Shashank Koirala significantly understates Nepal’s arable land area

South Asia Check / March 1, 2021

Nepali Congress General Secretary Shashank Koirala on The Bravo Delta Show, which was aired on AP1 HD television on February 24. Photo: YouTube Channel of AP1 HD.

By Deepak Adhikari

Nepali Congress General Secretary Shashank Koirala speaking on the “The Bravo Delta Show” with Bhusan Dahal on AP1 TV on February 24 discussed various potential areas for Nepal’s development. He argued that tourism, hydropower and agriculture sectors could boost Nepal’s economic growth.

During the interview, Koirala said: “Our sectors with the most potential are tourism, and hydropower. The Covid pandemic has decimated tourism. But the recent growth in domestic tourism has brought some respite. Work is ongoing on the hydropower sector. Our third potential is the agriculture sector. We have 1.7 million hectares of arable land.”

South Asia Check has fact-checked Koirala’s statement.

According to the report titled ‘Statistical Information on Nepalese Agriculture 2075/76’ published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Nepal’s total cultivated agricultural land is 3,091,000 hectares and uncultivated agricultural land is 1,030,000 hectares. This brings the total arable land, which is the sum of the cultivated and uncultivated agricultural land, to 4.121 million hectares.

These figures are also mentioned in the Environment Statistics of Nepal 2019 published by the Central Bureau of Statistics. [see page 32 of the report]

Therefore, it is clear that Koirala has greatly understated the area of arable land in Nepal.

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