Agriculture project fails to reach target

Lahan, February 24:

The long-term agricultural support project, which was started with a view to uplift the lives of poor farmers, women and backward communities, has not reached the target group yet.

The programme was started in Siraha as well as twenty other districts of the nation in fiscal year 2004-05 with an objective of reducing poverty by providing appropriate agriculture service to the poor and by reforming agricultural policies.

The programme was said to have been targeted towards the communities deprived of development opportunities.

The 19 organisations selected under the first phase of the programme in Siraha are situated around the highway area that is comparatively more developed and has more facilities than the rural regions of the district. Most NGOs working in Siraha are also concentrated in urban areas.

The district Support Unit of the programme informed that Rs 3.448 million has been provided to the 19 organisations as the first instalment. A total of Rs 11.644 million will be spent in different development activities under the programme.

Out of total 106 VDCs in the district, DDC has categorised 34 VDCs as the most backward and poorest with settlements of dalits and backward communities.

Similarly, 45 VDCs are categorised as remote and cut off from services including transport and communication. However, the long-term agriculture support programme has not included most of these VDCs in their development programmes.

Coordinator of the District Support Unit of the programme, Subal Shah said as no organisations from these VDCs sent proposals for the programme, it has been difficult to take the development programme to the target group.

Shah said in the second phase of the programme, the organisations active in the remote areas of Southern Siraha will be given the priority.