Nepal’s paddy harvest is expected to hit a record high of 5.61 million tonnes this fiscal year, according to the preliminary statistics of the Ministry of Agricultural Development slated to be released officially Wednesday.
Farmers in the far western region of Kailali are not a happy lot this year. Despite the government fixing paddy’s minimum support price (MSP) for this year, farmers allege that prices are being controlled by private traders because the state-owned Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has not procured their produce.
KATHMANDU, 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.
The minimum support price (MSP) for common paddy has been raised to Rs2,460.57 per quintal from Rs2,438. Similarly, the floor price for ‘mota dhan’ has been pushed up to Rs2,331.22 per quintal from Rs2,247.
Fertile farmlands in the eastern district of Jhapa, which is also known as the country’s grain basket, are being rapidly buried under concrete, and the effects of the land plotting are becoming visible in food production.
The August floods which caused widespread death and destruction were a traumatic experience for the people in the southern Tarai plains, but the nutrients they brought to the farmlands enriched the soil and boosted productivity, prompting officials to predict another record harvest and hike in economic output.