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Bumper paddy harvest in Midwest after 2 lean years


Kathmandu, October 26, 2016: Farmers in the Mid-Western Region are buoyant following a bumper paddy harvest after two bad years in a row, thanks to timely rainfall, improved seeds, reduced pest attacks and adequate chemical fertilizers.

Paddy production has swelled in all districts, including key districts like Banke, Dang and Surkhet. Bardia district is the lone exception.

The District Agriculture Development Office Banke attributed this year’s good harvest to the completion of transplantation on all available paddy fields. The Mid-Western Region received timely and regular monsoon rains this year.

Farmers in Banke had transplanted the locally available drought-tolerant Radha 4 paddy variety. According to the office, this seed variety was planted on more than 80 percent of the farm lands in Banke. Following the end of the Dashain festival, farmers are busy harvesting their crops.

“We cannot determine the rise in output before the harvest is completed, but production has gone up significantly,” said Dhan Bahadur Pun, information officer at the agriculture office.

The paddy acreage in Banke reached 36,500 hectares. Last year, farmers transplanted paddy on 34,711 hectares. Irrigation facility is available to only 30 percent of the paddy fields in Banke. The district’s average productivity is 3.11 tonnes per hectare. Last year, it produced 36,500 tonnes of paddy.

In Dang, the paddy output is estimated to increase by 10 percent this year. Last year, farmers in Dang grew 157,284 tonnes of paddy on 36,608 hectares.

“This year, we have estimated a 10 percent rise in paddy output,” said Rabin Dhital, plant development officer at the District Agriculture Office. This year, paddy has been transplanted on 38,400 hectares.

He said that farmers were adopting improved paddy varieties with higher yields. “In areas where there is no irrigation facility, the improved seed varieties have performed well.”

Varieties like Ram Dhan, Sawa Mansuli, Sukhha Dhan 3 and Bindeshwori are popular in the district.

Dhital said that the spring paddy (Chaite Dhan) production had also increased in the district. The average production has been recorded at 5 tonnes per hectare. Spring paddy was grown on 400 hectares this year.

Paddy output in Surkhet has been projected to increase by 25 percent this year. Suresh Kumar Thapa, official of the district agriculture office in Surkhet, said that timely availability of chemical fertilizers, plenty rainfalls and less pest attack contributed to increased production this year. Paddy output in Surkhet stood at 50,373 tonnes last year. Cultivation is done on 14,600 hectares.

However, paddy output in Bardia is likely to drop as the subsidized seeds distributed to farmers by National Seed Company produced no kernels in a number of areas. Paddy production on nearly 50 hectares has been affected by the seeds. Paddy is cultivated on 46,500 hectares in Bardia.

Output in Kalikot expected to double

Kalikot: Paddy production in Kalikot is expected to double this year due to timely rainfall. The district was badly affected by drought last year which significantly reduced paddy production. Sunil Kumar Singh, senior agriculture development officer, said improved seed varieties and timely availability of fertilizers also contributed to the increase in production this year. Paddy output in the district has been recorded at 8,718 tonnes this year compared to 4,575 tonnes last year. Paddy is grown on 2,406 hectares in the district. In the previous year, paddy output totalled 7,784 tonnes.