KATHMANDU, July 8: Minister for Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives Chakrapani Khanal has said that land fragmentation has become a big challenge to the government's efforts of increasing agro production.
Speaking at a program organized by the Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives (MoALMC), along with other organizations, in Kathmandu on Saturday to mark the 96th International Day of Cooperatives, Khanal said that cooperatives can play a significant role in increasing agro output by promoting land pooling or integrated land management as well as providing access to market for farmers.
The International Day of Cooperatives was commemorated in Nepal along with other countries with a theme 'Sustainable Societies through Cooperation'.
Stating that young generation is getting attracted toward agro and farming business in recent years, he said that the government should be able to provide them an assurance on security of their investment in agriculture business. He also said that cooperatives can help the government to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Also speaking at the program, former finance minister Bharat Mohan Adhikari said that cooperatives should focus on increasing their production to make a prosperous Nepal.
“Cooperative sector has equal responsibility as the government and the private sector in achieving the sustainable development goals,” he added.
Similarly, Keshav Badal, chairperson of National Cooperative Federation of Nepal (NCFN), said that the SDGs cannot be achieved without the participation of cooperative sector. He also said that collaboration with local units in the federal structure has become a challenge for cooperative sector to carry out their activities. He underlined the need to set up a cooperative desk in all local units manned by a cooperative officer.
Recognizing the role of the cooperative sector in meeting the SDGs, the high-level SDGs steering committee at the National Planning Commission (NPC) has included representation from the cooperative sector, according to the NPC's vice chairman Pushpa Raj Kandel.
“The cooperative sector can contribute to achieving the SDGs either through their investments or awareness,” said Kandel. “The NPC is ready to collaborate and work together with cooperatives in meeting the development goals,” he added.
Meanwhile, NCFN felicitated District Saving and Credit Cooperatives Sangh Ltd Chitwan with the 'Best Cooperative Award' for Fiscal Year 2017/18. Similarly, Bhandara Dairy Production Cooperative Sanstha bagged the 'Best Cooperative Award' in production sector.
Best cooperative from each province was also felicitated at the program.