Fewer monsoon showers extinguish farmers' hopes in Nepal

Nepal Dry spells, shortage of fertilizers, and sweltering weather are significant threats to Nepal's farming future.

The shortage of chemical fertilizer, the drought-like situation in the southern Tarai, and the subsequent heat wave are major issues for Nepal's ailing economy.

More than 60% of farmers in Kailali rely on the monsoon to irrigate their fields.

"Only 30% of growers have access to irrigation," said Khagendra Sharma, director of the Dhangadhi Agriculture Knowledge Centre. "The remaining 10% obtain water from deep boreholes or other sources."

The monsoon season began late this season in western Nepal, including the districts of Kailali and Kanchanpur. Rainfall was also lower than usual, according to meteorologists.

South Asian meteorologists' predictions that Nepal would receive above-average rainfall proved incorrect.

"The western region received less than ten days of rainfall this year between mid-June and mid-August," Sharma said. "The crop situation in western Nepal is extremely concerning."

During the peak paddy transplantation period in June this year, the government failed to provide chemical fertilizers to farmers. The government promised fertilizer would be available once India began sending shipments under a government-to-government agreement. That, however, did not occur.