Rajbiraj, 14 June: Farmers in the Saptari district are busy reaping Chaite paddy but their confidence is crumbling as the produce prepared after two months of hard work is not yielding a reasonable price.
They have to clear the fields to plant paddy for the major season in the country that begins with the arrival of the monsoon in June.
The government has not announced the minimum support price of rice.
“Rice traders are asking for the product at a much lower price than our general expectations. It is difficult to recover the cost in paddy production,” said Binda Khang, a farmer of Rupani Rural Municipality, Ward No. 2. He said that the rice is stored in the field but the traders are reluctant to pay the proper price and due to the fear of rain, farmers are forced to sell the produce at a lower price.
Traders are paying Rs. 1,625 per quintal, said Sitawi Prasad Sah, another farmer. There is no alternative to get a better price of the product as the government has not announced the minimum support price.
Chaite paddy is produced in more than 10,000 bighas of land in Pouwa, Piprahi, Khudibakhari, Kochabakhari, Sakhada, Lokharam, Warahi Birpur, and Lalpatti. However, worm infestation had resulted in reduced production.
Farmers said that they had to invest a large amount of money in managing private boring, motor for alternative irrigation, as well as fertilisers and pesticides, increase the cost of rice production.
Last year, the district had produced about 125 tonnes of Chaite rice. This year the production is projected to decline, said Information Officer at the Agriculture Knowledge Centre in Rajbiraj, Dinesh Prasad Yadav