BUDGET : Country

Rescue poultry firms

Narayangarh: The poultry industry has suffered most due to conflict. Therefore the government, through the upcoming budget, should write off its total interest for the past one year and allow payment of 50 per cent interest for the next year on the total amount of money invested, if it wants to promote this sector. Also, a provision for paying loans in instalment after every three years should be initiated to facilitate poultry entrepreneurs. Poultry entrepreneurs should be given concession in electricity bill as is given to other farmers in terms of irrigation. Also to help poultry business flourish, concession on income tax should be given for the next ten years. The interest rate should be less than eight per cent for investment. The provision of custom char-ges and VAT should be excused for the import of equipment related to poultry firms.

Tikaram Pokharel, chairman, Nepal Poultry Entrepreneurs Forum

Drastic steps needed

Dhangadhi: The budget should be prepared by breaking all traditional methods, keeping in mind the new reality of the coutnry. The budget should bring a change in the realm of agriculture because Nepal is an agricultural country and its well-being depends to a great degree on it. Today, the burning problem for agriculture is the lack of irrigation. Therefore, the budget should give priority to irrigation. For the management of irrigation, sources of water should be better managed. Our agriculture technology is still based on traditional technology. The budget should play the role of helping agricultural researchers and scientists. Agricultural products being produced by farmers should get a proper market. The new budget should guarantee easy availability of agricultural equipment. Investment of non-governmental organisations in agriculture should be monitored. The new budget must bring in drastic changes in the realm of agriculture than previous budgets.

Khyam Sharma Poudel, senior officer, district agricultural development office

Commercialise sector

Dharan: 40 per cent GDP in our country is generated by agriculture, which is the main occupation of over 80 per cent. Therefore, at least 25 per cent of the budget should be set aside for market-oriented research in agro-based production, reform of agricultural methods and creating opportunities of employment in agriculture. The armed conflict has decreased agriculture production significantly. The budget should bring in programmes to turn the traditional agriculture into a market-oriented, commercialised sector with export potential. It should bring new programmes to promote exports and replace imports. Stress should be given in producing specific products in specific areas. A market and export promotion coordination centre must also be established so that produces can be supplied to customers easily. The essential technology, skill and package should also be arranged. The youth and women should be given commercial training to increase their participation in production and reduce migration.

Shambhu Raj Katuwal, manager,

Agro products market

Attach top priority

Bhairahawa: Only active participation of farmers could lead the nation on the path of progress. The production cost of agricultural commodities should be low, while the cost of agriculture products should be high. The government should not only provide fertilizers, agricultural equipment and pesticides at cheap rates, but it should provide subsidy to farmers. The government should purchase agricultural products at a certain rate and control of the agricultural market should be strengthened. The budget should try to reduce the gap between landowners and peasants. The traditional methods of farming should be transformed into modern and scientific methods.

Agriculture-oriented technology and education should be introduced. It is seen that large-scale entrepreneurs have been enjoying facilities from the government in the name of agricultural industries. The budget should introduce programmes to provide basic facilities including health, education and transportation to farmers in rural areas.

Bijaya Pandeya, agriculture expert