Nepal needs 215,400 tonnes of food for next 3 months

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Nepal needs 215,400 tonnes of food for next 3 months

May 19, 2015-

The Ministry of Agriculture Development has projected that Nepal would need 215,400 tonnes of food for the next three months to avoid a possible food deficit in the districts most affected by the earthquakes. The ministry has also sought at least 15,000 tonnes of food for the less affected districts.

Speaking at a meeting organised by Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources on Tuesday, Agriculture Secretary Uttam Kumar Bhattarai said that that quantity of food was necessary to meet the requirements in the affected areas.

The preliminary report of the ministry suggests out of 31 districts affected by the earthquake, the farm sector in the 14 districts, including Gorkha, Sindhupalchok, Dolakha, Ramechhap, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, Nuwakot, Rasuwa and Lalitpur have been highly affected.

The ministry said the earthquakes have caused Rs 10.69 billion in loss to the farm sector, including the loss of 135,187 tonnes of food stocked by farmers in houses that collapsed in the quakes which alone stood at Rs 8.11 billion. That consists of paddy, maize, wheat, buckwheat, pulses, spices along with the seeds.

Similarly, the livestock industry has incurred a loss of Rs 1.39 billion and damage to the infrastructure in the agriculture, animal and research fields was estimated at Rs 1.19 billion.

A total of 53,081 cattle died in 23 districts died in the earthquake, with Kavre, Rasuwa, Gorkha, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchok districts bearing the brunt. The earthquakes also killed an estimated 551,000 chickens and ducks in these districts.

Meanwhile, the Parliamentary Committee has directed the government to arrange the seeds of all summer crops and supply them to the local market while paying special attention to maintain a food sovereignty. It has also called for implementing the short-term policy prepared by the ministry to provide relief to the quake-affected people.

Rs 2b sought to compensate livestock

The Ministry of Agriculture Develo-pment on Tuesday proposed the government to distribute Rs 2 billion to the farmers who lost their cows and buffaloes in the April 25 earthquake.

The ministry has already forwarded the proposal to the National Planning Commission, seeking its permission to compensate the affected farmers at the rate of Rs 75,000 for each cow and buffalo lost in the disaster. An estimated 16,000 cows and buffaloes were killed in the earthquakes. The ministry has suggested to provide funds for the treatment of injured livestock. “We are also preparing long-term plan and policy of agri sector as demanded by the NPC,” said Agriculture Secretary Uttam Bhattarai.

Published: 20-05-2015 08:01

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