Nepali Times Asian Paints
Nation
Rice crisis

HARIDEVI ROKAYA in JUMLA


A fungal infection threatens to blow away 80 per cent of this year's paddy harvest in the Tila Valley of Jumla, the world's highest rice cultivation area.

The Karnali is a chronic food-deficit area but the irrigated valleys of the Tila and Sinja rivers have consistently good harvests of the Marsi variety of high altitude rice. But their hopes were dashed as the harvest time neared. "We burnt our paddy fields as the yield was very low," says Devu Nepali, who blames the heavy monsoon rains during the transplantation period for the spread of the rice blast fungus.

However Bed Chaulagain of the District Agriculture Office here says the indiscriminate use of pesticides could be the main reason for the spread of the fungus. "Excessive use of nitrogen fertilizer and pesticides that also kill good bugs that would otherwise have controlled the fungus could have made the conditions right for the spread of the blast lesion in the rice plants," Chaulagain says.

Other farmers like Nepali say they have lost half their harvest, and are now worried about how they will provide for their families through Jumla's harsh winter months. Kal Bahadur Rawal is now thinking of migrating to find work to buy food for his family this year.

Chaulagain says that some farmers who planted the Chandanath variety of rice had healthy harvests and didn't suffer losses, but it was the Marsi who suffered the worst losses. There are 3,000 hectares of paddy planted in Jumla every year, and the town itself needs about 25,000 tons of rice. But this year the district capital may have to depend on outside rice to see itself through the winter.

Read also:
Why Monsanto?, SASCHA FULLER
Instead of improving harvests, a USAID program to push hybrid maize will make Nepali farmers more destitute

Going to seed
Hybrid and genetically-modified seeds may create more problems than they solve



1. Ganesh
Surprised to see there's no comment from readers.  Guess all of Nepal are only interested in "useless Nepali politicking" - or rather rich pickings from poor shoots.  Does anyone in Nepal "really" care for the poor and down-trodden?  Nope!!!!!

2. Manoj Pande
don't be surprised Ganesh for this No Reaction from any where...I am hopeful that things will change since there are people who are careful and concerned....


3. sudeep shrestha , Malaysia
Don't expect any comments guys, Rather i would say only few person might have read this article. Look at the mosanto news, it got overwhelming comments by both Nepalese and foreigners. But when there is the article about the genuine stuff nobody  likes to talk. Those guys are just bullocks and selfish person who like to show how good they are..

LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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