Vegetable crops ruined by floods in Lalbandi

Vegetable crops ruined by floods in Lalbandi

Jun 22, 2015-

Flash floods triggered by incessant rainfall on Friday damaged standing vegetable crops in many places here. Lalbandi is one of the major vegetable producing areas in Sarlahi district. Traders said that the damage caused to the crops was likely to affect the next season’s vegetable supplies in the Kathmandu valley. Sarlahi district accounts for more than 5 percent of the vegetables sold in the valley.

Farmers said floods swept away growing vegetable plants like bitter gourd, cucumber, bottle gourd and green bean. The area is famous in the country for tomato cultivation. Farmers are estimated to have suffered losses in the millions of rupees.

Rajkali Devi, a local farmer of Hirapur village, said almost all the vegetables being grown in her village had been destroyed. “Plants were inundated by floods for more then six hours,” she said. “As farmers had planted vegetables that cannot tolerate prolonged waterlogged conditions, almost all the plants have been destroyed.”

She had cultivated vegetables on two katthas of land by investing Rs10,000 this season. Villagers earn more than Rs200,000 annually per five katthas of land. Due to the handsome income and quick returns, most farmers in the district have taken to commercial vegetable farming.

Another farmer Narayan Gurmachhane said his vegetable farm was covered by water making it look like a river. He said he had nothing left on his farm. “The flash flood swept away everything.”

Farmers said they had not seen such floods in the village in the past, and that they were worried about making ends meet this season as they had lost almost all their crops.

Locals are unaware from where the flood came, and they presume it could have started from the Lakhandehi River in the northern part and the Kalinjoor River in the eastern part of Lalbandi.

They fear that continuous rainfall in the Chure region could inundate many villages anytime and urged the government to take immediate action to resolve the problem.

Vegetables collected at Lalbandi are shipped to different markets of Nepal. Kathmandu, Pokhara, Narayanghat, Hetauda, Butwal, Birgunj, Biratnagar and Itahari are the major markets.

Nepal produces vegetables worth Rs45 billion annually, according to the Nepal Vegetable Crops Survey. More than Rs9 billion is invested in vegetable farming every year. The report says that around 70 percent of Nepal’s total households grow vegetables.

Published: 23-06-2015 08:27

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