The parliamentarians participating in the Committee of Industry, Commerce, Labour and Consumer Welfare on Sunday have underscored the need for making the country self-reliant in agriculture.
Expressing their dissatisfaction over Nepal's dependency on foreign countries for agricultural products, they spoke of the need to commercialise agriculture in the country.
Parliamentarian Amrita Devi Agrahari viewed that Nepal should emulate other countries' best practices for commercialisation of agriculture. As for inviting foreign investment in agriculture at the time when food products were being imported to Nepal from other countries, Agrahari opined that bringing in foreign investment would be a good choice only if we were unable to produce food products abundantly and export.
Likewise another parliamentarian Gopal Bom worried for the huge area of arable land left barren as more and more Nepalis were flocking abroad for employment. He assessed, "The fertile land is left barren. We have no alternatives expect to rely on foreign countries for food items. Either the barren land should be brought to use or continue being dependent on other countries."
President of the Committee Bimal Prasad Shreevastav remarked that the government had not made a clear decision regarding attracting foreign investment in which particular sector. The Committee earlier has also concluded that inviting foreign investment in the agriculture was not necessary immediately.
Shreevastav expressed his displeasure over the government's tendency to allow the same in squarely manner. He was concerned about the farmers if the foreign investment were invited in the sector Nepal attainted self-sufficiency.
Similarly, Secretary at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies Dinesh Bhattarai explained that the government had called for foreign investment with a plan to become self-reliant in agriculture and export the surplus.
"The government aims to generate jobs and export locally produced food items," he said, adding, "It takes a huge investment to be self-reliant in agriculture. The government could not currently ensure investment in such scale."
Source: National News Agency Nepal