World Bank's Nepal boss lauds Rupandehi farmers

KATHMANDU: The World Bank's Nepal Country Manager Takuya Kamata recently visited Rupandehi district of western Nepal to interact with commercial fish farmers there.

The top official interacted with grant recipients of the Project for Agriculture Commercialisation and Trade (PACT), a project the government has been running in the Bank's financial assistance since 2009.

On Friday, September 16, Kamata visited a fish production, processing and market management sub-project run by the Jaldevi Agriculture Cooperative in Dayanagar-9.

"I appreciate the cooperative's initiatives to increase the income of its members with fish farming in this rural area," he told the farmers. The official also requested them to increase production and earn more.

Out of Rs 9.2 million budget allocated for this sub-project, Rs 4.3 million would be the PACT grant and remaining amount would be managed by the grant recipients.

"PACT has already released Rs 1.8 million to the sub-project till now," informed Ganesh Bahadur Shahi, Chairperson of the cooperative.

The ponds of the cooperative cover a total land area of 206 hectares, after it added six more hectares to already existing 200 hectares after beginning of the sub-project.

As many as 4.5 tonnes of fish can be produced in a hectare generally and a kilogram of fish fetches around Rs 245.

The cooperative has also installed an ice production plant for packaging of fish during transportation to the market in various places including Kathmandu and Pokhara.

"Our aim is to control the import of fish from India," said Shahi.

The World Bank experts and officials including Senior Rural Development expert Purna Chhetri and Monitoring Officer Karishma Wasti; PACT Director Indrakanta Jha, Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Yam Kumar Shrestha among others were also included in the monitoring team.

Meanwhile, Kamata also visited a seed storage house operated with an assistance from the IWRMP project in Motipur of Rupandehi.