RAJBIRAJ, June 26: Farmers in Saptari district fear food shortage with summer paddy crop fast drying up due to lack of water. The farmers who depend on the Koshi River to irrigate their fields are worried because India has not released adequate water. India controls water flow of the river.
Already stung by a host of problems like fertilizer scarcity and price rises of diesels and paddy seeds, the local farmers have now another crisis to worry about.
"We may have to use our crop as fodder for cattle," says Badri Mukhiya, a local farmer of Saptari.
"The government does not provide fertilizers on time," says Mukhiya. "On the other hand, the government has taken no initiatives even when India is not releasing water as per the Koshi agreement." According to the District Agriculture Office (DAO), Saptari, summer paddy crop has been cultivated in an area of 15,000 hectares.
"The summer crop is planted in April and harvested by June end," said Anup Lal Sah, chief of the DAO Saptari. "If water is not released now, the summer crop will completely get damaged."