Farmers finish transplanting paddy on one-third of fieldsFarmers are rushing to transplant paddy as monsoon rains continued to lash rice fields across Nepal.
Farmers are rushing to transplant paddy as monsoon rains continued to lash rice fields across Nepal. Transplanting had been completed on one-third of the 1.42 million hectares of paddy fields as of June 4, a 37 percent jump compared to the same period last year, the Ministry of Agricultural Development said.
According to the ministry, the transplantation rate is higher in the Far Western Region with 75 percent of the total 170,117 hectares planted to paddy.
Likewise, the transplantation rate in the Mid-Western and Western regions has been recorded at 48.60 percent of the 172,648 hectares and 38.84 percent of the 308,090 hectares respectively.
The Central and Eastern regions, however, have seen a low transplantation rate. According to the ministry, paddy transplantation in the Tarai has been completed on 23.31 percent of the 382,867 hectares. The Central Region recorded 26.31 percent of the total 391,624 hectares of paddy fields.
“The transplantation rate this year has been better, and we expect it to reach above 98 percent this year,” said Dinesh Bhattarai, chief statistician at the ministry. Last year, 9 percent of the country’s total rice fields were left unplanted due to a poor monsoon.
The ministry’s statistics show that paddy transplantation in the mountain region has been completed on 45.49 percent of the 58,438 hectares while in the hilly region the rate is 43.17 percent of the 382,569 hectares. In the Tarai, paddy transplantation has been completed on 33.73 percent of the 984,339 hectares of paddy fields.
According to Bhattarai, transplantation in the Tarai region has not speeded up due to a late winter crop harvest, but it has been far better compared to the same period last year. The transplantation season normally extends until mid-August in the Tarai.
The Tarai, which is the major paddy producing region in the country, contains 71 percent of its rice fields. The hilly region contains 25 percent and the mountain region 4 percent.
According to the ministry, transplantation has been completed in Jumla and Dolpa. Similarly, transplantation in Pyuthan has reached 90 percent of the total acreage, followed by Rolpa (83 percent), Kanchanpur (80.46 percent) and Humla (80 percent).
The lowest transplantation rate has been observed in Saptari district with 5 percent, followed by Jhapa (10 percent), Nuwakot (12 percent), Siraha (12 percent), Saptari (12 percent), Rautahat (15 percent) and Banke (15 percent).
Nepal’s overall cereal crop output has dropped 7 percent to 8.61 million tonnes this fiscal year, largely due to a sharp fall in paddy and wheat harvests. This is the second straight year that the country’s food grain output has recorded a decline.
The production of almost all food grain has shrunk due to multiple environmental and political stresses—drought, flood, earthquake and unavailability of chemical fertilizers and diesel due to protests in the Tarai.
Farm sector suffers Rs7.75b loss
KATHMANDU: The country’s farm sector suffered Rs7.75 billion in losses due to a severe winter drought this fiscal year. According to the Agricultural Ministry’s statistics, the worst drought affected 326,857 hectares and damaged crops amounting to 89,110 tonnes. The Mid-Western Region suffered the most with losses amounting to Rs3.57 billion, followed by the Western Region with Rs2.88 billion. The average winter rainfall (October-March) was recorded at 45.8 percent of normal rainfall this fiscal year as against 143.6 percent in last year. (PR)