Paddy plantation on the rise, 20pc completed

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KATHMANDU, JUNE 26

Since the onset of the monsoon season, 20 per cent of paddy plantation was completed till Thursday.

The plantation rate has increased by 8.41 percentage points compared to the same period of last year. Last year, only 11.64 per cent of paddy plantation had been completed till June 25.

It has been three weeks that paddy plantation started and paddy has been cultivated on 275,029 hectares of land across the country, as per the Department of Agriculture.

“Paddy plantation commenced on time this year because of the timely monsoon.

Compared to last year, the percentage of paddy plantation is expected to increase this year,” said Hari Bahadur KC, spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD).

He further said that a large number of people have returned to villages during this monsoon season and most barren lands have also been cultivated this year.

Moreover, the government’s policy of not letting any fertile land to remain barren also boosted the plantation, he added.

As per the report compiled by the department, 36.26 per cent of paddy plantation has been completed so far in Province 5 — the highest among all the provinces. Province 1 with just 10.41 per cent of plantation has the lowest rate.

Similarly, 21.46 per cent plantation has been completed in Sudurpaschim Province, 20.11 per cent in Karnali Province, 18.86 per cent in Bagmati Province, 13.26 per cent in Gandaki Province and 15.53 per cent in Province 2.

Last year, paddy plantation had covered around 1.4 million hectares of land. Prior to this, highest plantation on over 1.5 million hectares of land was recorded in 2016.

This year also the government expects both plantation and production to increase.

Despite obstructions created by the lockdown, farmers have somehow managed to begin plantation on time.

MoALD has also claimed less shortage of seeds and fertilisers this year.

Amid this, the department has announced that the 17th National Paddy Day will be observed on June 29 this year with the theme of ‘Increase paddy production for self-dependency and prosperity’.

Due to the lockdown and COVID-19, the department has also requested all the stakeholders to celebrate this day by adopting necessary health safety measures.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Ghanashyam Bhusal will be addressing this day from Udayapur this year.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 27, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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