-Sonu Poudel

Seeds are the major inputs that drive improvements in agricultural productivity. High Quality seed alone contributes a 15-20% increase in output levels. Covid-19 is putting Nepal’s small scale producers and farmers under strain. The lockdown measures may help Nepal win against the virus but it has create many problems in agricultural sector. It has hit already struggling Nepalese farmers in terms of markets, prices of the agricultural goods.

As, 65.75% of the population of our country depend upon agriculture for their livelihood. But few months ago, there was lockdown up to 6-7 months, all the vehicles were stopped, so that the agricultural goods such as seeds, fertilizers, insecticides, pesticides and other agricultural equipment needed for the farmers could not be taken from one place to another. All the markets, agrovets, seed producing companies were seized. Due to this farmers cannot get certified seeds. Only some of the vehicles carrying agricultural goods were running with taking pass from the government, so farmers cannot get needed equipment in time and also the cost of vehicles was high.

A majority of seeds used by farmers across Nepal for both grains and vegetables come from outside country, mainly India. But, Indian boarders are not fully opened and the quality seed could not entered in our country. Farmers cannot get certified seeds and they are using locally available seeds which has create the problems in seed germination, which causes low crop stand establishment and finally low yields. During the season of cultivation of rice, due to shortage of seeds, farmers used locally available seeds. So, many problems had seen such as poor germination, poor crop stand establishment and finally there is low yield. The vegetable seeds needed for farmers is also not available, so most of the lands are left bare. The cost of certified seeds is increasing day by day due to this havoc and the farmers cannot afford them. Thus, there will be decrease in yield which is responsible for food shortage in coming days.

To summarize, constant increases in agriculture production and productivity is largely depends upon the quality of seeds. Increase productivity is the key to agricultural growth and helps in food security of the country. In recent time due to havoc of corona, there is shortage of seed. As a result agriculture production is decreasing which cause the food crisis in coming days. The agriculture sector should be put into consideration by government to minimize the possible crisis that could result because of this pandemic. Government should make the provision of supply the quality seeds to every corner of the country. Agriculture scientists can provide the awareness program about the idea of using locally available seeds using various measures through radio, television etc. In rural areas, there should be focus on the cultivation of locally available seed varieties and promotion of under –exploited fruits and vegetables. The concerned authorities and stakeholders need to emphasize the risk that the farmers will encountered to maintain the production. In the reduction of trade deficit situation, Nepal can focus on the agriculture sector by moving towards food self- sufficiency through the mobilization of available resources.

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