KATHMANDU, May 12: Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Dr Beduram Bhusal, has expressed concern over inadequate investment in the agriculture sector.
"Although agriculture is still a major backbone of the national economy, there is meager- only 3 percent of total budget- allocation in this sector. Promotion of agricultural mechanization and increase in budget is a must," Minister Bhusal said at a programme organized on 'availability of chemical fertilizers and problems in agriculture sectors' by the Sustainable Development and Good Governance Committee of the Parliament on Thursday.
According to him, farmers need half a million tonnes of chemical fertilizers. So, initiatives should be launched to ensure a budget on time, he stressed, sharing information that a decision was made to conduct a study whether it was feasible to establish a chemical fertilizer factory in the country. Similarly, the policies obstructing solving fertilizers problems were eased and a concrete decision was made to adopt the G2G model for smooth supply of fertilizers.
On the occasion, Secretary at Agriculture Ministry, Dr Govinda Prasad Sharma, informed that the budget was not allocated on time last year, but it is ensured this time. He also informed that all farmers would be brought to an online system by preparing software so that agriculture insurance would be made effective.
He, however, said availability of seeds was declining for five years. Moreover, lawmaker Bamdev Gautam spoke for making the local government more responsible for promoting agriculture. "Investing in rural agriculture and creating an investment environment can improve the situation," he suggested. Committee President Prakash Panth and members sought activism from the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development to strengthen agriculture by paying heed to farmers' problems.