This photo taken on April 28 shows a field in Gundu, Bhaktapur. Photo: Rajib Khatri/Republica Files
‘Production might fall by 25,000-30,000 tons’
KATHMANDU, Sept 2: Paddy transplantation rate fell by 0.5% this year, thanks to delayed monsoon, government data shows.
According to Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, paddy was transplanted on 94.83% of land across the country this year, compared to 95.39% of fields last year.
Paddy transplantation had by 7.27% in 2018 compared to 2017.
The ministry has stated that paddy has been transplanted on 1,300,830 hectares of arable land this year.
The data shows paddy couldn’t be transplanted on 70,876 hectares of land this year.
“Transplantation in regard to area has seen a decline of 0.5% this year,” Tej Bahadur Subedi, the spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, told Republica.
Paddy transplantation area fell in Province 1, Province 2, Gandaki Province, and Province 5 and Karnali Province. However, transplantation rate increased by 3% in Province 3, while Sudurpashchim Province has reported 100% plantation this year.
Data compiled by the ministry shows transplantation has been completed on 93.88% of paddy fields in Province 1, 93.31% in Province 2, 97.31% in Province 3 and 92.81% in Gandaki Province.
Similarly, Province 5 and Karnali Province have reported transplantation on 94.39% and 96.16% of paddy fields, respectively.
Region-wise, paddy has been transplanted on 97.93% of paddy fields in high hilly region, 93.01% in hilly areas and 95.33% tarai districts.
Nepal produced 5.61 million tons of paddy last year, according to the Department of Agriculture. However, officials of the department and the ministry say the country might see a decline in paddy output this season due to decline in transplantation rate owing to delayed monsoon.
“We expect production to fall by 25,000 to 30,000 tons this year,” added Subedi. “Three factors affect paddy production – transplanted areas, favorable season and pest attacks. Though paddy transplantation has fallen slightly this year, we are yet to see impacts of other two factors.”
The availability of fertilizers also affects paddy production, according to Subedi.
Paddy transplantation rate has averaged 95-97% over the past few years.
Paddy transplantation is generation completed by the second week of August. But transplantation stretched by a week this year due to delayed monsoon.
Agriculture contributes about 27% to the country’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Paddy alone contributes 7% to the total GDP, while its contribution to agriculture GDP is 21%.