The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development announced on Sunday that unseasonal rainfall and floods last week caused damage to paddy crops worth Rs8.26 billion, the largest loss on record, according to the ministry.
According to preliminary estimates of damages released by the ministry on Sunday, floodwaters have swept away or drowned ready-to-harvest paddy crops on 85,580 hectares of land throughout all seven provinces, including the capital.
According to the ministry, 325,258 tonnes of paddy, valued at around Rs 8.26 billion, has been destroyed. Farmers’ livestock and food housed in barns are not included in this calculation.
According to the Post, Agriculture Ministry spokeswoman Prakash Kumar Sanjel stated that agriculture ministers and secretaries from all seven provinces will meet on Tuesday to analyze actual losses and determine relief programs for impacted farmers.
It is possible that the losses will decrease or increase. Tuesday will be the day for the final details to be announced.”
President Bidya Devi Bhandari has summoned the agricultural minister, secretary, and other officials to the White House on Monday to assess the situation and negotiate the distribution of relief supplies.
Following unseasonal severe rains that began on October 17 and claimed the lives of more than 100 people, the country was engulfed in floodwaters, with villages in numerous areas completely submerged.
The month of October, which is generally outside of the monsoon season, is notable for its unusually heavy rainfall. Weather forecasters have predicted that additional rain will fall in the following days, raising concerns about the possibility of more flooding and landslides.
After beginning on October 17 in the western region of Nepal and moving eastward on October 19, the rains claimed a large number of lives and caused significant damage to roads, bridges, and other physical infrastructure in a number of districts.
According to the ministry, the province of Lumbini sustained the most losses. The torrential rains caused damage to more than 161,000 tonnes of paddy, worth Rs4.51 billion, during the harvest season. The floodwaters carried away or drowned paddy crops on more than 42,000 hectares of land in the most severely impacted areas, which included Bardia, Kapilvastu, Banke, and Nawalparasi.
The rains caused damage to 68,400 tonnes of paddy planted on 18,000 hectares of land in the Sudhupaschhim province’s Kailali and Kanchanpur districts. Rs1.91 billion has been determined to be the overall amount of losses suffered by the province.
In Province 1, more than 28,400 tonnes of paddy on 7,492 hectares of land have been destroyed, resulting in a loss of Rs800 million in revenue. Jhapa, Morang, and Sunsari are the districts that have been affected.
Province 2 also suffered a paddy crop loss estimated to be worth approximately Rs560 million. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, a total of 20,350 tonnes of paddy grown on 5,355 hectares has been destroyed in the districts of Saptari, Siraha, and Sarlahi.
Karnali Province has experienced paddy loss worth Rs300 million, according to official figures. More than 40,200 tonnes of paddy on 10,584 hectares of land in Dolpa, Jumla, Salyan, and Surkhet have been damaged, according to the government.
The districts of Syangja, Kaski, and Nawalparasi [East] in Gandaki Province collectively sustained paddy losses totaling Rs130 million in value. According to the ministry, more than 4,500 tonnes of paddy on 1,192 hectares of land had been damaged.
The destruction of 2,068 tonnes of paddy worth Rs58 million in Bagmati province has resulted in the loss of the crop. According to the ministry, paddy crops on 530 hectares of land in the Bagmati province’s Chitwan and Nuwakot districts were devastated.
The thousands of tonnes of ripe crops that were submerged would also have a lower market value because the quality of the commodities has been compromised.
It is a big blow for Nepal’s economy that paddy is being destroyed. More over half of the population depends on paddy as their primary source of income, which accounts for approximately 7 percent of the national gross domestic product (GDP).
The sudden and intense rainfall that happened in Nepal almost a month after the monsoon season normally finishes has left scientists wondering–and concerned–about the impact of climate change on the country’s economy and people’s livelihoods.
Economists believe that the destruction of human lives, property, and crops will have a negative impact on economic growth, which has already been slowed by the Covid-19 outbreak in the first place.
It goes without saying that the rainy season has a significant impact on Nepal’s economic well-being. Water from the skies is the lifeblood of Nepal’s Rs4.26 trillion economy, which is heavily reliant on agriculture due to the fact that over two-thirds of the country’s farmland is rain-fed. The unseasonably heavy rains that fell last week, on the other hand, spelled calamity.
Paddy is planted in most of Nepal in June and harvested in October, with the exception of the western region.
Economic analyst Keshav Acharya recently stated in The Washington Post that “based on preliminary loss statistics, we believe the country’s economic growth may decline by 0.5 to 0.6 percentage points.”
Other physical assets such as roads, bridges, and infrastructure have suffered significant damages. Furthermore, the loss of human life or human capital is significant, but it is not taken into account in the economic calculations.”