Foxtail millet farming in Humla on verge of extinction


By Our Correspondent

Humla, Oct. 2: Foxtail millet, locally known as Kaguno, was once the main crop cultivated in Humla. But now, it is on the verge of extinction.

The reason: there is no longer a demand for the crop in the market, pushing farmers to grow other, more commercially profitable plants. 

Jaibire Bohara, a farmer of Simkot Rural Municipality–2, who cultivated foxtail millet for 10 years, has now begun searching for alternatives. “I used to plant foxtail millet in four Ropanis of land until last year. But this year I shall only plant it in my small portion of land and I will plant other crops in my land,” he said.

Not only Bohora but also others here have switched their crops from foxtail millet to others. Whoever was planting foxtail millet it was either for their self-consumption or for small market supply. Bohora said that he used to produce up to five quintals of foxtail millet in previous years but now he has limited planting on a small part of the land.

“I used to earn enough money by selling this grain, however its demand dived and farmers like me stopped farming this crop,” he added.

Foxtail millet is beneficial for health and people in western part of the country used to consume it for their daily livelihood previously. Locals stopped consuming it because of the lack of publicity.

Foxtail millet cultivation, which is produced throughout the district, was once a good yielding crop in Humla. There are more than 10,000 households in this high hilly district and each family was cultivating it on at least half to four hectares of land.

After the imported rice started arriving from the Food Management and Trade Company Limited, the rice reached a state of extinction because the locals stopped using it. However, there is no information about how many hectares of land are cultivated in the district with the agricultural development office, the regulatory body of the agricultural sector, in the current financial year, Simkot Rural Municipality.

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