Wheat and rice in the Nepal Tarai: Farm resources and production practices in Rupandehi District uri icon

abstract

  • A survey was conducted in Rupandehi District of the Nepal Tarai as part of a longer term research program to monitor changes in farmers' resources and production practices in the area's rice-wheat cropping systems. The methods used in this baseline monitoring survey are described, and the next four sections of the paper present the survey results. The different categories of farms, the resources dedicated to rice and wheat production, and the important interactions in the farming system are described. A detailed account of production practices, estimated yields, and costs of production for rice and wheat is followed by an analysis of the factors affecting yields in the rice-wheat system. Soil fertility, water management, crop establishment, and, to a lesser extent, pest management are all important for high, sustainable rice and wheat yields. The amount of nitrogen and phosphorus applied to rice and wheat is well below the level needed to obtain high yields in either crop. Increased levels of these two major elements as well as potash will be needed to prevent mining of soil nutrients. Manure is also essential for sustainable yields, and ways must be found to increase the amount of manure applied to crops. Future research should also emphasize r reduced tillage systems and better management of soil moisture to improve the turnaround time between rice harvest and wheat planting. Breeding research should focus on development more drought-tolerant rainfed varieties of rice, both for direct seeding and transplanting, rather than a shorter-duration variety for irrigated areas. Pest management issues require additional study through multiple field visits to better quantify and describe the various pest complexes. Finally, improved utilization of available groundwater will help stabilize yields and remove many constraints to higher yields. The paper concludes with a discussion of how future monitoring surveys and research will assist in clarifying and perhaps resolving some of these issues

publication date

  • 1996