Nepal | July 09, 2020

NFGF urges MoALD to prioritise small farmers in next budget

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, May 4

The Nepal Farmer Group Federation (NFGF) has submitted a 20-point recommendation to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development (MoALD) to be included in the budget for next fiscal year.

NFGF has recommended MoALD to prioritise issues of small farmers in next fiscal’s budget. A large number of landless, women and small farmers are involved in farming, it said, adding the government should take the responsibility of their livelihoods as mentioned in the memorandum submitted to MoALD today.

The NFGF has requested the ministry to manage improved seeds, irrigation technology, agriculture insurance, subsidised agriculture loans, easy availability of fertilisers as well as guarantee a market for their produce.

“The existing policy of grant distribution should be amended and new policies should be implemented so that the real farmers can receive the grant instead of people who have political connections,” reads the memorandum.

The federation has further requested MoALD to arrange COV- ID-19 relief package with compensation for vegetable farmers, livestock farmers and flower farmers.

Meanwhile, it has stated that a large number of migrants have returned home and more are likely to return as unemployment is increasing in foreign destinations too due to the coronavirus. So, taking advantage of this situation, MoALD can bring a special programme targeting migrant workers to attract them towards agriculture and encourage them to stay and work in Nepal.

NFGF has stated that at least 20 per cent of budget of provincial and local governments should be utilised for agriculture development.

Likewise, it has also urged the ministry to keep records of landless farmers, agriculture workers, small farmers and big farmers to identify the real farmers.

This could help the ministry to prepare programmes for respective areas.

“MoALD should prioritise classification and distribution of farmers’ identity cards in the upcoming budget. Livestock insurance should also be promoted even in rural areas of the country as lots of farmers are still unaware about livestock insurance,” reads the memorandum. The federation has also stressed on prioritising production focusing on cooperation among local governments, farmers’ groups, agriculture cooperatives and group farming.

The government should set support price for all crops, it said. Sustainable market for farmers’ products should be arranged in cooperation with local governments, cooperatives and farmers’ groups. The memorandum has also mentioned about establishment of cold stores, promotion of organic farming and establishment of seed banks.

NFGF has also asked the ministry to arrange farmers’ health insurance, farmers’ pension and decentralisation of administrative work of MoALD. It has also appealed for agriculture experts and technicians in rural areas and revision of the 20- year agriculture strategy of MoALD.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 5, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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