Minister’s message for agro-specialists

KATHMANDU: Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives Mrigendra Kumar Singh Yadav today said that the agriculture specialists had a great responsibility on their shoulders as the population was increasing and arable land was depleting.

Speaking at a programme organised by Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), minister Yadav said that the experts should make use of the available resources to its maximum as the government was not at a state of affording modern equipment to bolster the production due to budget constraints.

While, experts of the agriculture sector underscored the need of more budget allocation for research in agriculture sector.

Uttam Kumar Bhattarai, Joint Secretary, said, “There is a need to increase budget in research in agriculture sector because it’s the only way to address the need of the increasing population.”

“The governments elsewhere spend around two per cent budget in such research. But, here in our country, the budget allocation for research is very less, which is a meagre 0.08 per cent,” he revealed.

He also underlined that the authorities were required to carry out works in order to avoid post-harvest loss of the crops.

Subashananda Baidhya, chief of Monitoring

and Evaluation Division, NARC, said, “It’s unfortunate as the importance

of research in agriculture sector for policy makers is decreasing every year.”

“In the year 2001/02,

the government had

allocated around Rs 190 million to execute research programmes for NARC. While, during the last fiscal, we had only around

Rs 130 million which shows that the research was less important for the policy makers,” he said. He said that, despite the budget constraints, they had

carried out some 505 projects last year.