Govt to remove middlemen from veggie markets
Kathmandu, May 6
The government is planning to remove middlemen who have a monopoly in vegetable markets across the country. The Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives (MoALMC) has included a plan to eliminate middlemen in vegetable markets in the 58-point ‘Transformation Roadmap-2018' for the improvement of agriculture, livestock, land management and cooperative sector in Nepal that it released today.
The trend in the country has been that the farmers who produce the vegetables do not receive the money that they should have due to the involvement of middlemen in the vegetable markets who take a hefty cut on the sales of vegetables. To discourage this tradition the government is planning to allot 25 per cent of stalls in big vegetable markets like the Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market to cooperative farmers. The ministry also plans to establish auction centres to determine the price of vegetables in such markets to reduce the activity of middlemen.
Chakrapani Khanal, minister for MoALMC, while releasing the Transformation Roadmap said that the ministry is also preparing to introduce new laws related to food right, food sovereignty and food security. “Regarding food sovereignty and food security for people, we are going to amend existing rules, laws, acts and bylaws and if needed we will draft a new law,” he stated.
“To fulfil the people's aspirations of development and prosperity, the government is more focused on qualitative development of agriculture, livestock, land management and cooperative sector,” informed Khanal.
The minister also said that the government has plans to conduct tests of agricultural land to check the quality of soil and provide soil health cards to farmers on that basis. The roadmap also has a provision to settle land disputes between land owners and tenant farmers as quickly as possible.
Likewise, the ministry is planning to develop pocket areas of high-value crops like tea and cardamom in Province 1, coffee in Province 5, herbal oils in Province 6 (Karnali) and olive oil in Province 7.