National

‘Govt’s package will cover tenant farmers’

  • Agricultural recovery plan
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 16, 2017-

The government has assured that all every flood-affected farmer will be compensated for the damaged they suffered in the August floods. 

The Minister of Agriculture Development Ramkrishna Yadav said the government’s agricultural package would reach all the affected farmers, including tenant farmers. 

“All the farmers who lost their crops and properties in the monsoon flooding will be compensated,” said the minister.

The floods had affected almost all districts in the southern-plains, leaving 160 people dead and rendering thousands homeless. 

According to the Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD) estimates, the agriculture sector suffered around Rs5.84 billion in damages. Around 140,646 hectares of land was submerged in the disaster and destroyed 37,757 hectares of standing crops.

There had been concerns among tenant farmers that they might be ineligible for compensation as they neither had land ownership certificate nor any other relevant documents of tenancy.   

Minister Yadav, however, assured that no farmers, including tenant farmers, would be compensated for their losses. 

Receiving the signatures collected as part of the online campaign called “Make tenant farmers eligible for the Nepal Government’s post-flood agricultural recovery”, the minister said the government would ensure that the tenant farmers receive compensation. 

“Landowner only has the land, but it is the tenant farmers who invest their labour, time and money during farming. Landowner will get his share of money or produce whether the harvest was good or bad,” said Yadav, adding, “Tenant farmers are the rightful victims for receiving the government support.”

Under the tenant-farming, a popular practice in Tarai districts, farmers borrow land from landowners and pay either half of the yield or cash for using the land. But there are hardly any tenancy contract. 

According to the minister, the District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) will not seek any documents from such farmers while applying for compensation. The DADO will compile reports of damages and recommend for compensation. 

The compensation amount will be deposited into the bank account opened in the name of the farmer suffered the loss. “Floods have destroyed the crops, planted by farmers, not the landowner’s land. So, once the reports of losses are collected tenant farmers will not face any hassles for claiming compensation,” added Minister Yadav.   

According to the government’s Living Standards Survey 2010/ 2011, nearly 32 percent households are involved in some form of tenant farming in the country while another 

5 percent cultivate on rented farmland. 

The newly-formed local representatives can help in preparing a document proving that a farmer was cultivating the particular piece of land affected by the floods, assured the minister. 

The online petition campaign was launched by the Tarai Human Right Defenders (THRD) Alliance in support of such landless farmers and ensure them easy access to government’s agricultural recovery package.

Published: 16-10-2017 08:12

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