April 23, 2020 | Investopaper
The farmers here in Surkhet have not been able to carry out farming activities with the extension of the lockdown. The government has announced the lockdown since March 24 to prevent COVID-19.
They are facing problem preparing the fields for cultivation as the supply of fertilisers, seeds and agricultural implements has been disrupted due to the lockdown. The agrovet centres are closed, transportation of agricultural inputs has been stopped and other farming activities have been disrupted due to the stay-home order since the local administration has not included the agrovets under the essential services during the lockdown.
“This is normally the cultivation time for farmers but we are forced to close shops,” rued Yam Prasad Sharma, proprietor of Samridhdhi Agrovet at local Jumla Road in Birendranagar. He said the farmers have neither been able to cultivate vegetables nor to prepare paddy nurseries. He expressed worry that the production of fresh vegetables as well as paddy would decrease drastically.
There has been delay in sowing vegetables and crops due to the unavailability of seeds and fertiliser. Because the local administration would not allow the agrovet shops to open and transport the agricultural inputs, the farmers have not been able to cultivate crops and vegetables.
Ratna BC, a farmer of Birendranagar municipality-10, expressed her concern that she would not be able to cultivate her fields this time as she is not getting the seeds. “We have harvested the wheat and we should have cultivated vegetables in the fields by this time. It has been long since we prepared the fields for cultivating maize and fresh vegetables but it is suspended as we are not getting fertiliser and seeds,” she complained.
BC said there would be a big drop in production if the government did not ensure smooth supply of fertiliser and seeds on time.
The southern belt of Surkhet Valley is a pocket area for paddy and vegetable cultivation.