Food crisis looms over Bajura villages

- ARJUN SHAH, BAJURA

Feb 19, 2018-People in eastern Bajura are facing food shortage due to prolonged drought in the region. As winter crop production declined this year because of extended dry spell, many families are struggling to put food on their table, according to an official at the District Agricultural Development Office (DADO).

Food shortage has mostly affected the Budinanda, Jagannath, Himali and Swamikartik. 

The District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee has requested the central government to immediately supply 2,500 metric tonnes of food grains to address the food shortage in Bajura.

“We had to sell a plot of land to buy food grains. We do not know how we will survive once the food supply is exhausted,” said Lalbir Sarki of Jagannath.

The Sarki family and many others in Jagannath Rural Municipality rely on food grains grown on their farms. The drought has greatly affected these families. 

 According to the DADO,  only 20 percent of land is arable in Bajura. Of the total arable land, only 2.27 percent has irrigation facility. 

“As the majority of farmers in the district rely on rainfall to grow crops, this year’s drought has been very tough on them,” said DADO chief Min Prasad Jaishi.  

Rice, maize, potato, barely, beans, buckwheat, millet and soy beans are some of principal crops grown in Bajura.

Even under normal condition Bajura has been facing an average annual food deficit of 11,000 metric tonnes.

“The government must supply food before people start starving over here,” said Manbir BK of Sapatta Village.

Chief District Officer Luk Bahadur Chhetri said the Ministry of Supplies has already been informed about imminent food crisis in eastern Bajura. 

Prices of essentials sky-rocket in Mugu

MUGU: Supply of daily essentials to Mugu district has been hindered for the past one week as transportation along the Gamgadhi-Nagma road has come to a complete halt due to snow.  Food prices have sky-rocketed with the supply line cut off. Shopkeepers and business owners in the district said their orders from Surkhet and Nepalgunj are stuck mid-journey.  At least a dozen Gamgadi-bound vehicles and many tourists on their way to Rara Lake have been stranded.  (PR)

Published: 19-02-2018 08:14

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