November 27: Rice production in Sarlahi has witnessed a significant decrease this year, attributed primarily to the absence of timely rainfall. The Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Sarlahi has reported that the untimely weather pattern has adversely impacted rice cultivation. Additionally, crop diseases and pesticide-related issues have further contributed to the decline in production.
Local farmer Ruplal Chaudhary from Jabdi, Lalbandi municipality-3 expressed his disappointment with this year's rice production, stating, "We are not paid off for our hard work and investment." Chaudhary revealed that he spent Rs 10,000 on irrigation alone for paddy cultivated on six katha of land (one kattha is equivalent to 3,645 sq. ft).
Comparing the data to the previous year, where the district recorded a production of 164,145 metric tons of rice, this year has seen a substantial reduction. Farmers reported a yield as low as two maunds (approximately 38 kgs) per land plot, in contrast to the five maunds recorded in the previous year.
Devanand Ray Yadav, Chief of the Agriculture Knowledge Centre, highlighted that areas with irrigation facilities maintained satisfactory production, while regions dependent on rainfall experienced a decline. Some areas also reported issues related to diseases and pesticides affecting the overall production.
Official data indicates that paddy cultivation covers approximately 46,500 hectares of land in Sarlahi. Due to the delayed onset of rains, farmers without reliable irrigation facilities had to resort to water pumping systems or containers for irrigation during rice transplantation, leading to increased farming costs. ---RSS