Severe drought triggers food crisis in Mugu

Mugu, November 7

The prolonged drought is taking a heavy toll on Mugu farmers as this season’s paddy crops failed to bear grains, resulting in food crisis in the far flung district.

Chinkala Rokaya, of Hyanglu VDC-3, Mugu, used to harvest more than five quintals of paddy every year. This year, however, paddy crops did not bear a single grain of rice due to the prolonged drought. “It has become difficult for us to manage two meals a day,” Rokaya bemoaned.

Another local Jhupa Luwar said food crisis had surfaced in the village. He complained that 55 families in the village were the hardest hit due to the prolonged drought.

Tek Bahadur Baniya, teacher in a local school, said the prolonged drought had affected paddy plantation in Shreekot, Seri, Gamtha, Kotdanda, Khamale and Sukadik VDCs of the district. “Mugu is popular for rice production. But, the protracted drought has worried the farmers,” Baniya said. He added that other crops in addition to the paddy did not bear any grains this year.

As the district denizens are reeling under food crisis, most male members from different villages have set out for India seeking jobs. Ujjal Thapa, 56, from Seri VDC-7 said he had no other option but to go to India in search of employment.

“Earlier, crops grown from our field would be enough to feed the family. But this year, I am heading for India to earn money to feed my six-member family,” Thapa said. The prolonged drought has also led to a sharp fall in paddy production in seven VDCs of at Humla’s Shreenagar area and 11 northern VDCs of Bajura.

Agriculture Development Office, Mugu said it was highly likely that many VDCs in the district would face food crunch and thus result in malnutrition in the district.