NARC to begin ‘outreach research projects’ soon

Kathmandu, October 26:

With an aim to make agricultural technology adaptable to farmers, the Nepal Agriculture and Research Council (NARC) is all set to carry out ‘outreach research projects’ this year.

Dr Hira Kaji Manandhar, planning division chief at the NARC, said it would

carry out 523 outreach projects across the country this fiscal year. A total of Rs 29.1 million budget has been earmarked for the projects.

About 50 research stations of the NARC in different parts of the country would implement the outreach research projects with the participation of the farmers along with the scientists from Department of Agriculture and partner NGOs.

According to Manandhar, outreach research is participatory research conducted with farmers’ participation to experiment new technology going in fields. “The number of outreach projects have increased by 30 per cent this year as farmers complained that the NARC does not hand over technology to the real users,” Manandhar said.

He said that the outreach research projects would familiarise farmers with developed technologies. “It will also be an opportunity for us to collect first-hand feedback of farmers,” he said.

“The NARC has not been able to carry out outreach research projects, field experiments, reconstructions and rehabilitations due to lack of budget, though it is in the priority-list of the NARC,” he said. According to him, about 54 per cent of the total budget is spent for staff salaries and administration. The NARC had proposed Rs 495 million, but got only Rs 415 million this year. “The government should increase the budget to conduct such research projects which are really useful for farmers and the NARC itself,” he said.