HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) will launch a food security project in far-western districts. The ministry is doing its home work to implement the project in the next fiscal year.
“We are developing project modalities,” said joint secretary at ministry and director of the Global Agriculture Food Security Project Dr Prabhakar Pathak. “The project will cover five districts — Jumla, Humla, Kalikot, Mugu and Dolpa — of Karnali zone along with Bajhang, Bajura and Jajarkot districts,” he said. According to him, the project will promote traditional food grains to solve the problem of food shortage in the eight districts. The project will add new technologies to improve the productivity of traditional food grains. “We will not introduce new improved seeds and chemical fertilisers in the project,” he said, adding that improved traditional or compost fertilisers will be used. The project will also not make farmers of the region depend on imported seeds and fertilisers. “It will break the dependency trend in districts that face food shortage,” he said. Five districts along with other hill districts of far west have been suffering from food shortage since 1970s. The government has been providing subsidised food to people in the region despite promoting local food grains, fruits and vegetables. According to the World Food Programme (WFP), about seven million people residing in far and mid-west hill districts are suffering from a famine-like situation. The Global Agriculture Food Security Project has given a contract to Nepal Agriculture Research Council to develop technologies for the region. “Line agencies of MoAC will implement the project which will cost around Rs 493 million ($ 58 million),” he said. The government bagged the project through a global competition called by Multi Donor Trust Fund managed by World Bank last year. The fund has granted $ 46.5 million for the project and the government has added $ 11.5 million to the fund.
DDC incurs heavy losses
KATHMANDU: Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) has suffered huge losses due to the incompetence of its management. “DDC lost Rs 113 million under general manager Dr Siyaram Singh,” said outgoing agriculture minister Mohamed Ikabal Ahamad. Singh was found guilty of buying low quality milk-packaging materials. An investigation conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives has suggested the government to recoup Rs 600,000 from Dr Singh
for violating the Public Procurement Act in
buying the packaging materials.