KATHMANDU, March 2: The UN food agency has forecasted huge fall in the production of winter crops in drought-hit hill and mountain districts.
“Due to almost complete absence of rainfall during the winter season, the outlook for the wheat and barley harvest is bleak, particularly in the rain-fed areas of the Far and Mid West as well as in several districts of central hills,” the World Food Program–Nepal in its crop situation update said Monday.
The WFP’s Food Security Monitoring and Analysis System had prepared the report after visiting 247 farmers in 20 districts which are hit by insufficient rain.
The report said 46 percent of the total farmers interviewed reported seed germination of winter crops – mainly wheat and barley—not well. A marginal 6 percent of the farmers had expressed their optimism over the winter harvest.
“Almost 70 percent of farmers expect a poor to very poor winter crop production with anticipated crop loss ranging from 30 to 50 percent or more,” the report further said.
The heavy loss in the winter crops has been attributed to lack of rainfall in those areas during the season.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives had recently reported the paddy and maize production of this year rose by 5.2 percent and 2.8 percent respectively.