Trend of keeping land fallow rising

Kavre, May 5

With returns on investment in the agriculture sector remaining low, the trend among farmers to keep their land fallow has gone up across the country over the years, statistics have shown.

This was the finding of a recent study conducted by Enhancing Livelihoods and Food Security from Agroforestry land Community Forestry in Nepal, in Kavre and Lamjung districts.

Speaking at a programme held to make the report public, researcher Govind Poudel of the organisation presented data that showed 33.2 per cent land of the total land area in the mid-hills had been kept fallow.

According to what the study reveals, 15 households in Methinkot of Kavre have kept 121.5 ropani land fallow, while in Dadagaun of Dhunkharka, a random sample of three households were found to have kept three ropani land fallow.

“Similarly, we studied the status of fallow land belonging to some 20 households in Okhare Chilaune in Chaubas VDC and found that a total of 119.5 ropani land had been kept fallow there, which is six ropani per household,” said Poudel.

Further, Poudel attributed this condition to a number of factors including lack of irrigation facility and manpower.

“As in most of the places there is no irrigation facility and the youths who used to work on the field have gone abroad for employment, leaving only elderly members of the family, who are bound to keep their land fallow,” Poudel said, also identifying dual ownership of land as the other main reason.

The study has also floated a number of suggestions, including the introduction of modern technology of farming, policy to retain youths in the country and herbs and collective farming.