KATHMANDU, Dec 12: The government has set aside Rs 160 million for the promotion of commercial farming of fruits and lime.
Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development in collaboration with the National Center for Fruits Development (NCFD) announced the two projects by publishing its framework on Tuesday. While the government has set aside Rs 6 million for the promotion of lime farming, Rs 100 million has been allocated to promote commercial fruits farming.
Talking about the Lime Development Project Framework 2018, Senior Horticulture Development Officer Rajendra Koirala said that the project aims at reducing lemon imports into the country which is growing with every passing year.
According to statistics maintained by Kalimati Fruits and Vegetable Market Development Board, the country imported lime worth a staggering Rs 2.15 billion from India in Fiscal Year 2017/18.
The government launched the project as Nepal’s climatic condition is suitable for lime farming. Koirala, who is also the spokesperson for the NCFD, said that of the allocated Rs 6 million, Rs 4.4 million has been allocated for local units while remaining Rs 1.5 million has been given to the central level authorities. “Six local units -- five in Gulmi and one in Lamjung -- will implement the project,” he said, adding that commercial lime farming is being done in Arghakhachi, Bhojpur and Sunsari districts.
“However, production is not much satisfactory. That is why we have brought this project in order to increase production of lime,” he added.
Under this project, several technical, as well as farming trainings, will be imported on farmers interested to begin commercial lime farming. The government will also provide seeds and other facilities.
Likewise, the government will provide 75 percent of the farming cost to farmers as subsidy.
Similarly, the government is investing Rs 100 million for the promotion of commercial fruits farming. By implementing this project, the government aims to reduce fruits imports into the country.
Nepal has imported fruits worth Rs 11 billion in the current fiscal year so far, statistics show.
The project will cover public land on Singha Durbar premises as well as ministers’ quarter at Pulchowk. According to the project framework, Okhaldhunga has been selected for pomegranate farming and Kapilvastu, Rautahat, Sarlahi and Mahottari for mango and litchi farming. Similarly, kiwi farming will be promoted in Ramechhap, Solukhumbu, Western Rukum and Makwanpur, while Kailali, Tanahu and Parbat have been selected for orange farming.
“The government is hopeful that these projects will promote self-employment among youths as well as fruits farming,” Koirala said, adding: “We will be focusing on proper monitoring of the project as well as committed to facilitate farmers so that these projects give desired results.”