Monday, March 22, 2010

Agriculture in Nepal

Monday, March 22, 2010
Agriculture in Nepal

Nepal is an agro-based country. Most of the people in Nepal depend on agriculture which provides daily needs such as crops, vegetables, fruits etc. Most of the cottage industries in Nepal

are also based on agriculture because it supplies with raw materials. Some of the educated people are employed in other sectors such as teaching, office work, business etc.

Nepal is an agricultural country. About 80% of the people’s occupation is agriculture. Trade is also mainly of agricultural products. Agriculture provides raw materials for the industries. With the help of good manure, seeds, equipment and irrigation the growth of crops is increased in large quantity. Agriculture is known as the backbone of economy of Nepal. Agriculture occupation consists of three types: food crops, cash crops and mixed crops.

Food crops: The crops that are used for food are called food crops. Rice, maize, wheat, millet, etc. are good crops. Rice and wheat are grown in the plain areas, in the river banks where the land is hot and wet. Maize and millet are grown in the dry land of hilly areas.

Cash crops: The crops that are grown for sale to earn money are called cash crops. Jute, sugarcane, tobacco, tea, coffee, etc. are cash crops. Jute requires plain land with hot and wet climate. Sugarcane and tobacco are grown in the plain areas. Crops need water during their growing stage for a short time. Similarly, tea is grown in the slopes of hills which receive rainfall and the water does not stay for long. Tea is also grown in plains by providing favourable conditions for its growth.

Mixed crops: In some places, varieties of crops are grown at the same time. When more than one crop is planted at the same time and at the same place, it is called mixed crops. For example, along with maize, soyabean, beans, etc. are also planted. Similarly, in the paddy fields, lentil (dal) is planted side by side and fish are also reared in the fields. Such system is called the mixed cropping.

Livestock or Animal husbandry: It is a part of agriculture as this activity is closely connected with crop farming. It has become a sort of side job for the rural population in Nepal. They raise cows, buffaloes, goats, sheep, pigs, horses, donkeys and poultry. Farmers rear animals for milk, wool, meat and manure. Farmers earn extra money by selling milk and use bullock and male buffaloes to plough field and pull cart.

Horticulture: Horticulture means cultivation of fruits and vegetables. Mangoes, lichi, banana, pineapples, papaya, cucumber, lady fingers, brinjal, pumpkin are mainly grown in the terai and hilly parts of Nepal. Junar, oranges, lemons are produced successfully in the different parts of hilly region. Apples are mostly grown in mountain part of Nepal.

Fishery: It is very common in Nepal. Ponds are necessary for fish farming is considered as a profitable occupation. Fish provides protein and keeps us healthy. Fishery helps farmers to earn money.

Agriculture in the Terai

In the plains the land is very fertile. The rainfall and other climatic condition are also suitable to grow crops. So, the main occupation of the people in the Terai is agriculture. The main crops grown in the Terai are rice, wheat, sugar cane, maize, jowar, bajra and pulses. Rice needs hot and wet climate. There must be plenty of water during the period of its growth. The rice-growing season lasts about five months. It is sown in July-August and the harvesting is done in November-October. In some suitable areas, people grow rice twice a year.

Wheat is a winter crop. It is sown sometime in October or November, after the rains have stopped. The crop becomes ready in five months. The harvesting of wheat is generally completed by the middle of April. In the terai, the farmers also grow sugar cane. Sugar cane grows and ripens in about ten months. The juice is in the stem of the plant. When the plants are ripe, they are cut and sent to the sugar factory for crushing. The juice of the sugar cane is obtained by crushing. Then the juice is refined, and it is used to make molasses (gur), chaku and sugar.

Jute is another important crop in the Terai. It is mostly grown in Morang and Jhapa districts. From the stem of the jute plant a kind of strong fibre is obtained. This is used to make gunny bags, ropes and a number of other things. Beside these crops, the farmers also grow barley, gram, oilseeds and many kinds of pulses. They also grow many seasonal fruits and vegetables.

Agriculture in the Hills

Some people live in hilly areas. It is not unusual to find thick forests growing on the slopes of hills and mountains. Many of these forests, however, have been cut down. The tea plant grows well on the slopes of hills where it rains for the most part of the year. The hilly areas of Illam have ideal conditions for tea gardening.

Tea gardens are generally very large. In these gardens many women workers carrying big baskets on their backs. These women pluck the tealeaves and put them into the basket. When the basket is full, they carry it to the factory. In the factory, the tealeaves are sorted out and dried in a special way. Then, they are packed in boxes and sent out to distant places all over Nepal. Besides tea, the people in these hilly areas grow rice, sugar cane, maize and many kinds of vegetables.

Agriculture in the Mountains

In the mountains, rocky and uneven lands are present. In these rocky areas, the soil is not fertile. The rainfall is also not enough. So, here the land is not good for cultivation. The soil is sandy and dry. But the mountain region has a vast grassland which good for grazing. So livestock is the main source of income in the mountain region.


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