Farmers of Jhapa Gauradaha have become enthusiastic after the introduction of a dryer machine for drying paddy.
After the introduction of the dryer machine, the farmers have become enthusiastic to dry and store Chaite paddy and get a good price. Under the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Modernization Project, a ‘movable’ dryer machine has been provided to the model integrated agricultural cooperative farming in Gauradaha Municipality-5 in cost-sharing.
The Chairman of the organization Vedanidhi Chapagain said that it was easy to dry the paddy after getting the dryer machine. “There is a problem of not selling spring paddy and not getting the price,” he said. “This time, the price of paddy has come down to Rs 500 per quintal.
He said that a dryer machine is very much needed for Chaite paddy in Jhapa. Under the group, farmers have been cultivating Chaite paddy in 80 bighas. “We have also started collective farming with the objective of commercializing agriculture,” he said.
Chairman Chapagain says that 4,000 manas of paddy was produced last year. Arjun Khatiwada, a farmer of Gauradaha-5, said that there is a problem as paddy has to be imported during the rainy season. He said that the market price would not be available if the paddy could be conserved and stored. He said, “Keeping the paddy dry increases the price by 30 to 40 percent.
Farmers say that they are compelled to sell paddy no matter how cheap or expensive it is as it contains a lot of moisture.
Rabindra Subedi, a senior agriculture officer at the Prime Minister’s Agriculture Modernization Project, Project Implementation Unit, Jhapa, said that 50 percent subsidy has been given for sample integrated agricultural cooperative farming in dryer machines and 85 percent for post-harvest construction.
The project implementation unit has given a grant of Rs. 2 million for the dryer machine and Rs. 2 million for construction of post-harvest. Rice, as well as maize, can be dried from the dryer machine.
“The success of the machine remains to be seen,” said Subedi, a senior agriculture officer.
According to him, Chaite paddy has 30/35 percent moisture, less than 18 percent for storage of paddy, and up to 12 percent for seeds.
He said, “Dryer machine can dry the paddy and store it for two / four months. Farmers can wait and sell it at a good price.” He said that this time too, there was a complaint from Jhapa’s Gauradaha that Chaite paddy was not getting a fair price.
According to the project implementation unit, the area under Chaite paddy in Jhapa has increased from 1,500 bighas to 2,100 bighas.