Nepal | July 15, 2020

Govt aims to make Nepal self-reliant in milk, meat

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The government has targeted to make the country self-reliant in milk, meat and vegetables in the upcoming fiscal year.

Unveiling the federal budget for the next fiscal year, Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada said that the budget for fiscal 2020-21 will be more focused on increasing productivity and yields of the agriculture sector.

The government has allocated Rs 41.4 billion for the agriculture sector for the next fiscal year. Of the said amount, Rs 29.32 billion is for the federal government, Rs nine billion for provincial governments and Rs two billion has been allocated for local governments.

“To address the impact of COVID-19, the government will promote labour mobilisation, mechanisation and modernisation,” he said, adding, “The agriculture sector will now be developed as a job generating sector.”

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project (PMAMP) will be revamped and ‘one local unit, one pocket area project’ will be promoted.

A total of Rs 3.22 billion has been allocated to establish 250 pocket areas across the country, while the government has allocated a total of Rs 11 billion to ensure availability of chemical fertilisers.

Likewise, the government will also build 200 food banks for which Rs one billion has been allocated. Aiming to manage local products, the government will operate 78 agriculture markets across the country.

Likewise, under the food safety project, the government will establish food quality control laboratories in Karnali and Gandaki provinces.

The government has also increased the coverage on agriculture and livestock insurance.

The finance minister also announced that grant will be provided to farmers doing agriculture business via land banks. In the next fiscal, the government has targeted to promote land banks and cooperative banks to promote agriculture and especially benefit smallholder farmers.

While the government has allocated Rs 950 million to distribute grant to sugarcane farmers, Rs 500 million has been allotted to arrange for one agriculture and livestock technician in every local unit.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 29, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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