Rice plantation shrinks due to fertilizer shortage, scant rain
POKHARA, July 5: Rice plantation has taken a hit in the western region of the country due to shortage of chemical fertilizer and scant rain.
Latest statistics reveal that paddy has been planted only in 22 percent of the arable land dedicated for rice cultivation in the region so far.
Regional Agriculture Directorate said that rice plantation has moved ahead in a slower pace than usual in Rupandehi, Nawalparasi and Kapilvastu, the three districts in the Tarai of Western Nepal.
“Plantation was affected in these districts due to shortage of fertilizers,” Birendra Bahadur Hamal, the head of the directorate, said.
However, rice plantation has been completed in almost 50 percent of land dedicated for paddy production in nine hill districts.
According to Hamal, Kaski district has attained the highest plantation rate of 50 percent, while Kapilvastu has seen rice plantation only in two percent of land.
However, on average, the results achieved so far are better than that of last year, as in the same period last year rice plantation had been completed in only 19.5 percent of land allotted for rice production.
Last year, plantation in most of western Nepal began only in September due to delayed monsoon. “Despite this rice was planted in 100 percent of land dedicated for paddy production,” Hamal said, expressing hope that the problem of fertilizer shortage would end soon and rice could be planted in entire land allocated for paddy production.
Western Nepal has 336,918 hectares of land suitable for growth of rice, of which only 36 percent has access to irrigation facilities. The rest rely on rain.
Of the 16 districts in the country"s western region, only two districts, Manang and Mustang, located in mountain region do not grow rice.