaski.

"Kaski produces about 72,000 to 82,000 metric tones of rice every year. However, rice production may decline due to the lack of rainfall this year." said Nilkantha Koirala, publicity officer, DAO.