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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

Lentil (Sikhar) Cultivation for Grain and Fodder Froduction

Lentil (sikhar) cultivation for grain and fodder production


Generally, one half of the total cultivated lands (both lowland and upland) remains fallow during winter because of lack of irrigation, unavailability of suitable crops for winter, etc. But, lentil is one crop which can be grown during that time period. It helps strengthen crop intensification strategies of farmers and helps to enhance soil fertility by fixing the atmospheric nitrogen in the soil (as much as 124 kg nitrogen per hectare). In addition, the crop performs very well with the use of local compost plant materials and does riot need external input, i.e., chemical fertilizer. Thus, the crop is particularly suitable to farmers in mountain areas. Nepali farmers have a long history of growing lentil in the Terai; but lentil is a fairly new crop for the hills, especially in the eastern region.

Lentil also provides the following benefits to a farm family:

· increases harvest of grains and dry fodder through the use of winter fallow lands

· raises family income, because lentil is a high-value cash crop. (Note: in the eastern hills, the market price of lentil is Rs 20/kg).

· enhances family nutrition since lentil contains about 1.8% fat, 4.4% protein, and 50% carbohydrates.

· helps increase milk production from cows by at least 20%. (Note: as reported in the Madimulkhark, Sankhuwasava District)

· contributes to reduce the pressure on forest and pasture land due to the increase of total biomass production from farmlands.


1. Agroecological zones: Lentil is grown in low and midhills (from foothills to 1,750 m). Recently, farmers have demonstrated that the crop can be grown in high-altitude area (2,200 masl) after harvesting potato.

2. Cultural practices: Variety: Sikhar Seed rate: 40 kgs/ha (or 2 kg/ropani) Sowing time: August to October depending on elevation Manuring: 10 metric tons of local compost per hectare Cropping system:



Relayed with Maize

Relayed with Rice



Low Altitude

High Altitude

120 days

160 days