Timely and sufficient monsoon rains have given due boost to the Nepali agriculture sector.
As a result, Nepali farmers are preparing to harvest the largest-ever paddy crop in this fiscal year, said the Nepali Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoA&LD).
According to the Ministry Secretary Yubak Dhoj GC, this year’s paddy harvest is expected to reach 5.66 million tons, showing a 10 percent year-on-year growth.
Officials state that this record harvest is going to curtail the rice import bill and also contribute to government’s overall economic growth target.
GC further informed that paddy transplantation was successful in more than 95 percent of the country’s 1 1.55 million hectares of rice fields in this fiscal.
With regard to supporting raw material, none of the key paddy-producing areas, especially the country’s food basket Tarai, reported shortage of chemical fertilizers.
Due to timely and regular monsoon, productivity has increased. There were no disease outbreaks and floods either. At the same time, we expect the country will be removed from the food deficit list this year – Yubak Dhoj GC, Ministry of Agriculture, Nepal
He further stated that this progress in the agriculture sector will help Nepal Government to achieve its 8 percent economic growth target, given the fact that the country is largely agriculture-dependent i.e. worth NPR 3 trillion.
So, monsoons mean a lot for the country as only 30 percent of its farmland currently has round-the-year irrigation facility.
“If we can increase the round-the-year irrigation coverage to 80 percent of the land, we can potentially produce around 10 million tons of paddy annually,” says the Secretary.
While the country’s monsoon season is from June-September, there was an early arrival this year two days prior to the regular case.
The harvest in this fiscal is going to be an encouragement and recovery from the previous year’s number that took a hit due to severe floods in August 2017 in around 31 districts.
It was lastly in 2016-17 that the country saw its record harvest of 5.23 million tons and is eagerly waiting for its new high of 5.66 million tons!