By Laxman Kafle Kathmandu, June 27: With the beginning of monsoon, farmers across the country are now busy transplanting paddy. Asar is popularly known as ‘mano ropera muri ubjaune’ (growing more by sowing less) time. Paddy plantation has completed in about 20.05 per cent of the total paddy field across the country as of June 24, thanks to the timely monsoon rains. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, paddy plantation has completed in 275,029 of 1.37 million hectares of paddy field across the country. Paddy plantation this year is 8.41 per cent higher than the corresponding period last year. By June 24 last year, paddy plantation was completed in 11.64 per cent (160,000 hectares) of the paddy field. Spokesman at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Dr. Hari Bahadur KC said that the plantation activity was moving smoothly across the country due to the regular rains. The progress in plantation is satisfactory till the date, he said. This year, the monsoon started in Nepal on June 12, delayed by two days. He said that the paddy plantation has been taking place across the country, especially in the hilly and Terai regions following the recent rainfall. “Definitely, present scenario of monsoon and rainfall shows an encouraging progress in paddy plantation in the beginning of the season. However, further rainfall will determine the total paddy plantation area and production of this year,” he said. Paddy plantation completed in about 26.07 per cent of paddy filed in the mountain region, 20.07 per cent in the hilly region and 19.75 per cent in the Terai, he said. Paddy is grown in around 48,193 hectares of land in the mountain region, 346,099 hectares in the hilly region and 977,414 hectares in the Terai. Paddy plantation in the Terai, the major paddy production region of the country, has remained quite low during the review period, he said, adding that the plantation in the Terai would go up rapidly in coming days as plantation in the Terai will continue till the end of Shrawan (mid- August). By now, paddy plantation has completed in the largest area of paddy field in State-5 followed by Sudurpaschim State. In State-5, paddy plantation has completed in 36.26 per cent (110,086 hectares) of land, 21.46 per cent (35,328 hectares) in Sudurpachhim and 20.11 per cent (7,721 hectares) in Karnali as of Wednesday. Likewise, the lowest paddy plantation has been carried in State 1 where plantation has completed only in 10.41 per cent (28,731 hectares) of the total paddy field. Paddy plantation has completed in 13.72 per cent (14,857 hectares) in Gandaki State, 15.53 per cent (56,764 hectares) in State 2 and in 18.68 per cent (21,542 hectares) in Bagmati State. He said that the paddy plantation area is expected to increase this year as the federal government has been conducting various programmes and awareness campaign in the coordination of state and local governments with a view not to leave the land barren. “At a time when the large number of population is in the rural areas due to the COVID-19 at present so there will not be a shortage of manpower to plant paddy in time. Timely arrival of monsoon will support for the plantation. So, the plantation area and the production are likely to increase this year,” Dr. KC said. He said that there was no problem of paddy seeds in the market even during the lockdown which was also another positive aspect for paddy plantation. He, however, said that grievances were among the farmers for their failure to get chemical fertilisers. He claimed that the AICL and the Salt Trading Company Limited had supplied more chemical fertilisers this year than last year. The government is effortful to supply required amount of chemical fertilisers to the farmers at the earliest possible.