The Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project has failed to deliver the expected results, the House of Representatives' Agriculture, Cooperatives and Natural Resources Committee heard today.
During a meeting of the Committee held in Singha Durbar today, Committee member Raj Bahadur Budha Chhetri was of the opinion of seeking clarifications from the Project Chief for the Project’s failure to increase the agricultural production.
The Project Chief deserved clarifications for being unable to give results as per the investment, he said.
The Project was launched some 15 years ago in 2073 BS. But, the import of agricultural products has not slowed down. The Project with its headquarters at Khumaltar of Lalitpur was allocated Rs 8.22 billion budget in the fiscal year 2077-78 BS (2020-21).
The allocated budget makes six per cent of the total budget of the Federal and Province (Bagmati) governments. The government had allocated around one billion rupees in the fiscal year 2020-21 for agricultural sector.
Committee another member Shakti Basnet said the expected results from the agricultural sector would remain unmet until Project Chief was held accountable for the Project goals and results.
The project has been implemented in the districts in 2077 BS. The government has invested in agriculture in all 77 districts through the total 16,829 agricultural groups.
In the first six months of the previous fiscal year, 2020/21, Nepal imported 300 million kilograms rice from India and 733,000 kg from the United States, according to the Department of Customs. Likewise, it imported 330 million kg corn from India, 2.4 million kg each from Brazil and Argentina and 350,000 kg from South Africa. The population of landless squatters and small farmers in the country is estimated to be 4 million.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has not been able to provide adequate land to those farmers who want to carry out leasehold farming. Import of agricultural produce is spiraling due to the inability to stop the fragmentation of cultivable land and to utilise the barren and riverine land.
Likewise, the state has not been able to allot land for cultivation to the agriculture labourers, the landless and marginal farmers. One hundred and sixteen thousand people have not been able to engage in farming as they do not have their own land, according to the Sixth Agricultural Census 2011.
As per the Census, 71 per cent of the country's total population is involved in full-time agriculture and among them 83 per cent are self-reliant in agriculture while 42 per cent have not been able to access the agriculture loans.
Source: National News Agency Nepal