‘Capacity of agri sector needs to be enhanced’

Kathmandu, January 31

Minister for Finance Yubraj Khatiwada, has urged leaders of agriculture cooperative institutions to reduce production cost by increasing the competitive capacity of agricultural products.

At the 11th annual general assembly of the Nepal Agricultural Co-operatives Central Federation Ltd, Finance Minister Khatiwada said that domestic products could compete with imported goods of agriculture only if the cost of domestic agricultural products could be reduced.

He also clarified that there was no situation of revising the customs tax of five per cent that is being levied on agricultural products.

Mentioning that the government has adopted a policy to be self-dependent on basic food grains within the next five years, the finance minister insisted that the government, cooperatives and private sector should move ahead for the same.

Minister Khatiwada said, “We have not been able to attract micro insurance companies in agriculture and livestock sectors. The government will support the insurance companies involved in this sector. I urge the Nepal Agricultural Co-operatives Central Federation to lead this initiative.”

The finance minister expressed the belief that the insurance programme will reduce the financial risks of agricultural products.

On the occasion, Dipen Chepang (Makawanpur), Sabara Khatun (Bara), Pabita Devi Musahar (Dhanusha), Madan Singh Raute (Dadeldhura), Dinesh Saha (Siraha), Chabbilal Khadka (Surkhet) and Saroj Nepal (Morang) were honoured with Rs 5,000 for their

remarkable contribution in the country’s agriculture sector.

Likewise, Dipa Rana (Surkhet), Dip Narayan Purbe (Dhanusha) and Chiranjivi Bhandari (Jhapa) were honoured as the best managers.

Around one million farmers of 995 cooperatives of 71 districts are associated with the federation and have invested around Rs 45 billion in the domestic agriculture sector, according to the federation.