MoAD to hire agro technicians

Kathmandu, August 25

In line with the government’s announcement to appoint at least one agriculture technician in each of the 3,276 village development committees (VDCs) in the fiscal budget 2015-16, the Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) has requested the Ministry of General Administration to start the process of hiring 3,000 agriculture technicians. As per the government’s plan, one livestock and one crop technician will be appointed alternatively in the neighbouring VDCs.

According to Babu Ram Adhikari, spokesperson for the Ministry of General Administration, the organisation and management survey will be conducted as per the request of MoAD to create the post for agriculture technicians. Based on the survey results, the ministry will request the Public Service Commission to conduct an examination to select the required number of agriculture technicians.

After the recruitment, each VDC will have an agriculture technician and MoAD has expected that the farmers at the grassroots level will be able to avail services more easily.

The government is aiming to complete the process of hiring agriculture technicians within six months of this fiscal and has allocated Rs 170 million this fiscal for the purpose of salary and other expenses for agriculture technicians in each VDC.

Currently, there are 273 agriculture service centres across the country. However, the number of service centres is inadequate to expand the agriculture extension services to the needy people at the grassroots level.

As per MoAD, there are 999 livestock technicians currently working in different parts of the country. The organisation and management survey will look into the number of required livestock technicians and crop technicians, according to Udaya Chandra Thakur, spokesperson for MoAD.

Likewise, the MoAD has also proposed to the Ministry of General Administration to hire technicians on a contract basis until permanent technicians can be employed in 12 districts where the paddy mission programme has been launched. The government has launched paddy mission programme in a dozen high yielding districts of the Tarai to achieve the goal of being self reliant on rice within three years.

Paddy mission programme is being conducted in Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Parsa, Bara, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur, according to MoAD. Under the programme, paddy will be cultivated two times a year — from April to June and July-August to October-November.

The programme, which was initiated this year, will conclude by 2017-18. The programme aims to increase national average production of rice from 3.3 metric tonnes per hectare to four metric tonnes per hectare by then.