Palpa’s love affair with maize and self-relianceWith majority of the cultivatable land in the district being used for maize plantation, Palpa district has become self-reliant in maize seed.
With majority of the cultivatable land in the district being used for maize plantation, Palpa district has become self-reliant in maize seed.
The western district has even started exporting a substantial volume of maize seed to other parts of the country, according to the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) Plapa.
More than 21,500 hectares of land in the district is being used for maize plantation and it witnessed a total harvest of 65 tonnes of improved seed this year, according to DADO Palpa. Around 20 tonnes was consumed in the district while the remaining 45 tonnes was exported to other districts like Khotang, Parbat, Syangja, Lamjung, Gorkha and Arghakhachi among others.
The result has encouraged the farmers of the district to increase the productivity of maize. Last year, the district exported 21 tonnes of surplus maize seed to other districts.
The maize seed productivity in the district has increased significantly over the last two years with organisations like DADO, Hill Maize Research Project and National Seed Company actively working to improve the productivity.
These organisations have encouraged various cooperatives and groups to undertake maize seed production.
“The farmers in the district are excited about the prospect of exporting maize seed to other districts,” said Kishor Man Shrestha, senior agriculture development officer at DADO Palpa.
“We are also providing different types of support to the farmers to increase their productivity.” Currently, around a dozen cooperatives in the district are involved in maize seed production.
Apart from the cooperatives, there are many other farmers who have undertaken seed production in small groups.
“In every village in the district, we can see different farmer groups involved in seed production as they are aware of the demand for the seed,” said Shrestha.
In Palpa, Manakama-3 variety of maze seed is very popular and it is widely planted throughout the district.
Apart from it, seed varieties like Posilo, Deuti, Arun-2 and Rampur Composite are produced in the district.
According to Lekhnath Gaire, chairman of seed producer’s coordination committee, the support from various governmental and non-governmental offices has given farmers the impetus to increase productivity and meet market demands.
The production can be further improved if farmers have access to proper irrigation facilities and adequate quantity of fertilisers, according to DADA officials.
Currently, farmers of the district rely entirely on rainfall for irrigation and still follow
traditional methods in storing the seeds.