Drought causes crop failure in Far West

Seven hill districts in the far-western region have not received rainfall since August last year resulting in crop failure

Feb 15, 2016-People in various Hill districts in the far-western region are worried about possible food shortage this year due to prolonged drought. 

Crop production in the has dwindled in seven districts as they have not received rain since August, 2015. 

According to Dadeldhura Agriculture Development Office, paddy production has decreased by 26 percent in the district. Maize production has also gone down by 26 percent. 

Agriculture experts said winter crop production in Dadeldhura could decrease by 85 percent this year. 

Tek Bahadur Bista, senior agriculture technician, said there is a high chance of food shortage in some of the hill districts in the Far West. “Besides the weather factor, price hike in food products because of border blockade will also further the problem in the region,” said Bista. 

Chakra Bohara, a farmer from Bajhang district, said his crops dried in the field because there was no rain for a long time.

“There will be a food shortage this year. We don’t know how will cope,” said Bohara. 

Similar is the situation in Baitadi district. Bishram Karki of Nuwali-4 said if the situation continues they will not have wheat to even feed their cattle.

The Regional Agricultural Directorate in Dipayal estimates that 34 percent of farmlands in the region will have low production this year.

A World Food Programme official said 20 percent of the farmland in the region is barren due to lack of human resources and migration.

Meanwhile, Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has started to store foodstuffs to address the looming food shortage in the region.  

NFC Regional Chief Dilliraj Lamsal said they have asked for permission to buy foods for five districts, except Dadeldhura and Doti districts. 

(With inputs from DR Panta in Dadeldhura, Basanta Pratap Singh in Bajhang and Khagendra Aawasti in Baitadi) 


Published: 15-02-2016 08:47

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