The monsoon this year has been delayed by more than two weeks, proving forecasters wrong. This has pushed back paddy planting season because two-third of Nepal’s farms depend on rains. Rice plantation has started only in areas with irrigation channels.
It is already 1 July, and paddy trans-plantation has begun in only 15% of farms, according to government statistics. This week saw some farmers in Bhaktapur and Budhanilkantha in Kathmandu Valley and neighbouring districts plant the season’s first rice seedlings. But many of the farmers practicing subsistence rain-fed agriculture across Nepal are still waiting for the rains to arrive.
Photojournalists Monika Deupala, Min Ratna Bajracharya and Bikram Rai travelled across Kathmandu Valley and surrounding districts to capture this season’s rice planting ambience in photographs and video.