NFC performance not up to the mark: Agri ministry officials

Published On: September 17, 2018 03:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

The commission used 86 percent of the total budget allocated for Fiscal Year 2017/18

KATHMANDU, Sept 17: National Farmers' Commission (NFC) spent Rs 81.7 million of the allocated Rs 94.5 million in Fiscal Year 2017/18. But the commission, which has been formed to protect and promote rights of farmers through modernization and commercialization of farming, does not have much to show, government officials say.

In its second annual report submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development on Sunday, the commission said it conducted several farmer empowerment trainings and seminars in the last fiscal year. According to the report, it also conducted several studies and investigation over problems being faced by farmers across the country.

However, the commission has failed to deliver any result toward addressing concerns of farmers.

NFC President Chitra Bahadur Shrestha handed over the commission's second annual report to the ministry on Sunday.

According to the report, farming area visit and other organizational and communitarian studies of agricultural sector are some of the works carried out by the commission in the last fiscal year. However, NFC has failed to deliver any positive results from its works and activities.

The commission conducted empowerment and awareness programs in Janakpur, Sindhuli, Kavre, Chitwan, Dhangadhi, Banke, Butwal and Biratnagar in the last fiscal year, according to the report. Similarly, observation field visits were conducted to flood-hit districts of eastern and western Nepal as well as different private firms.

The report states that the commission conducted studies and investigation over issues of farmer categorization, farmer identity card, agricultural insurance, agricultural productions, import and export, and management of useless land, among others. Perhaps, the only tangible achievement of the commission is the farmer identity cards. Based on the suggestion of the commission, the government is preparing to issue identification cards to farmers.

Responding on the report, Yubak Dhoj GC, secretary for the agriculture ministry, said that the commission was still to bring out core issues of farmers in the country. “Most of the issues raised in this report are general. We were expecting the report to be more specific. But it didn't happen," he added.

GC further added that along with finding out farmer's problem and suggesting the ministry to sort them out accordingly, the commission should also study rules and regulations related to farmers and suggest to the ministry if they need to be updated.

Reminding misuse of agricultural budget in the previous year, GC also asked NFC to look into such issues and update the ministry.

Similarly, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Chakra Pani Khanal, said that the commission needs to work hard to address issues of farmers. "Certainly, NFC is discharging responsibilities assigned to it. However, I feel it needs to work more on its core agendas," he added.

Minister Khanal also said that the ministry would scrap non-performing agencies under the ministry if they do not improve their performance.

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