Jhapa farmers excited to adopt advanced technology

Farmers in Jhapa have been employing advanced technology in farming for a while now. That has resulted in the modernisation of agriculture in the district.

The production cost has decreased and difficulty in finding farm workers has been solved after the cooperatives and institutions related to agriculture started working on the use of advanced technology in paddy cutting, separating grains from the plants and planting modern paddy. Small Farmers Cooperative Limited on Wednesday celebrated ‘National Paddy Day’ by planting paddy using modern machine in Lakhanpur of Kamal Rural Municipality-7.

According to Meghnath Timsina, Agriculture Secretary of Province 1, farmers of the province are excited to use modern technology in paddy farming. He said that the change in agriculture was possible through the use of technology, machinery and group farming.

For the convenience of the farmers, the government has started providing grants and assistance to various cooperatives, agricultural farms and agricultural groups for the operation of custom hiring centres. The province government has allocated a large portion of the budget for modernisation of agriculture, mechanisation and promotion of collective and land consolidation farming, Timsina said.

In the current fiscal year, two modern and well-equipped four-wheeler paddy sowing machines have been introduced in Kamal Rural Municipality through the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Modernisation Project Implementation Unit Jhapa. Small Farmers Cooperative Limited Lakhanpur in coordination with other three cooperatives has introduced the machine in the district.

According to Tanka Parajuli, manager of the cooperative, a new chapter in agriculture has started in the region as farmers can now use the machine of the cooperative by paying a fixed rent. He said that they have outlined a plan to provide agricultural hiring equipment to the farmers by setting up a custom hiring centre.

In Kamal Rural Municipality Ward No.1 Indreni, Navodaya and Purwa-Nepal Cooperative Limited has jointly formed a multi-purpose joint cooperative agricultural firm and has been doing collective farming with modern machinery and equipment. According to Khagendra Bhandari, manager of Indreni Multipurpose Cooperative, it would be time efficient in planting paddy though it seems difficult to install paddy seedling in the machine. He added that it would take less than an hour to plant paddy in 1 bigaha (0.6 hectare) of land.

He said that they had introduced paddy dryer machine in the region and that the problem of farmers not getting appropriate payment for paddy grain because they could not dry paddy on time due to unfavourable weather could be solved.

The Small Farmer’s cooperative in Maharanijhoda of Gauradaha Municipality of Jhapa has been doing model collective farming in Nepal. This is considered to be a model in the district as the local farmers have leased their farms for a fixed amount and has adopted collective farming system through the same farmers. According to Meena Dhakal, chairperson of the Small Farmer’s Cooperative Maharanijhoda, the use of mechanisation has been adopted in collective farming.

It is estimated that paddy will be cultivated in an area of 87,500 hectares in Jhapa this year, said Sagar Bista, head of Agriculture Knowledge Centre Jhapa. About 18 per cent paddy has been planted so far. It has also been stated that planting has not been possible in the last few days due to continuous rains.

He said that it may not take much time for planting as more technology and mechanisation facilities have reached the farmers than before. Farmers, however, were worried about manure shortage, he said.

Source : TRN,