Paddy seedlings fail to grow as expected

- Harihar Singh Rathore, Dhading
Around 30,000 ropanis of farmland in mid-Dhading are facing problems

Oct 14, 2015-Haphazard distribution of paddy saplings has irked farmers in Dhading while the free saplings distributed by Sana Kishan Cooperative to earthquake survivors have failed to generate the expected result.

The paddy plants cultivated by farmers have developed in different ways. While positive results can be seen on some paddy fields, there are

many fields where the paddy has failed to grow as expected. In some fields, the saplings have not grown and have started to rot.

In particular, farms located alongside Prithvi Highway like Beni Ghat, Kumpur, Gajuri, Dhanusha and Tripureshwor and Satya Devi in mid-Dhading where farmers have cultivated paddy on around 30,000 ropanis of land are facing problems.

Saplings distributed by the cooperative at the same time have yielded different results. The paddy plants are marked by different colours, some plants have already started to ripen while other plants have failed to grow properly.

Following the incident, around 150 farmers filed an application with the District Agriculture Development Office, local administration and Agriculture Ministry on September 23. An investigation committee was subsequently formed under the coordination of Durga Datta Panthi, technical assistant of the District Agriculture Development Office.

Oxfam International had acquired permission to distribute 12.3 tonnes of quality paddy saplings through Sana Kishan Cooperative. The cooperative had issued around 123 tonnes of paddy saplings in six village development committees (VDCs), according to the report of the probe committee.

The report also stated that saplings enough for 50,000 ropanis of land were distributed even though Dhading has only 30,000 ropanis of cultivable land. The report has revealed that production could shrink 50-75 percent.  

The saplings were distributed in jute and plastic sacks. “The saplings that came in plastic sacks seem to be unproductive,” said Uttam Kadel, a Gajuri-based farmer. The committee report states that while jute sacks were brought from Chitwan, plastic sacks were brought from Mahottari.

The farmers have demanded that the government take action against the concerned stakeholders who have cheated earthquake survivors by distributing bad saplings.

Meanwhile, during a meeting held in the district following the incident, Oxfam representatives pledged to provide compensation if the saplings were found to have problems. The cooperative had distributed saplings to 6,188 farmers in six VDCs.

Published: 14-10-2015 09:35

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