Govt prioritising irrigation, says Minister Pun
Kathmandu, May 4
Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Barshaman Pun today said the government had prioritised modernisation of irrigation so that farmers of all levels could benefit and contribute towards commercialisation and industrialisation of agriculture.
Addressing the eighth Asian regional conference of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage ‘Irrigation in Support of Evergreen Evolution’, he said, “It is important for the country to balance the food-water-land-energy nexus to combat climate change. To adapt to this change, our government will equally focus on multi-purpose water use projects where agriculture, energy and livelihood will directly complement each other.”
Minister Pun informed that his ministry was now looking forward to these projects to improve economic development and contribute towards double digit growth and ultimately support the government’s agenda of ‘Prosperous Nepal and Happy Nepalis’.
In Nepal, as well as in most of the developing nations, small landholder farmers comprise majority of those involved in agriculture. With lack of modern technology, efficient techniques for utilisation of water, reliable access to energy and affordability of technologies, these groups of farmers continue to live in poverty.
“I believe, these discussions made during the conference would provide guidance on how a small developing country with majority of small landholder farmers can benefit from irrigation.
Further, large irrigation systems that were constructed in this region remain under-utilised. I hope these challenges discussed during the conference and ideas shared can be used for improving the efficiency, management, revenue generation opportunities and partnerships for sustainable operation of these systems,” Minister Pun said.
According to him, there is a need to clearly spell out irrigation and water resource project implementation arrangements in coordination with other private and public sectors to achieve the broader goal of evergreen revolution. “We have started integrating water resources related activities under one roof, but there is also need for more collaboration among stakeholders in the agriculture sectors.