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close this bookRegenerative Agriculture Technologies for the Hill Farmers of Nepal: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1992, 210 p.)
close this folderCropping systems and post-harvest technologies
View the documentRelay Planting of Winter Crops in Maize
View the documentOptimum Planting Density and Spacing for Maize
View the documentRice Technologies for Nepal Hills
View the documentFinger Millet in Nepal: An Improved Production System
View the documentIntercropping of finger millet (kodo) with crotalaria (sanai)
View the documentLentil (Sikhar) Cultivation for Grain and Fodder Froduction
View the documentSarkari Seto: A Traditional Potato Variety for the Hills
View the documentGrain Storage Management for the Hill Farmers
View the documentLong- Term Storage of Seed Potatoes Using the Diffused Light Storage Principle

Rice Technologies for Nepal Hills

Rice is the most important staple food crop of Nepal. It is cultivated on 55% of the cultivated land. Of the total area under rice cultivation 20.25% is in me hills and the rest is in the Terai (77.64%) and in the mountains (2.11%). Nepals hill rice farming is divided into three distinct climatic zones: cold temperate, warm temperate and sub-tropical.


Climatic Zone

Elevation (m)

Crop Duration

Rice Varieties

Water Regime

Cropping Pattern


up to 1,100

· January/February to June (first crop)
· May/June to October (second crop)


· irrigation

rice/rice/winter crop

Warm Temperate


September/October (depending on varieties)

warm temperate

· monsoon rain
· natural streams for irrigation

rice/winter crop

Cold Temperate

1,400 3,000

March/ApriI to October (depending on altitude)

cold temperate

· monsoon rain crop)

rice (only one

Two distinct types of rice fields exist under each of the three climatic zones. They are:

1. Lowland Rice Field (Khet Land): Water impounded rice field.
2. Upland Rice Field (Bari Land): Sloping rice field where water cannot be impounded.

Climatic zone - Lowland - upland


The proper selection of appropriate rice varieties for each of the three climatic zones and agroecosystem in me hills should be emphasized. Lowland rice varieties are different from upland varieties for all three climatic zones.


Land Type
Climatic Zone




Early season crop (Jan/Feb to rune) · Ch-45 · Chaite 2, 4 and 6
· Bindeshori · Khumal-3 Normal season crop (May/June to October)
· Janaki ·Masuli Radha-9 ·Khumal-2 and 4

Chaiya-2 Local Ghaiya

Warm Temperate

· Khumal-2, 4 5 and 7 · Himal · Kanchan · Tainan-1
· Chainung 242 · Taichung 176 · Chainan-2

local varieties

Cold Temperate

Palung 2 · Chhomrong local, local varieties

local varieties

Crop management:

Seed management

1. Seed management

· Disease-free, quality seed without any varietal mixtures should be used. (Vitavax @ 1-2 gm/kg seed),

· Under-sized seeds to be eliminated,

· Seeds should be pre-soaked and sprouted for wetbed,

· Dry seed is used for dry beds.

· Seed rate: 50 kg/500 sq m. seed bed. to transplant 1 ha paddy field; (2.5 kg/25 sq m."" " 1 Ropani)

2. Seed bed management

· Needs good land preparation with pulverized soil and welldecomposed farmyard manure (FYM)

· Seed beds should he one metre wide with a 50 cm ditch in between.

3. Nursery management

· Systemic insecticides - used two times: 1. 10-12 days after germination, 2. 2 days before uprooting seedlings to kill all insect pests in the seedbed, Furadon/Forate @ 10 kg/ha. net seedbed avg.

· Irrigation is a must during the use of insecticides

· Weed the seed bed before uprooting seedlings.

· Intermitant irrigation ifs undertaken in a wetbed.

· Topdress urea - one week before uprooting seedlings(1 kg/Ropuni seed bed).

· Age of seedlings: 4 weeks old/4 month variety 4-5 leaf stage for transplanting

Seealing Growth

· Proper and timely incorporation of well decomposed FYM. @ 15-29 dokos/Ropani (25 kg/doko).

· Land preparation with good pulverization of the soil.

· Proper incorporation of balanced fertilizer (60-80 kg N., 40-60 kg P2O5, and 20-30 kg K2C ha), (3-4.5 kg N. 2-3 kg P2O5 and 1-1.5 kg K2O Ropani) and all P2O5, and K2O is applied as basal dose)

· Transplanting is done in lines.

Nutrients needed by the rice plant

Line transplanting

5. Azolla Incorporation Green Manuring:

· Spread Azolla during transplanting. Good coverage of Azolla after 1015 days of transplanting. Incorporate Azolla manually can be seen.

· Green manuring including traditional green leaf application is also promoted.


Azolla is a water fern usually found in ponds or stagnant water. It is present in the Terai and in the mid-hills of Nepal. It can be grown as a green manure before planting rice and/or grown together with rice. Azolla is incorporated when it covers the surface. It is a fast growing fern and its biomass is approximately 20 t/hectare when it covers the surface.

A single incorporation of Azolla can give upto 30 kg N/ha. Azolla should be incorporated into the soil when it covers the surface. Incorporation can be done any time from the tillering stage to the heading stage of rice.

Source: S. L. MASKEY

6. Weed:

Weed 20-25 days after transplanting, Rogue off-type plants during weeding.

7. Topdressing of fertilisers:

1. 20-30 days after transplanting (25% N.).
2. One month before heading - panicle initiation stage (25%N.)

8. Plant protection:

· Do not use poisonous chemicals since we would have killed most of the insect pests in the seedbed stage.

· Encourage natural enemies. There are also lots of predators (ants, spiders. wasps) in the main rice field which will kill the insect pests.

Plant protection - encourage natural enemies

9. Harvesting, Threshing, Drying and Storage:


1. When over 80% of the grains mature
2. If the variety is of shattering nature be sure to harvest in time.

Threshing: Manual (if the variety is easy to thresh. Pedal thresher, if difficult to thresh).


· To 14% or lower moisture content. (When the grain cracks easily while biting).
· Don't dry too much (<10% moisture) for seed.
· Clean well before storage.


· As far as possible, store the grain in metal bins or earthen pots to save the grain from rats and insect damage.

· Avoid the use of chemicals. Instead use biopesticides - Xanthoxyllum dust or Artemisia dust in packets of thin cloth bags inserted in the bins.