Western Region faces crop losses of Rs2.81 billionA prolonged winter drought has resulted in crop yield losses of Rs2.81 billion in the Western Region.
A prolonged winter drought has resulted in crop yield losses of Rs2.81 billion in the Western Region.
Winter crops output has dropped by 40 percent in 16 districts of the Western Region compared to same period last year, according to Regional Agriculture Directorate, Pokhara.
Manang, Mustang, Gorkha and Kaski have been declared food-deficit districts. Beni Bahadur Basnet, regional director of the directorate, said Manang and Mustang districts will be unable to feed 90 percent of its population. Food deficit in Gorkha and Kaski has been predicted to be 45 percent and 25 percent, respectively.
Lack of irrigation facilities is one of the major regions for lower winter crops output. The drought has affected crops such as maize, wheat, paddy, vegetables and fruits, among others.
Production in Kaski, Lamjung, Syanja and Rupandehi has also been affected. Basnet said maize crop losses were expected to reach Rs850 million in the Western Region. The maize acreage in the region totals 2,161 hectares. Likewise, paddy losses are expected to amount to Rs790 million. Paddy is grown on 20,191 hectares in the region.
“Fruits and vegetable losses have been projected to reach Rs70 million and Rs230 million, respectively,” said Basnet. “Wheat and potato losses are expected to reach Rs760 million and Rs60 million, respectively.”
The production of maize, wheat, paddy and other crops are expected to drop by 12, 13, 23 and 9 percent, respectively, according to Bikash Poudel, agriculture scientist at Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development.