KATHMANDU, Jan 18: Production of paddy dropped slightly, while maize production climbed to an all-time high in Fiscal Year 2017/18, according to a report prepared by the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD).
Summer Crop Production Report of FY 2017/18 prepared by the ministry shows that paddy production dropped by 1.50 percent, while production of maize saw a healthy growth of this year.
The country produced 5.15 million tons of paddy this year, compared to 5.23 million tons of last year, according to the report. Paddy farming was done in 1.46 million hectare of land in FY 2017/18, compared to 1.55 million hectares in FY 2016/17.
Although the ministry was expecting bumper harvest of paddy this year, late monsoon and floods in Tarai districts in August affected paddy. Floods triggered by heavy rainfall in the second week of August completely damaged paddy crop in around 25,632 hectares of land in and partially affected paddy plantation in 126,282 hectares of land, mostly in Tarai districts, according to the ministry.
Earlier in October, the ministry had projected paddy production to grow to 5.4 million tons.
Production of maize, however, increased by nearly 10 percent this year. According to the report, maize production increased by 2.55 million tons in FY 2017/18, compared to 2.33 million tons in FY 2016/17.
Rise in maize production has been attributed to rise in plantation area. The report shows that maize farming was done in 954,158 hectares in FY 2017/18, compared to 924,321 hectares a year earlier.
Similarly, easy availability of inputs and chemical fertilizers, favorable climate as well as use of improved seeds were the other reason that contributed to a healthy rise in maize production, according to Ram Krishna Regmi, senior statistic officer of MoAD. “Different government and non-government organizations are making efforts to increase agricultural productivity. This has also contributed in increasing maize productivity,” he added.
The report also shows that production of millet increased to 307,704 tons, while production of buckwheat fell to 11,472 tons in FY 2017/18. Last year, the country had produced 306,704 tons of millet and 12,017 tons of buckwheat.