With no rains, maize dries up in Khotang

Published On: July 2, 2019 08:01 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KHOTANG, July 1: Maize plants are drying up in most of the wards of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality due to delayed monsoon.

Mayor of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality Iwan Rai said maize plantation in all 11 wards of the municipality has been affected due to lack of rainfall. Many farmers have not been able to plant maize in the area due to lack of rainfall.

Halesi and surrounding areas were declared ‘dry area’ by District Disaster Relief Committee in 2011.
Rudra Rai, chairperson of Ward 1 of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality, said farmers are yet to plant maize in nearly 60 percent of arable land in his ward because of delayed monsoon this year. “The situation is so severe that plants are drying up in areas where farmers had completed plantation,” he added.

Maize plants in Bahunidanda, Dikuwa, Chyasmitar, Badahare, Mangaltar, Durchim, Salle, Rajapani and Arkhole of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality have started drying up. Farmers in Kaduwa, Beta and Kurle areas of Bahunidanda have suffered the most. Farmers fear their maize crop will fail this year if the area does not get rainfall in the near future. 

“Some plants in higher areas might revive if there is rainfall. In lower areas, even rainfall might not revive the plants,” Bhal Raj Rai, ward chairperson of Halesi Tuwachung-3, told Republica.
Sunkoshi and Dudhkoshi rivers flow along most of the wards of Halesi Tuwachung Municipality. However, as these rivers are of no help as maize farms are located high above the river banks. As these farms do not have irrigation facility, farmers have no option but to depend on monsoon to water their crops.

Even if the plants revive, local fear they will not bear fruits. Not only maize, even banana plants and other floras in the area have started drying up. Similarly, production of beans, pulses and sesame seeds is also affected due to lack of rainfall.


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