Winter rainfall makes wheat farmers happyFarmers who have planted wheat are happy to witness the first winter rainfall this year, but mustard, potatoes and lentil growers are largely worried as water has inundated their farmland.
Rain that lashed most parts of the western Tarai since the last few days brought cheer to farmers who had planted the wheat crop. Farmers who have planted cash crops like lentils, mustard and potato, however, are largely worried about crop loss.
“The winter rainfall is good for wheat as it needs water during the flowering stage,” said Pyara Lal Rana, a farmer of Dhangadhi-7. “The rainfall could boost wheat output.” Wheat is Nepal's third major cereal crop after rice and maize, which is harvested in March.
Timely winter rainfall boosts the yield of wheat. Farmers in the western mountain are also happy following the continuous snowfall. Locals say that snowfall will increase apple, barley and wheat production—the key winter crops in the mountain region.
Meteorologists have forecast winter rainfall in the country from Monday, mostly in western Nepal.
Devraj Devokta, a farmer of Bardagoria at Kailali, had planted lentils on his two-and-a-half bighas of land. But, he is worried about the loss caused by the continuous rainfall.
“The rainwater has inundated the land where I have cultivated lentils,” said Devkota. “This has damaged the crop.”
The farmers requested the government to assess the losses incurred by farmers.
According to Khagendra Sharma, chief of the Agriculture Knowledge Center in Kailali, rainfall has caused damage to the lentil crop.
“The lentils in highland areas have not been affected,” said Sharma.
He said that farmers who were preparing to harvest mustard seed in western Nepal are also affected.
“We will start surveying the damage once the rain stops,” added Sharma. “Only then we can quantify the total loss.”
According to Sharma, rainfall also damaged potato farms.
“The untimely rainfall intensifies the late blight fungus in potato plants,” said Sharma
The western terai districts have been receiving rainfall for the last couple of days.
Similarly, the hilly and mountainous districts in far west Nepal have started witnessing snowfall.
Crop expert Sharma said the snowfall benefits wheat and barley plants in the mountain region.