Farmers upset as rice plants fail to produce kernelsFarmers have been making repeated visits to the District Agriculture Office demanding compensation as the standing plants grown with subsidized paddy seeds provided by the government did not produce kernels.
Farmers have been making repeated visits to the District Agriculture Office demanding compensation as the standing plants grown with subsidized paddy seeds provided by the government did not produce kernels.
They had been given a 75 percent subsidy on different varieties of paddy seeds under the first paddy mission of the Ministry of Agricultural Development. However, two seed varieties—Lalka Basmati Dhaan and Swarna Sub 1—have not yielded kernels even though 150 days have passed since the transplantation.
Angry farmers said that they had transplanted their paddy saplings in June-July, but even after three months, the standing plants have shown no signs of bearing kernels.
“The farmers who planted other varieties of seeds have started harvesting,” said Bishnu Raj Poudel, a farmer of Suda village. Poudel has planted paddy on 1 bigha of land. “As I have to plant vegetables after harvesting paddy, I am in a fix and don’t know what to do. I will either have to cut the plants or let them grow more.”
According to Poudel, a notice printed on the seed packets says that the plants will ripen within 150 days. But the plants have shown no signs of producing kernels even though the time limit has passed, he said. He had brought 35 kg of the new seed varieties. Poudel said that agro technicians had not informed him about the plant maturity and the required soil condition.
Villagers in Suda, Daiji, Jhalari, Belauri and Punbarsh have applied the new seeds this year. “I used to harvest 30-40 sacks of paddy annually from my 1 bigha of land. But this year, I am not sure I will be able to get anything,” said another farmer Yagya Raj Joshi, who has been making frequent trips to the Agriculture Development Office demanding compensation.
Most of the small holders who had applied these seeds have started cutting the plants to grow vegetables. “The new varieties have grown up to 7 feet,” said Lava Dev Awasti, who has applied these seeds on his 16 katthas of land. More than 20 farmers in the southern part of Kanchanpur have applied for compensation. Agro technicians, however, said that these seed varieties had been applied as a trial in the district. “These two varieties will not yield crops now because it is too late,” said Min Raj Pandey, assistant agro technician at the office.
Farmers have applied these seeds on 30 bighas in the district this year. Pandey said that other varieties distributed by the government had produced good results so far. According to the District Agriculture Office, 15 quintals of seeds have been distributed to farmers.
Crops drying up due to drought
JUMLA: Vegetables and cereal crops in Jumla have started drying up due to a prolonged drought, raising concerns among farmers about food insecurity this year. Dhan Krishna Neupane, a farmer of Hanku village, said that crops like corn, buckwheat, millet and other vegetables had dried up due to lack of water. “As drought has affected the crops, we are worried about having enough food for the next three months until the new crop season begins.” Bishnu Bahadur Mahat, chief of the District Agriculture Office in Jumla, said that bean plants had been affected much. “We have estimated that bean production in the district will drop by 50 percent this season.” Last year, Jumla sold beans worth Rs160 million. Beans produced in Jumla are popular in different parts of the country.