29 June 2020, Kathmandu
Today is the most awaited day for the farmers across the country eagerly waiting to celebrate Dhan Diwas or Asar 15 also known as ‘Dahi chiura khaane din’. Nepal has been marking Asar Pandhra, the fifteenth day of the third Nepali month, as National Paddy Day since 2005. The slogan for this year’s national paddy day is an increment in paddy production, independence, and prosperity.
The day bears special significance to farmers in Nepal as it is celebrated with gusto across the country as the day for developing quintal by planting kilos. Though Nepal government has made the nationwide lockdown ease which has been enforced since March 24, farmers are seen engaged with enthusiasm to mark the day.
They go to the paddy field, dance, mud-splashing, furrow the field, plants rice and eat beaten rice with yogurt (dahi-chiura) including different other fruits. Asare bhaka or Asare jhyaure geet is the acclaimed society tune that is sung in the paddy fields amid rice manor this month. The day is all around checked even in the urban communities in any event by taking beaten rice with yogurt.
Rice ranks the first among cereal crops in Nepal in terms of area, production and livelihood. Considering the important role of rice in the economy and food security, Nepal Government has prioritized the development and deployment of new crop varieties and quality seeds. According to the Department of Agriculture (DOA), nearly 20% of paddy plantation has been complete by June 29, which is 9% more than last year. Last year, some 11% plantation was complete by this time.
With the advancement of new technology, rice plantation process has been improved so far replaced it by modern technologies. However, there still are many places in Nepal where rice planting festival is celebrated delightfully commemorating the legacy of Nepali tradition and culture.
This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the nationals are losing their employment. They are being compelled to change their work in such productive sector. Although nearly 80 percent of the population relies on agriculture in some way, but there is not enough production to support the population. Thus, agriculture in Nepal being central to the economy of the country must apply effective measures to meet the growing demand in order to fulfill the common motto of ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’.