The Himalayan Times: The Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) has sought an additional budget of Rs 4.5 billion from the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to compensate flood and landslide affected farmers across the country.
Floods and landslides destroyed agricultural output worth Rs 4.35
billion and livestock valued at Rs 148 million, according to MoAD. Floods and landslides during the rainy season affected more than 36,000 hectares of arable land and 42,506 livestock in 33 districts.
“As per data collected from the Department of Agriculture and Department of Livestock Services, we’ve asked for an additional budget from MoF to compensate the farmers,” said Udaya Chandra Thakur, spokesperson of MoAD.
Dang and Bardiya districts were highly affected due to the flooding. Data collected by MoAD show that Dang district alone lost agro output and livestock of Rs 1.94 billion followed by Bardiya district with Rs 1.77 billion. Bardiya district is also known as the rice bowl of Nepal. Farmers in Bardiya lost agricultural output worth Rs 1.1 billion and livestock (cow, oxen, buffalo, sheep, goat, swine and poultry) amounting to Rs 67 million.
Floods and landslides have badly affected paddy crops in the Tarai and hills. Farmers in Dang district lost paddy and vegetable crops worth Rs 1.93 billion.
Similarly, Kailali district lost paddy crops worth Rs 77 million, Makawanpur (Rs 70 million), Syangja (Rs 67 million), Rautahat (Rs 58 million), Siraha (Rs 16 million), Kanchanpur (Rs 13 million), Sindhupalchowk (Rs 13 million), Baitadi (Rs seven million), Lamjung (Rs six million), Gorkha (Rs two million), Ramechhap (Rs two million) and Bajhang (Rs one million).
According to MoAD, paddy and vegetable crops in Sarlahi and Bhojpur districts were damaged because of drought. Bhojpur lost paddy and millet worth Rs 50 million while paddy output worth Rs 69 million in Sarlahi district was destroyed due to drought.
Experts say paddy is being cultivated on 1.4 million hectares of land in the country but the harvest might drop heavily due to the floods and landslides this year. MoAD has projected the loss to be at around Rs four billion. “Rice is the main contributor to the agricultural gross domestic product,” Bhola Man Singh Basnet, a rice expert, told The Himalayan Times, adding, “Production of rice amounted to 4.5 million tonnes, valued at Rs 100 billion in 2013-14.”
Likewise, there was huge loss of livestock as well. Farmers of Bardiya, Banke, Dang and Jajarkot districts lost heavily, with the cumulative damage accounting for 94 per cent of the total loss in livestock. Of the total amount of Rs 148.13 million booked in losses, these four districts lost a whopping Rs 139.73 million.
MoF, however, has yet to decide on providing compensation to the affected farmers. “MoF will soon decide on the MoAD proposal to
offer compensation to the farmers,” said Baikunth Aryal, chief of Budget Division under MoF.
Highly affected districts
• Dang lost agro output and livestock worth Rs 1.94bn
• Bardiya district lost agricultural output worth Rs 1.1bn and livestock amounting to Rs 67m
• Kailali district lost paddy crops worth Rs 77m
• Drought wreaked havoc on Bhojpur and Sarlahi districts, causing loss of Rs 50m and Rs 69m, respectively
• Farmers of Bardiya, Banke, Dang and Jajarkot districts incurred heavy loss in livestock, with the cumulative damage in the four districts
accounting for 94pc of the total loss
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