A farmer plows a field with the help of ox-driven plow at Marchawar in Rupandehi district. Photo: Mohabbad Habib/Republica
BHAIRAWAHA, Sept 21: The agricultural sector does not even feature as a priority sector for Marchawar, which is often regarded as the country’s breadbasket.
Instead, the rural municipalities surrounding the Marchawar area have kept infrastructural development as their priority sector.
For the Kotahimai, Sammarimai and Marchawari rural municipalities, agriculture, the major source of local economy, remains a neglected sector.
The rural municipalities have been giving priority to building roads and buildings for the past three years. Though the farmers have been raising voice about scarcity of seeds and irrigation facilities for many years, the local authorities have been turning deaf ears to their concerns.
Most of the people of the Marchwar area are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. However, lack of budget and programs from the local government bodies has left the local farmers helpless.
“The local bodies know that farmers have been facing the problems of irrigation and fertilizers. The farmers are at a pathetic condition,” said Ram Sumer Yadav, a local farmer.
A farmer from Kotahimai said that the only technical service they receive from the government bodies is through junior level officers.
The budgets assigned on agriculture have remained low in those rural municipalities. Marchawari Rural Municipality has allocated budget of Rs 450.65 million for Fiscal Year 2019/20. Out of this, only Rs 3.5 million has been allocated for agriculture.
Likewise, Kotahimai rural municipality has allocated a budget of Rs 450.44 million for the FY2019/20, out of which only Rs 4.2 million has been assigned for agricultural activities such as commercial vegetable farming, maintenance of livestock farm, fish farming and pocket zone for vegetable production.
Similarly, Samarimai Rural Municipality has allocated 470.31 million for the current fiscal year. However, only Rs 5 million has been separated for agriculture.
Seeing the budget structure of the local bodies, there is no proper planning and strategy for agricultural growth in the region.