Food crop production has increased and that of vegetables has dwindled in Karnali province, according to a study. The Provincial Economic Activities Study Report, 2020/21 published by Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) shows that the area under food crop cultivation has increased by 2.69 per cent and the production by 6.52 per cent in the province. Similarly, the production of rice crop has gone up by 3.81 per cent and that of maize and millet by 17.45 per cent. However, the report shows the production of vegetables has decreased by 2.26 per cent.
The vegetable production in the province during the corresponding period last fiscal year had increased by 25 per cent. The report states that highest vegetable production in the province was reported in Salyan district and the lowest is Humla district. The production of eggs, meat and fish has climbed while that of milk products has dropped by 0.69 per cent. The study concluded that the decrease in vegetables and milk production was due to the lockdown and restrictions imposed in response to the COVID-19 risk.
NRB Karnali Province Office chief Binaya Sigdel said the frequent lockdown imposed to contain the risk of the pandemic has resulted in the contraction of the province’s economy. The NRB study shows that the tourism sector was the hardest hit due to this. The province has seen a sharp decline in tourist arrivals. The tourist arrival has decreased by 94.96 per cent. The number of tourist-grade hotels and lodges has declined by 6.43 per cent. However, the number of hotel beds has increased by 12 per cent. Meanwhile, there has been a notable increase in the registration of land and houses and the revenue from it. The registration has increased by 57 per cent and the revenue by 162 per cent.