RAUTAHAT, July 1: Plantation has been carried out in only three percent of paddy fields in Rautahat district by June.
Paddy is the main crop of the district. But there has not been much progress in plantation this year. Local farmers say plantation has been pushed back their year because seedlings are not ready for plantation yet.
Another reason for the delay, according to farmers, is rainfall. Though some farmers have seedlings ready for plantation, paddy field is not ready for plantation due to lack of sufficient rainfall.
Amit Yadav of Madhavnarayan Rural municipality recently completed plantation in his paddy field spread over 1.35 hectares. Yadav had to pump water from nearby sources to prepare his field for plantation. “Though I have completed plantation, young plants will die if there is no sufficient rainfall. This is why other farmers are not ready for plantation yet,” he added.
Farmers in northern parts of the district have irrigation facility and deep borings. But farmers in southern parts of the district have no option to waiting for monsoon for sufficient rainfall. “If plantation is not done in time, it might lead to low production,” Dip Lal Sah, a local farmer, said. “As monsoon has not been good so far, the production is likely to fall compared to last year.”
Paddy plantation area is likely to shrink by 200 hectares this year as many farmers are attracted toward sugarcane and fruits as well as fisheries, according to District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), Rautahat.
Last year, paddy plantation was done in 38,700 hectares in Rautahat.
“Drop in paddy production will be bad news for Rautahat which is self-reliant in paddy,” said Raj Narayan Yadav, chief of DADO, Rautahat.