The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has started work on a relief package for farmers suffering huge losses due to the lockdown. According to farmers, they have been hard hit by problems in the supply of agricultural inputs, including animal feed. Similarly, they have been unable to get their produce to the market.
The rainstorm that ravaged settlements in Bara and Parsa districts on March 31 also destroyed crops worth millions in Bara alone, as per the preliminary estimate. According to Agriculture Knowledge Centre, Bara, crops that were ready for harvest including wheat, lentils, maize among others were damaged by the massive winds that struck the area.
Owing to various catastrophes, the country’s agriculture sector witnessed loss amounting to Rs 10.89 billion in the ongoing fiscal year, according to statistics compiled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives (MoALMC). This accounts for the loss that the sector faced from floods and landslides triggered by the heavy monsoon rains, hailstorms and storms in the current fiscal 2017-18.
Crop losses for farmers in the eastern Tarai district of Siraha are likely to reach Rs 6.4 billion (€50 mln) this year. According to the District Agriculture Office, the losses have been caused by strong winds and hailstorms from April to May. The district has been facing huge losses every year due to climatic stress like floods, storms and hailstorms. Also, farmers lack proper knowledge about the state-subsidized crop and livestock insurance schemes that have been running for the last five years.
Strong winds have damaged banana plantations in Nepal’s Kailali and Kanchanpur districts, causing farmers losses of over ₹44 million (€350,000). More than 800 farmers, who had planted bananas on over 35 hectares of land, have suffered great losses as 89,250 banana plants, ready to bear fruits, have collapsed due to strong winds.
Authorities have destroyed fowls and poultry products worth Rs7.068 million in contaminated zones successfully curbing an outbreak of severe H5N1 avian influenza which saw death of 2500 hens in the district, a week ago. A slaughter drive was initiated by the authorities after Khairahani Municipality-9 and surrounding regions were declared contaminated with bird flu as two poultry firms in the regions witnessed 2500 fouls succumbing to the avian influenza.
A hailstorm and continuous rain that lashed parts of Jumla last week damaged apple crops in many places, wiping out the fruits of a large number of farmers. Apple growers in Patarasi Rural Municipality said hardly any fruits were left on the trees. The Agriculture Office said that around 95 percent of apples had been ruined by the hailstorm in most parts of the district.
The hailstones that hit Jajarkot district last night caused heavy damages to crops and food grains, mostly wheat crop. Barekot Rural Municipality and Kushe Rural Municipality were the worst hit by the hailstones that occurred continuously for two hours. Janak Bahadur Shahi, a farmer from Barekot said that the hailstones caused a huge damage to the wheat crop which was ready to harvest.
A sudden gust followed by heavy rainfall and hailstorms last week destroyed much of the crops and vegetables in Dhading district. Especially Gajuri Rural Municipality ward 7 and 8 have been hit the most. “Just as we are about to reap the crop, the rainfall washed them all away,” lamented Kumar Adhikari, a local of Gajuri-7. “The yields that we are supposed to suffice for the whole year got washed away in an instant.”
The death of poultry due to infection from Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza H9 has increased in Chitwan district, which is also known as the poultry capital. A large number of chickens have died following the outbreak of infection caused by H9 virus, which was detected in the country in the beginning of February.
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