31 July - 6 Aug 2015 #769

Tarai drought

Kantipur, 27 July

BARA – Early July is paddy plantation time in the Tarai, but this year the rains have failed and the fields are dry. Rice that was planted are wilting in the sun. July is almost over, and still there hasn’t been any rain. Some farmers are watering their paddy fields with well water, but not everyone has irrigation facility. Some farmers have even been planting rice by buying water.

The situation is the same in the districts of the central Tarai. According to District Agricultural Offices, more than half the farms have not yet been able to plant paddy. “There will be more problems if it does not rain within a week. There could be a food crisis,” says the Bara DAO.

The Bagmati Irrigation Project did not provide the water on time, so the farmers have been left high and dry. They have provided water only this week, and for many it’s too late. Many farmers, disappointed, are heading towards India for employment every one or two years rather than being able to plant rice. One of the farmers at the border said: “There is a drought. What can we do living here? We have to go to earn money.”