Paddy acreage likely to swell due to good rains

  • good monsoon
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 4, 2018-

Paddy acreage is projected to increase this year due to a favourable monsoon as farmers are expected to utilise their barren land too, the Ministry of Agriculture said.

Paddy was planted on 1.42 million hectares in 2016-17. Acreage expanded to 1.55 million hectares in 2017-18 due to a good monsoon. This monsoon brought favourable and regular rainfall which means farmers will be encouraged to plant more land with paddy.  

“Normally, rainfall determines the areas of paddy transplantation. This year, we estimate that paddy acreage will increase to some extent as rainfall has been uniform,” said Shankar Sapkota, assistant spokesperson for the ministry.

According to the ministry, paddy transplantation is expected to be completed across the country by next week as farmers have achieved the fastest transplantation rate in recent memory.

According to the ministry’s transplantation data, paddy had been transplanted on 90 percent of the 1.55 million hectares of available paddy fields as of August 2. During the same period last year, transplantation was completed on 77 percent of the paddy fields.

There has been no flooding and submergence in the key producing areas, and for this reason the ministry expects 100 percent of the paddy acreage to be planted this year.

Last year, the country suffered record floods following torrential rains from August 11-14 that inundated huge tracts of land in 31 districts. The summer paddy output dropped 1.5 percent to 5.1 million tonnes in the last fiscal year due to the floods.

The better-than-expected transplantation rate has raised hopes for another record harvest. The government has targeted producing 5.5 million tonnes of paddy this fiscal year. According to the ministry, the transplantation rate is higher in the far western region with 98.56 percent of the total 176,560 hectares planted to paddy.

Likewise, the transplantation rate in the mid-western and western regions has been recorded at 87.45 percent of the 178,096 hectares and 95.72 percent of the 312,547 hectares respectively. According to the ministry, the transplantation rate in the central and eastern regions has been recorded at 92.16 percent of the 439,328 hectares and 80.53 percent of the 445,938 hectares respectively.

The ministry’s statistics show that paddy transplantation in the mountain region has been completed on 89.05 percent of the 58,158 hectares while in the hilly region the rate is 89.48 percent of the 399,675 hectares. In the Tarai, paddy transplantation has been completed on 89.85 percent of the 1.09 million hectares of paddy fields.

The Tarai, which is the major paddy producing region in the country, contains 71 percent of its rice fields. The hilly region contains 25 percent and the mountain region 4 percent. This year, the monsoon entered Nepal on June 8, two days before the normal onset date. Paddy transplantation has been completed in Kailali, Kanchanpur, Jumla, Dolpa, Rupandehi, Nawalparasi, Kaski and Bara districts, according to the ministry.

Published: 04-08-2018 08:28

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