LETTERS

Let peace prevail:

Lok Raj Baral’s article “Peace agreement” (THT, Nov. 27) endorses the notion that G P Koirala and P K Dahal should both receive the Nobel Peace Prize. Frankly, it’s the people of Nepal who deserve it more. Donors should now be requested to write off their debts as a “peace and democracy dividend” and have them deposited in that fund, too. This capital endowment would empower those households below the poverty line to meet their basic needs.

Every Nepali welcomes the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). We pray to Lords Pashupatinath and Gautam Buddha that lasting peace may prevail in Nepal. However, this calls for truth and reconciliation as envisioned in the CPA and not political revenge as recommended by the Rayamajhi Commission, whose suggestions will go down in history as a farce because of its legal, moral and ethical deficiencies.

Madhukar SJB Rana, Jawalakhel

Exemplary:

November 21 was a landmark in the history of Nepal as it spelled the end of the decade-long insurgency. The accord has set an example for the rest of the world to consider following when dealing with conflicts. The seven parties, the Maoists and the martyrs deserve credit for this success. Now all the parties should unite to move ahead resolutely.

Dhananjay Shah, RIBS, Balambu

Ineffective:

As if to underline the weak support for agriculture development outlined in “Agriculture stays on govt backburner” (THT, Nov. 23), there was not a single letter to the editor in this regard.

Finance minister, former finance ministers, WB and ADB chiefs, and high powered/paid consultants, lamenting government support to Agriculture Prospective Plan (APP) and agriculture in general, would look ridiculous if I could just stop crying. They are the ones who are responsible for setting previous development and budget priorities and creating institutional mechanisms to support the (APP) project. Then years later they gather to blame the government for not supporting agriculture properly! The “only” way to make farmers more productive is a process that most of these economists and policy makers have a longstanding collective phobia of: agricultural and rural mechanisation, which the APP totally ignores.

Their phobia is based on an understanding that mechanisation can only come via Western-style mechanisation process using harvesters as big as a house and large horsepower tractors that “might” create a redundancy in the rural work force. Yet, more cheap and efficient tools and machinery are coming from China and elsewhere, that, via tens of thousands of small and poor service providers, can selectively mechanise labour

bottlenecks, reduce farmers’ costs, make them more competitive, even increase job opportunities.

This is the Eastern-style mechanisation where mostly small-scale equipment is used in small, fragmented holdings to boost production and bring multiplier effects to the employment-generating rural non-farm sector. New leadership is the first thing Nepal’s agriculture sector needs. The second is a new and improved plan.

Scott E Justice, National Agricultural and Environmental Forum, Kathmandu