By Laxman Kafle Kathmandu, Oct. 23: Agricultural crops, especially paddy, worth billions of rupees have been destroyed by floods and landslides triggered by the post-monsoon rains across Nepal, according to a preliminary report of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development.
The floods and landslides have caused damages to paddy crops worth more than Rs. 7 billion in three provinces – Sudurpashchim, Lumbini and Province-1, said the ministry. As per the preliminary reports received from the Sudurpashchim, Lumbini and Province 1, paddy grown in 67,919 hectares of land in these provinces was damaged by floods and rains, said Prakash Kumar Sanjel, joint secretary and spokesperson for the Ministry.
Around 258,000 tonnes of paddy worth Rs. 7.22 billion have been damaged in these provinces, he informed. According to the ministry, paddy planted in an area of 1,98,521 hectares, including 93,576 hectares in Lumbini, 55,000 hectares in Sudurpashchim and 49,954 hectares in Province-1 has been affected by the rains. The rains have affected four districts, Bardiya, Kapilvastu, Banke and Rupandehi of Lumbini province the most, and the farmers of these districts have incurred huge losses.
Paddy planted in 42,427 hectares in the province has been damaged. The rains have damaged 1,61,223 tonnes of paddy worth more than Rs 4.51 billion across the Lumbini Province, the ministry said. Similarly, paddy grown in around 18,000 hectares of field has been damaged in Sudurpashchim Province. The report estimated that 68,400 tonnes of paddy worth Rs. 1.92 billion was destroyed. According to the preliminary details of the ministry, the rains have affected the paddy planted by farmers in Kailali and Kanchanpur districts of the Sudurpashchim Province.
Similarly, Jhapa, Sunsari and Morang of Province-1 have also been badly affected by the post-monsoon rains. According to the ministry, paddy standing in about 67,919 hectares of land in the province has been affected by the rains. A total of 28,469 tonnes of paddy worth Rs. 800 million was damaged in the province. Joint Secretary Sanjel said that the affected areas and the details of the damage could increase as the rains have affected all the provinces and data were yet to be received from four other provinces. The rains have also affected paddy in Province-2 but the details of losses have not been received, he said.
“We are gathering statistics on losses from all provinces at the earliest. Based on early information received from the local levels and provinces, agricultural losses, including livestock will exceed Rs. 10 billion,” he said. In addition, a separate working group from the concerned authorities, including the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, has been formed in all the seven provinces for coordination and facilitation in data collection, he said.
“The team will visit the affected sites from coming Sunday to collect statistics on losses and projection of paddy production within a week. The report collected from the teams will support the government to provide compensation to the affected farmers,” Sanjel said.
Meanwhile, the ministry has been planning to hold discussion with the agriculture ministers and secretaries of all provinces on Tuesday at the Ministry to discuss the damage assessment and prepare a modality of relief package to the farmers, he informed.