MoALD preparing to introduce Agriculture Act

Kathmandu, May 23

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) is preparing to introduce the new Agriculture Act for the betterment of the sector.

Till date, the agriculture sector of the country is being regulated by the National Agriculture Policy 2006, hence, the ministry has decided to introduce the new act and revise the policy based on the contemporary needs of the sector, said Hari Bahadur KC, spokesperson for MoALD.

“Till date we have been following the Agriculture Policy 2006 and preparing the framework and directives based on the need of the situation, but these framework and directives are not considered as law,” he said. “However, now all the issues and situations will be addressed in the same act,” he added.

KC further said that the new act is needed to decentralise the various practices involved in the agriculture sector.

According to him, the new act will comprise laws related with deciding commercial areas for agriculture and also rules related with land lease and agreements and procurement of agriculture goods, equipment, fertilisers, seeds and other items.

Similarly, the act will also include laws related with grant, subsidy, loan, loan interest, registration of farmers, traders and industries, agriculture and livestock insurance as well as regarding fixing minimum support price of crops.

MoALD has formed a committee led by its Joint Secretary Narayan Regmi to prepare a draft for the new act.

Meanwhile, a committee led by Spokesperson KC has been formed to revise and prepare a draft of the National Agriculture Policy.

“The committee to draft the act was formed a couple of days ago while the committee to revise the policy had been formed a month ago,”

KC said, adding, “Revision work of the policy is in the final phase and we will be ready with the draft in a few days.”

As per KC, the revised policy will address the issues of identifying current priorities of the agriculture sector, priorities of farmers and other stakeholders as well as keeping records of the latest updates in the agriculture sector.

“We realised that our 14-year-old policy was now irrelevant thus we are revising it,” he said. “The revised policy will prioritise climate change issues, food and nutrition safety and will also promote organic farming in the country,” KC added.

The parliamentary committees had also been directing the agriculture ministry to bring a new act by revising the current policies.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 24, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.