OKHALDHUNGA, Aug 8: Maize planted in 5,700 hectares of land in Okhaldhunga district has been damaged due to drought. The crop was damaged by the drought caused between mid-May to mid-July.
Maize is cultivated in total 12,398 hectares of land in the district, said Hem Ale Magar, plant protection officer of Agriculture Knowledge Center, Okhaldhunga. He said crop worth Rs 283.2 million was damaged by the drought.
According to the center, Khijidemba Rural Municipality is least affected by drought as it is situated in a cold region.
Siddhicharan Municipality and Manebhanjyang, Molung, Chinsakhugadi, Champadevi, Sunkoshi and Likhu rural municipalities have been hard hit by the drought, according to Magar. The district has seven local level units, among which Manebhanjyang has suffered most, as maize cultivated in 1,868 hectares of this rural municipality has been destroyed by the drought.
In Chinsakhugadi Rural Municipality crop planted over 1,109 hectares of land has been damaged.
Similarly, crops planted over 871 hectares in Siddhicharan Municipality, 136 hectares in Molung, 518 hectares in Sunkoshi, 784 in Champadevi and 414 hectares in Likhu rural municipalities was fully damaged due to drought. A total of 11,792 households have been affected due to the crop drying up in the drought.
According to the statistics collected by the Agriculture Knowledge Center, 3,715 households of Manebhanjyang, 2,584 of Champadevi, 1,593 of Likhu, 1772 of Sunkoshi, 418 of Molung, and 402 of Chinsakhugadi rural municipalities, and 1,308 of Siddhichanran Municipality have been directly affected by the drought.
Tika Baniya, agriculture technician at the center, said that the Lower Chauras area of the district has seen the most impact. Banks of Likhu, Sunkoshi, Dudhkoshi, and Molung rivers have been affected the most, he said.
As the drought damaged maize in the district, most of the fields have been left crop-less, said Chabindra Rai, a local of Sunkoshi Rural Municipality. Though some farmers have planted winter maize, there still are stretches of uncultivated land, he said. Farmers said that despite rainfall in the month of July, the dried maize plants did not revive. Rai complained about the lack of attention from the concerned bodies even as the district suffered badly from the drought.