Drop in yield makes Bajhang food-insecureA food shortage looms in the hills and mountainous regions of Bajhang district as a result of the prolonged drought.
A food shortage looms in the hills and mountainous regions of Bajhang district as a result of the prolonged drought.
As the winter crop production declined this year, people in 27 VDCs are likely to face an acute shortage of food stuff, according to the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO).
DADO officials say 90 percent winter crops face a drop in output. Crops of Uwa (Himalayan barley), barley and wheat have withered in the northern VDCs due to the dry weather.
Rainfall has been scant in Kailash, Dahabagar, Kotdeval, Rilu, Dhamena, Melbisauna, Bhatekhola Datola, Deulek, Sunkuda, Kadel, Surma, Daulichaur, Gadaraya and Deulikot in the past several months.
The DADO said winter agricultural output decreased also in Baril, Selakhet, Joshigaun, Kapada, Paiyatola and Dhamilekh of Jayaprithvi Municipality.”We never faced this kind of drought in our life,” said Basanta Bohara of Kanda, adding that they would not have even seeds for the next season.
Farmers have cultivated wheat in 11,000 hectares in the district. But the harvest this year was only 13,400 metric tonnes, down from the normal 21,854 tonnes.
The district has not received enough rainfall in the past eight months. Chakra Bohara said his crops dried in the field. “There will be a food shortage this year. We don’t know how we will cope with it,” he said.
A majority of streams have started to dry up as temperatures soar. People are also facing a shortage of water for household use.
According to the agriculture office, about a third of the irrigation projects have already been shut. “If the district does not receive rains until mid-May, people won’t be able to plant crops this year too,” said an official.
Chief District Officer Hiralal Chaudhary said they have taken initiatives to transport cereals to the possible food-insecure villages.