Budget 2007-08: Agriculture

Rs 5.82 billion

Kathmandu: The government has allocated Rs 5.82 billion for the agriculture sector this year. The allocation, 47.3 per cent up from last year’s budget, is expected to help the commercialisation and diversification of the agriculture sector.

The allocation was ma-de with hopes that it will ensure availability of agriculture credits, promote research activities and le-ad to expansion of market for agriculture products.

Taking agriculture as the mainstay of poverty alleviation, the budget aims to commercialise the sector and boost productivity. The budget has prioritised investment for the construction of rural roads, irrigation facilities and market promotion activities.

Budget has also been allocated for the expansion of tea cultivation in the eastern hilly districts and coffee plantation in the western hilly districts with the aim of increasing the income of farmers by focusing on high-value cash crops and off-season farm products. By expanding onion cultivation in the additional 2,400 hectares of land in Saptari, Siraha, Bara, Sarlahi, Dhanusha and Rupandehi, attempts will be made to substitute import of onions.

Industrialist Kumud Duggar said there is nothing new in the budget. He said, “This year’s budget will not lead to massive economic growth because it is not aggressive.”

Hira Kaji Manandhar, chief of planning division at the Nepal Agriculture Research Council, said that budget for agriculture sector is progressive.