Rains damage ripe paddy crops in several districtsThe recent rains could dent the expected rice output as well as the quality, agriculture officials say.
Heavy rains since Sunday have destroyed harvest-ready paddy crops in several districts of Sudurpaschim, Lumbini, Karnali and Gandaki provinces.
Farmers are worried after unseasonal rains ruined their crops. Agriculture officials, who had predicted good paddy harvest this season due to adequate monsoon rainfall, said the recent rains could dent the expected rice output as well as the quality.
Narayan Saud, a farmer of Bhimdutta Municipality in Kanchanpur district, was anticipating a bountiful harvest this year. He had recently cut the paddy crops and was planning to thresh them on Monday. But Sunday's rainfall damaged the crops.
“The crops are submerged in rainwaters. They will start germinating if it continues to rain. The rains have ruined everything,” said Saud.
Rains have also damaged paddy crops in other parts of Kanchanpur and Kailali districts. Many farmers had left the freshly cut crops out in their fields before threshing them.
“Around five percent of paddy crops planted in Kanchanpur district may have been damaged by the recent rains,” said Dil Bahadur Bista, the chief at Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Kanchanpur.
According to him, the paddy was planted in around 50,000 hectares of land in the district, and the expected output was around four metric tonnes per hectare.
“We had expected that the paddy production in the district would increase by 10 to 15 percent this year compared to last year,” said Bista.
In Kailali district, farmer Krishna Chaudhary was particularly sad, because he had lost all his paddy crops during last year’s flooding.
“After last year’s disaster, I was hoping this year would be good,” said Chaudhary, a resident of Bhajani Municipality.
Hundreds of farmers like Chaudhary have lost their paddy crops to rains in Kailali.
Rains also damaged paddy crops in Baitadi, Kapilvastu, Banke, Bardiya, Rupandehi, Dang, Jumla, Surkhet, Kaski, Nawalparasi (East), Syangja, Parbat and Tanahun, among other districts.
(With inputs from our local correspondents)