Transforming Nepal’s Agriculture Sector

September 9, 2023 07:45 am

The Seventh National Agricultural Census data released recently by the National Statistics Office (NSO) paints a grim picture of the state of our agriculture, raising ominous signs for an agrarian country like ours. Over the past decade, Nepal's cultivable land area has dwindled by a staggering 300,000 hectares, plummeting from 2.5 million to 2.2 million hectares.

Karnali, Aug 31: The Karnali provincial government is to establish a liquid nitrogen plant. The process of constructing the plant is forwarded under the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives' approved programme for the fiscal year 2023/24.

CHITWAN, Aug 20: Julie Mahato, a farmer residing in Kalika Municipality Ward No. 5, has embraced modern farming practices that align with the seasons. When challenges arose with her cultivated crops, Mahato found herself facing difficulties seeking consultations. However, this is no longer the case as she has transitioned to seeking advice through mobile applications from the comfort of her home.

TIKAPUR, July 27: This year, farmers from the southeastern part of Kailali have been cultivating using fertilizers brought from India after not finding any in the local market.

In a country like Nepal, where agriculture forms the backbone of its economy, the plight of farmers is a matter of utmost concern. The recent incident in Khalanga in Darchula district, where vegetables are rotting in farmlands due to disruption of road transport as a result of landslides caused by monsoon rainfall, highlights the pressing need for the government bodies concerned to take immediate action to ensure easy access to markets for the farmers.

KATHMANDU, May 16: The very first meeting of the Agriculture, Cooperative and Natural Resources Committee under the House of Representatives on Tuesday decided to draw the government's attention towards the urgency to promote domestic production of vegetables and ensure the effective testing procedures to detect pesticides in imported vegetables.

KATHMANDU, April 5: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that only agriculture-based industries will be sustainable in Nepal. He said that trying to open industries other than those based on agriculture will not be sustainable.

Artificial intelligence and robotics technology, for example, can assist in lessening the physical work necessary for farming, making it a more appealing alternative for young people who are not interested in hard labor. Advanced technology can also support the agriculture industry in increasing crop production while decreasing prices, making farming a more appealing career option for young people.

KATHMANDU, Dec 26: A study conducted by the National Planning Commission (NPC) has suggested to restrict foreign investment in the primary sector of agriculture.

Prosperity through Agriculture

December 8, 2022 09:00 am

As agriculture has not been able to attract the youth even in the rural areas, the farmlands in various districts in the country are left fallow. And we have been consuming agricultural products by importing them from abroad. We have been importing almost everything we consume including rice, corn, wheat, potatoes, edible oil, spices etc.

KATHMANDU, Nov 7: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is investing over Rs 10 billion for cultivation of walnut and fruits in the hilly region of Nepal.

SURKHET, July 28: Khadka Bahadur Khatri of Gurvakot Municipality-7 of Surkhet had to go to the headquarters Birendranagar to buy seeds as early as 10 years ago.

KARNALI, July 28: Agriculture yields have dropped in the Karnali province. It has been found that overall agriculture production had dropped in the province by 11.24 percent up to mid-December of the fiscal year 2021/22.

KATHMANDU, June 23: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has said that policies have been formed to encourage the farmers by removing the subsidy program from the budget of the Fiscal Year 2022/23.

BIRATNAGAR, June 19: Province 1 lawmaker Bimal karki has said that the shipment of fertilizers will be stolen mid-way similar to the incident in Dhading that took place on Saturday if the government fails to immediately provide fertilizers to farmers.

KATHMANDU, June 14: At a time when there is an intense demand from across the country, including the voices raised in parliament for guarantee of chemical fertilizers to the farmers in the wake of the monsoon, the Salt Trading Corporation Ltd has said it had begun importing chemical fertilizers

KATHMANDU, June 13: A member of the House of Representatives Sanjay Kumar Gautam has stressed the need for resolving the surge in the prices of seeds, fertilizers, and petroleum products along with other problems faced by farmers.

KATHMANDU, June 8: The government of Nepal is preparing to bring 80,000 metric tons of fertilizer from India. The government, which has extended a G2G agreement with India, mentions that it has begun the process of importing 80,000 metric tons of fertilizer into the country by mid-July.

KATHMANDU, June 5: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has said that the government was clear on constructing the Nijgadh International Airport in Bara.

KATHMANDU, May 28: Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Mahendra Rai Yadav has claimed that Nepal will become self-reliant in agriculture within a year.

Nepal’s agriculture sector is still in a primitive stage. If India lacks foodstuff itself and stops exporting it to us, we might be in a crisis of food insecurity. The fact that India recently banned the export of wheat is not a good sign. The Russia-Ukraine war only makes matters worse for us.

