Province 1 govt mulls distributing subsidy to farmers based on production volume

Published On: November 30, 2019 09:36 AM NPT By: Binod Subedi

BIRATNAGAR, Nov 30: The government of Province 1 is mulling over a policy of providing subsidy to farmers based on their production.

Harihar Poudel, under secretary at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Planning, told Republica that the ministry was preparing a policy on distribution of subsidy to farmers on the basis of production as a pilot program.

Stating that cash subsidy provided to farmers was being misused, the ministry decided to provide subsidy based on their production volume.

“For example, farmers will get Re 1 subsidy on every liter of milk they produce once the new policy comes into effect,” he said, adding: “The misuse can be prevented by providing subsidy on the basis of production volume.”

Poudel also said discussions were on to change the name and working modality of agriculture knowledge centers as their work and service delivery was not becoming effective. “The nature and work of such centers is not according to the name. That is why we have started discussion to change the name,” he added.

According to Abhinash Bohra, a central member of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI), the government should provide identity card to farmers for effective distribution of subsidy. “It is high time the government initiated measures to control misuse of subsidy,” he added. He also suggested the provincial government to invest in cold storage facilities so that farmers get good price for their produce.

Meanwhile, farmers have complained that agriculture sector was not benefiting from the government’s policy and programs. “Government officials say farmers and farming sector will get priority. But real farmers are not getting any benefit,” Laxman Bahadur Karki, a farmer based in Morang, said. He said farmers were not getting return of their investment. “For example, the government fixes minimum support price of paddy. But traders do not pay us that price. We are left with no option but to accept whatever price they offer,” he added.

Another farmer, Chudamani Shrestha, said increasing dependency on imported seeds could create in the future. 

Meanwhile, Narendra Khadka, chairperson for Province 1, FNCCI, said that the federation was conducting research on the possibility of investing in agriculture sector.

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