Paddy production likely to be at par with last year’s output despite floods 

Kathmandu: Even though flash floods caused a huge damage huge to paddy crops in thousands of hectares of paddy fields in the Terai, paddy production this year is likely to be at par with the last years’ output.

According to Shankar Sapkota, joint-spokesperson at the Ministry of Agricultural Development, increase in the productivity of land and smooth supply of chemical fertilisers and seeds have attributed to the satisfactory production of paddy despite the devastating floods in the Terai region that had inundated or swept away large area of paddy fields.

“We are calculating that the paddy production will not be less than last year’s production this year. However, we have not finalised the report as we are still collecting data from the different offices under the Ministry of Agricultural Development,” he said.

The floods had damaged around 25,000 hectares of land in the Terai which was likely to reduce the production of paddy by around 100,000 tons this year.

However, the data collected by the district agriculture office in the Terai showed that the productivity of land in the floods affected area has increased as the floods dumped fertile mud in the paddy fields.

He added that paddy productivity could increase to 3.56 tons per hectare this year compared to last year’s 3.37 tons per hectare.

Earlier, the ministry had projected paddy output to increase 5,400,000 tons from the record production of 5,230,000 tons last fiscal year.

Sapkota said that the ministry is collecting data from across the country and expected to publish preliminary data of paddy production within the couple of weeks.

Rice is the major agriculture products that contributed around 21 per cent in Agriculture Gross Domestic Products and 7 per cent in GDP in Nepal.

In the fiscal year 2015/16, 4,300,000 tons paddy was produced in Nepal whereas, 4,788,000 tons in 2014/15, 5,047,000 tons in 2013/14, 4,500,000 tons in 2012/13 and 5,072,000 tons was in 2011/12.

Paddy was planted in 1,500,000 hectares of paddy fields across the country this year.  This year’s plantation progress was very good even the arrival of monsoon was delayed, he said and added that the timely and continue rainfall after planted rice contributed to achieve this progress.