National Rice Day celebrated

Paddy DayKathmandu / June 29: The 13th National Rice Day was marked throughout the country including the Kathmandu Valley today, organising various programmes. Rice planting programmes have also been organised in different places on the occasion.

The theme of the National Rice Day today is ‘ Expansion of Community Nurseries- the Basis for Commercial Rice Farming’.

The Day is marked on the 15th of the Nepali month Asar every year. The 15th of Asar is the day when traditionally Nepali farmers finished planting paddy in their fields and enjoined in its celebration.

According to the Ministry fo Agricultural Development, rice has been planted in nearly 18 percent of the approximately 1.5 million hectares of land on which rice is cultivated. Rice is planted in 70 percent of arable land in the Tarai, 26 percent in the Hilly region and four percent in the Mountainous region. The Ministry stated that rice production last fiscal year was 4.3 million metric tonnes from 1.4 hectares under cultivation.

Agricultural scientist Dr Bholaman Singh Basnet says the rice production could be increased by 20 per cent provided that the farmers are given adequate inputs and facilities for rice cultivation.

It is stated that the country needs to boost rice production by at least 16 percent to meet the demand for rice expected to grow at 650 thousand metric tonnes per annum until 2030. Nepal has imported rice worth 18.86 billion in the last 10 months. RSS

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