Continuous Rainfall Invites Threat of Famine
Continuous rainfall for the last four days has destroyed the Kalimarsidhan (a kind of paddy) which is found in Jumla.
This year, it was assumed that the production of Marsidhan will be increasing but unfortunately the rainfall that started from October 17, 2021, has submerged the crops that were kept in the fields to dry-out before storage after cultivation.
Lakshmi Hamal, a farmer from Shridhuska in Chandannath Municipality-9 shared that the harvested crops were in the process of storage therefore every farmer had dried out their crops in the field after cultivation, some had kept the seeds in a tent in the field after threshing them.
All the crops that had been harvested and were in the process of harvesting has submerged, said Agriculture Technician Lachhiram Mahat.
Jumla has been producing paddy in 2900 hectares of land in which this year 1400 hectares were sowed with Marsi and 1500 hectares were sowed with high-quality paddy. According to the data of the government, the Jumli local crop production has declined by 40 percent in the last five years.
Despite the decline in production of other local crops, the production of Kalimarsi had increased due to its popularity. According to the District Agriculture Development Office, Jumla, 12,308 metric tonnes of local crops were produced last year while 6,670 metric tonnes of Kalimarsi paddy was produced.
Chief of the District Agriculture Development Office, Balakram Devkota, said that out of 2900 hectares of paddy growing area, 13 hectares of Marsi fields have been flooded and 5 hectares have been submerged, while all other paddy fields have been soaked. He said that 900 hectares of paddy in the district still remained to be harvested.
According to Devkota, paddy cultivation in Sinja, which produces a large amount of Ratimarsi paddy, has been damaged due to flooding. He said, “It is estimated that paddy work NRs. 60 million has been damaged.”
Kishor Neupane of the Right to Food Network Jumla said that the people were disheartened by the damage caused to the paddy fields and that there was a possibility of famine.
Similarly, Netra Bahadur Shahi, Chairperson of the Federation of Nepali Journalists, Jumla, stressed on the need for the government to provide proper relief to the farmers by extracting accurate data on the impact of unseasonal heavy rains on paddy cultivation.
Member of the House of Representatives Gajendra Bahadur Mahat expressed his commitment to the federal government to take initiative for relief and special package programs and budget after receiving the initial damage of the disaster. He said that the local administration, security agencies, stakeholders and the media should unite and make the state responsible for this.
A team led by Chief District Officer Vijayakumari Prasai went for the monitoring of the damaged area at Tatopani and Tila. According to Prasai, heavy rains and floods have damaged paddy fields along rivers and streams.
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