Sunday, December 27, 2020

Despite lack of fertilizer, paddy production increases

 Compared to last year, paddy production has increased by 70,000 metric tonnes due to favourable weather and timely plantation this year, though the government failed to provide chemical fertilizer on time for paddy plantation. Despite increased paddy production, Nepal has imported Rs 18 billion worth rice in the five months of the current fiscal year.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD), some 5.6 million metric tonnes of paddy has been produced in the current fiscal year 2020-21. A fiscal year ago, in 2019/20, some 5.51 million metric tonnes of paddy was produced, the ministry claimed, adding that the plantation area of paddy has also increased to about 1.5 million hectares.

Agriculture contributes to about 27 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), whereas paddy contributes about seven per cent to that. “Paddy production has increased due to timely rain and plantation,” the ministry assumed, adding that farmers were able to plant paddy on time due to timely rains since May. “Had the government been able to provide fertilizers, the production would have been increased even more.”

The year that witness timely rain automatically sees increased agriculture production as almost all agriculture largely depends on rain water due to the lack of an efficient irrigation system in the country. But paddy is cultivated in Kachankawal in Jhapa at an altitude of 60 meters to Chumchaur in Jumla at an altitude of 3,050 meters, in Nepal.

The government has been running a fine and fragrant paddy production promotion programme to increase production since years. Likewise, the government has set up paddy pockets zones and super zones in different districts under the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project (PMAMP).

Paddy production could be increased by even 15 per cent to 25 per cent, if government ensures high quality seeds, chemical fertilizers and adequate irrigation in time, according to the farmers.

No comments: