Nepal needs to change current paddy seed to increase paddy production, pointed put experts. At a program organized by the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Modernization Project Implementation Unit, Chitwan the other day, the experts have advised to use the modern technology and improved varieties of seeds for increasing the production and productivity of paddy.
The event organized on the eve of planting Chaite Dhan (paddy) and was attended by paddy growers, millers and technicians and agricultural scientists. Speaking at the program, scientist at National Rice Research Program (NARC) Dr. Ram Baran Yadav said that change of paddy seeds is the need of the hour.
The use of technology developed in recent times and use of hybrid seeds is essential for paddy production, he pointed out. “Paddy production cannot be increased if new technology is not used in the situation where production area is shrinking due to the scarcity of land.”
“To make Nepal self-reliant in paddy production, modernization of agriculture, enhancing irrigation facilities along with mechanization and seed conversion are essential, “ he pointed out.
It is estimated that an average Nepali consumes 137.5 kg of rice annually. Based on that, Nepal needs 6.7 million metric tons of paddy and annual paddy production has been estimated to be around 5.6 million metric tons.
The country can become self-sufficient in paddy production with the use of hybrid paddy seed, modern irrigation facilities and promotion of Chaite paddy cultivation. Terai and Bhitri Madhes of Nepal are important districts in terms of paddy production. The southern Nepal’s plain is known as granary of Nepal. In Nepal paddy is cultivated in almost all the districts except some Himalayan districts.
The contribution of paddy to the GDP of Nepal is 7 per cent and the contribution of paddy to agriculture is around 15 per cent. However, only 10 to 12 per cent of the farmers are engaged in commercial farming. In Nepal, more than 50 per cent of the people produce their own paddy and 38 per cent to 40 per cent.