Farmers grow crops year round due to irrigation

- BIMAL KHATIWADA, JUTPANI (CHITWAN)

Feb 25, 2015-

Local farmers have been elated by the introduction of irrigation and are optimistic that agricultural production will swell. In the past, they used to let their fields lie fallow during the cold season for lack of water, but now they are busy round the year and grow winter crops too thanks to water provided by deep tube wells.

In the summer, the farmers in Jutpani-5 would plant their paddy crops after the monsoon rains. In the winter, they had to wait until the water level in the local stream rose sufficiently to sow their seeds. Nowadays, they do not depend on the weather as irrigation has allowed them to grow paddy in the winter too.

Farmer Ananta Timilsina said she had sown winter paddy seeds for the first time. “We could not plant paddy during the dry season before due to lack of water supply in the fields,” she said. Encouraged by the water supply, Timilsina said she had been planning to extend banana farming on her farm.

The Jamunapur Deep Tube Well Water Management Committee has recently started providing irrigation facility in the area. The deep tube well system has been developed by the Agriculture Development Project, Janakpur and the local people. It has been providing irrigation facility to 53 bighas of land belonging to 180 households in Jamunapur.

Following the introduction of irrigation, the farmers have started commercial farming of banana and vegetable.

The project expects to invest a total of Rs 5.5 million in the deep tube well system. So far, it has spent Rs 3 million, said Binod Regmi, the chairman of the committee.

The irrigation facility has been extended to more farms from last month. “The construction of canals and pump houses is yet to be completed,” said Regmi. According to him, the farmers who used to lease out their land at low rates have started growing their own crops.

The project covers 80 bighas of land but it has been providing irrigation to only 53 bighas due to power shortages. The local farmers have to pay the committee Rs 200 per hour for the irrigation facility. The committee charges outsiders Rs 250 per hour to irrigate their fields.

Another farmer Arjun Ghimire said they were unable to sow paddy and maize seeds on time due to lack of water previously. Agricultural output in the region was also low due to lack of water.

The committee has sunk deep tube wells at places conveniently accessible to almost all the farmers.

Currently, the farmers have given priority to banana production. Deepak Pathak, vice-chairman of the committee, said the farmers planned to grow vegetables in the next phase.

 

Published: 26-02-2015 06:29

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