Agriculture Ministry and IRRI sign agreement

KATHMANDU: An agreement to help make Nepal self-reliant in rice production has been reached between the Ministry of Agriculture and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), today.

Agriculture Minister Chakra Pani Khanal and IRRI Director General Matthew Morell signed the agreement amid a programme at the Ministry. Paddy is the major crop of Nepal, nonetheless, we import about six million metric tons of rice annually. The country produced around 4.3 million metric tons of rice last year.

On the occasion, Minister Khanal said that the Ministry was working to increase rice production by adopting scientific measures and technology. On the other hand, the IRRI has planned to hand over the paddy seeds — which sustain in dry and inundated areas as well — to the farmers.

The IRRI is supporting the National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) with new paddy seeds and technical assistance. The agreement will be effective for five years.