Low crop production behind perennial food shortage in Baitadi

- KHAGENDRA AWASTHI, BAITADI
Baitadi needs to produce extra 22,500 metric tonnes of food grains annually to address the shortage

Nov 4, 2016-Baitadi district has been witnessing food shortage every year because of low agricultural productivity.  

According to the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), Baitadi needs to produce extra 22,500 metric tonnes of food grains annually to address this shortage. The district has been producing only 28,254 metric tonnes of food grains per year.

Senior Agriculture Development Officer Kamalesh Tiwari said to feed its population (250, 898, census 2011) round the year, Baitadi needs to produce at least 50,675 metric tonnes of food grains. Maize and wheat are the primary crops grown in the district.

What little the farmers produce throughout the year barely lasts for four months. This has led many adult male population in the district to work odd jobs to earn enough to put food on the table. Some of them go outside the district in search of job.

It is a worrying trend, Tiwari says, because it could further lower the annual crop production volume.

There is a high risk of people losing interest in farming and rely on food imported from outside the district. 

Already, Baitadi is heavily dependent on food grains provided by the state-run Nepal Food Corporation on subsidised rates.

Tiwari says the DADO and some local NGOs have been providing trainings 

and subsidised seeds to encourage farmers and to increase crop production, but the desired outcome has yet to show.

The situation in fact suggests the opposite. Out of 31,485 ha of cultivable land in Baitadi, only 25,700 ha of land are being used these days.

Published: 04-11-2016 09:36

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