PM agri modernisation project to boost output

- Post Report, TAPLEJUNG
Taplejung aims to spend Rs19.2 million under the project in the district within this fiscal year

Mar 13, 2017-The District Agriculture Development Office (DADO), Taplejung, has asked local farmers to apply for grants under the 10-year Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project launched by the government this fiscal year in a bid to boost agriculture productivity in the country. 

Farmer’s groups, water resources consumer groups and agri-entrepreneurs of the district are allowed to submit proposals for government funding with the DADO Taplejung. 

The DADO Taplejung aims to spend Rs19.2 million under the project in the district within this fiscal year and has marked pocket areas for large cardamom and potato farming. 

Likewise, farmers from all parts of the district can apply for funding to grow fruits and other crops. The district office will approve 15 applications from among the total received.  

According to Rabindra Bahadur Pradhan, chief of the DADO Taplejung, any farmers’ group or agri-entrepreneur wishing to run a large cardamom farm or potato farm must have 100 hectares of land. The requirement is 10 hectares for other farm products. 

“Since, it will be difficult for individual farmers to attain economies of scale and increase productivity, we have encouraged farmers’ groups with large plots of land to initiate commercial farming,” said Pradhan. 

“As an individual cannot own more than 3.5 hectares of land in the hilly region, farmers will have to form groups or lease additional land to be eligible to get grants from the project.”

A couple of months ago, the government launched the Rs130-billion Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project, which envisages adopting modern farm techniques to boost productivity and making the country self-reliant in food.

As per the plan, the government will be creating 2,100 pocket areas of 10 hectares each, 150 blocks of 100 hectares each, 30 zones of 500 hectares each and seven super zones of 1,000 hectares each to bolster the country’s agriculture productivity. 

Under the super zones category, Jhapa will be promoted for paddy, Bara for fish, Kaski for vegetables, Kavrepalanchok for potato, Dang for maize, Jumla for apple and Kailali for wheat.

The government will implement the project under a private-cooperative-group partnership model. The government has aimed to achieve self-sufficiency in wheat and vegetables by this fiscal year, and in paddy and potato in two years.

The government has targeted making the country self-sufficient in maize and fish by the next three years and in fruits like bananas, papaya and litchi by four years. By the end of the project period, the country is expected to become self-sufficient in fruits like kiwi, apple and orange.

Published: 13-03-2017 09:34

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