Province 3 targets agri self-sufficiency in 3 years

- NAGENDRA ADHIKARI, HETAUDA

Apr 9, 2018-

The provincial government of Province 3 has set the target of becoming self-sufficient in production of fruits, vegetables, flowers, honey, mushroom, fish, milk, eggs and meat within three years. It has also set a target for essential food items within five years.

Secretary of Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives Banshi Sharma presented this goal during an interaction programme organised in Hetauda which was attended by the Chief Minister, provincial ministers, secretaries and experts from related fields.

 The province plans to establish a modern powder milk factory within five years to solve problems of milk holiday (when dairies do not purchase milk from farmers) and other issues related to marketing milk.

In a bid to promote commercial agriculture, the provincial government plans to enact a policy of 5 percent subsidy on agricultural loan and to put up ongoing projects as collateral for agricultural loan. The ministry also notified that it will not tax agricultural income up to Rs500,000 annually.

 The province will soon set up “Fertiliser Residue Measurement Labs’ to facilitate the distribution and selling of agricultural produces by testing fertiliser residue at important border points and wholesale markets.   

Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives informed that it will implement necessary acts and regulations in accordance with national Land Use Policy (2015) in order to control land splits, dual ownership, and to limit the surge in fallow agriculture (land which is plowed and tilled but left unseeded

during the growing season). The ministry is also making preparations to implement commercial farming in cooperatives and groups.

During the programme, experts from agricultural, land management and cooperative sectors suggested that economic prosperity would be achieved only with increased productivity from the agricultural sector.

They highlighted that the strategies and multiyear projects and programmes of the ministry should focus on agricultural productivity.

A participant Mitra Raj Dhawadi said, “Prosperity is not possible without increasing per unit productivity.” Some participants opined that the provincial government should fine farmers for keeping land fallow as this means that the land is left unused instead of growing crops.

Chief Minister Dor Mani Paudel said that the province would provide agricultural subsidy according to the level of production. He said, “The five percent tax currently in practice in the agricultural sector is unreasonable. We should focus on subsidies and grants for the development of agricultural sector.”

CM Paudel said that subsidy and grants would be provided according to production to prevent rampant abuse.  Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Dawa Dorje Lama said that the government was mainly focused on land preservation. Former Minister Anand Pokharel said that the government should implement agricultural policies according to land characteristics.

Published: 09-04-2018 09:24

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