Govt implements farm modernisation projectThe government has implemented the Rs130-billion Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project, which envisages adopting modern farm techniques to boost productivity, and making the country self-reliant in food.
The government has implemented the Rs130-billion Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project, which envisages adopting modern farm techniques to boost productivity, and making the country self-reliant in food.
The Ministry of Agricultural Development said Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is scheduled to formally launch the 10-year scheme within the next two weeks.
Shankar Sapkota, assistant spokesperson for the ministry, said the project will have 317 staffers.
A Central Management Unit (CMU), which will be responsible for the implementation of the project’s programmes, has been set up in Harihar Bhawan, Lalitpur. The 30-strong CMU will be led by Joint Secretary Achyut Dhakal as project director, and will include four under-secretaries.
As per the plan, the government will create 2,100 pocket areas of 10 hectares each, 150 blocks of 100 hectares each, 30 zones of 500 hectares each and seven super zones of 1,000 hectares each. “The government has already appointed and mobilised 30 staffers to oversee the zones and seven staffers for the super zones,” said Sapkota. In the first year, the ministry plans to spend Rs5.78 billion to adopt modern farming practices. The ministry has already completed working guidelines for implementing the project. The guidelines have been approved by the National Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry. The plan envisages making the country self-reliant in farm products by promoting mechanisation, technology and proper and efficient use of seeds and fertiliser to increase productivity, said Sapkota.
Under the super zones, Jhapa will be promoted for paddy, Bara for fish, Kaski for vegetables, Kavrepalanchok for potato, Dang for maize, Jumla for apple and Kailali for wheat.
The government will implement the project under a private-cooperative-group partnership model. The government has aimed at achieving self-sufficiency in wheat and vegetables by this fiscal year, and in paddy and potato in two years.
The government has targeted making the country self-sufficient in maize and fish by the next three years, and in fruits like bananas, papaya and litchi by four years. By its end, the project envisages becoming self-sufficient in fruits like kiwi, apple and orange.
The pocket areas will get subsidies on fertilisers and irrigation besides technical support. Easy availability of seeds and saplings will be ensured. Farmers in the blocks, zones and super zones will receive additional benefits, including an 85 percent subsidy on the construction of agro production collection centres, warehouses, haat bazaars and processing and training centres.
Those involved in commercial farming in the blocks will get a 50 percent grant to purchase equipment. The government has also announced the services will be provided through 15 mobile laboratories in the specialised agriculture production areas.