400 model farms to be developed in Gandaki

KASKI: As many as 400 model farms are to be developed in Gandaki Province to make the farmers self-reliant in agriculture by promoting commercial agriculture as an enterprise.

The provincial government’s Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives has called for proposals to set up model farms for farming, livestock and fishery as mentioned in its Annual Policy and Programme.

Minister for Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives, Lekh Bahadur Thapa, said that there is a provision of provincial government providing 50 per cent of the proposed cost for the first year to individual setting up the model farm.

The provincial government has allocated Rs 400 million in its budget for fiscal year 2018/19 with the objective of developing 400 model farms in the province. Of this budget, Rs 250 million has been earmarked for setting up model farms for growing crops, and Rs 150 million for developing model farms in livestock and fishery sectors.

According to Minister Thapa, project proposals registered at the province’s knowledge and expertise centre by individual farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs, firms, companies, groups and cooperative organisations for setting up and operating small, business-oriented, commercial and enterprise model farms would be evaluated and then selected.

A partnership agreement would be signed with the individuals or firms whose proposals have been selected after carrying out a site visit.

The Ministry stated that the proposed first year cost of the small model farm should be Rs 1 million, that of the business-oriented model farm should be more than Rs 1 million, of the commercial model farm should be more than Rs 2.5 million, and of the enterprise-based model farm should be more than Rs 5 million.