KATHMANDU, Dec 17: Nepal’s paddy production is estimated to stand at around 5.6 million metric tons this year, which is an additional 50,000 tons on the production of the last year.
The paddy output totalled 5.55 million tones in 2019/20, 1.1 percent less than the record high harvest in 2018/19. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has estimated that there is an increase in paddy production in the current fiscal year despite the farmers facing shortage of chemical fertilisers amid the paddy transplantation season.
Hari Bahadur KC, spokesperson for the ministry, said the rise in production was due to adequate rainfall and an increase in land area used for paddy production. As per the ministry’s records, farmers did the paddy transplantation in 1,371,706 hectares of land area this year.
Given months-long lockdown, shortage of chemical fertilisers, and other key agricultural inputs like labour, credit and transportation, agricultural output had been projected to be lower than last year.
An increase in paddy production has also been attributed to adequate manpower available in the rice fields due to lockdown. However, the floods in the Tarai region and attacks by fall armyworm, a type of destructive pest, damaged the crops to some extent.