14 districts in Mid West stare at ‘food shortage’

- PRAKASH ADHIKARI, Surkhet

May 22, 2016-

A prolonged drought has caused a drop in winter crop productions by as much as 45 percent in the Mid West, according to agriculture experts. 

According to the Regional Directorate of Agriculture (RDoA), 139,150 households in 385 VDCs are likely to face food shortage this year due to decline in winter crop yield. An estimated 73,392 metric tonnes of food grains worth around Rs 4 billion was destroyed by the drought this year, the directorate informed the Post. 

Agriculture experts said people of 14 districts in the Mid West, especially in Banke, Dang, Salyan and Surkhet, will face food shortage due to decline in winter crops production. People in the Mid West need around 714,436 metric tons of food stuffs each year. Director of the RDoA Shiva Narayan Chaudhary said local crops production would be low also in Pyuthan, Jajarkot, Dailekh and Rolpa districts.  

With no irrigation facilities in the hills, most of the farmers are depend on rain for growing crops. “Karnali is the worst affected area which has not received enough rainfall for more than seven months,” said Chaudhary. The drought also has affected people in Mugu district where around 85 percent of crops were destroyed, according to the District Agriculture Office. “The majority of farmers have not cultivated their land due to shortage of water. Even the crops have died as a result of drought,” said Chaudhary. Birjan Damai of Rawalbadare in Mugu said he had to borrow money to feed his family after the crops dried out. 

People in the drought-hit areas fear of a famine unless there is a timely government intervention. Ram Chandra Budha of Gothi in Humla said their summer crops were not good while the winter yield has also dropped significantly.

Published: 22-05-2016 08:14

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