With a population of about 5 million, Province 1 is quite rich in resources. There is ample basis for the province to achieve development and prosperity through agriculture, clean energy, tourism and industrialization.

KATHMANDU, May 4: Peasants’ organizations affiliated to the five-party ruling alliance have asked the government to include the issues of import substitution and export promotion of agricultural goods through the commercialization of agriculture in the government’s new policies and programs.

Nepal has been called an agricultural country for the past several centuries. However, this seems to be limited only to slogans. The overall agriculture sector in Nepal has not received priority even as this sector can create a wave of development in Nepal. About 65 percent of Nepali people are currently involved in agriculture. The development index is still negative even as nearly two-thirds of the country's total population is involved in this sector.

KATHMANDU, March 30: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has said that the budget for the coming Fiscal Year 2022/23 will be prepared in a way that everyone will feel a sense of ownership for the budget programs.

RUKUM, March 21: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has said that the budget for the coming fiscal year- FY 2022/23 will be prepared by giving priority to the agriculture sector.

KATHMANDU, March 18: The government has spent over Rs 18 billion on the development of the Sikta Irrigation Project in the past 17 years. The main canal of the project has been extended to 45 km west of Banke.

MYAGDI, March 11: People's representatives of Myagdi have expressed concern over unseasonal rainfall and sudden rise in hot and cold waves.

KATHMANDU, Feb 23: Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) has extended the deadline for the banks and financial institutions (BFIs) to inject investment in specified sectors by up to two years.

PHUNGLING, Jan 4: The farmers here are worried about the marketing of kiwifruit. Although they had begun kiwifruit farming expecting good sales, they are now selling the produce at a low price.

SARLAHI, Dec 26: Farmers in Sarlahi are struggling to get chemical fertilizers for the cultivation of winter crops.

DOTI, Dec 20: Sudurpaschim Province Chief Minister Trilochan Bhatta has said the development of the agricultural and livestock sector is essential to improve the living standard of farmers.

A Story of Good Slogans, Bad Performance

November 12, 2021 06:30 am

If we compare the development performance under the Panchayat Raj from 1960 to 1990 and that under the multiparty system from 1990 to 2020, there is no indication that things have really improved in the post-democracy period in terms of job opportunities, living standard, physical infrastructure development, agriculture development, institutional and industrial development, control over corruption and maintaining law and order.

Savior for Heroes

November 7, 2021 14:44 pm

Can the loss of farmers be compensated? After all, they contribute 20 % to the GDP. Shouldn’t they be compensated?

KATHMANDU, September 11: The government is making it mandatory for the cooperatives to invest 50 percent of their loans in agriculture.

DADELDHURA, August 5: Agriculture output has gradually slumped in Dadeldhura district as farmers are being displaced from agricultural occupation after wild animals arriving from nearby conservation areas started frequently ravaging their crops.

National Paddy Day today

June 29, 2021 07:22 am

KATHMANDU, June 29: The National Paddy Day and paddy plantation festival is being observed on Tuesday across the nation. Paddy day is observed on Asar 15 [June end] in the lunar calendar every year to mark the paddy cultivation season.

KATHMANDU, May 29: The budget 2021/22 has allocated Rs 45.09 billion for the agriculture sector. Of the amount, Rs 12 billion will be spent on the supply management of chemical fertilizers.

KATHMANDU, May 17: Despite various efforts taken by the government to drive Nepali agriculture to commercialization, the access of farmers to necessary tools and equipment still stands very low.

The FAO has focused its efforts and resources to addressing issues stemming from climate change in Nepal in order to cope with the changing situation and build resilience capacity into adaptation to climate change.

Although land reform has been a priority area of the government, land use planning has always remained under the shadow of revenue collection and land distribution.

Cooperative for development

February 21, 2021 07:00 am

If proper environment is created for cooperatives to work in remote areas, it would be easier to bring rural areas in mainstream of development.

Nepal’s unreliable vision for seeds

February 16, 2021 10:20 am

Availability of good quality seeds is a prerequisite to increase crop production. But seed supply system of Nepal is not reliable and farmers have always complained about unavailability of quality seeds.

Should there be FDI in agriculture?

February 8, 2021 08:00 am

FDI flow in agriculture will increase competition and because of the sheer size of capital, it might create an unequal playing field for the domestic investors. This is where the current hue and cry is coming from.

KATHMANDU, Jan 26: The Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative (MoLMAC) of Province 1 in association with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) on Tuesday officially launched Phase-2 of the Nepal Agricultural Market Development Programme (NAMDP).

KATHMANDU, Jan 6: The government’s recent decision to allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in primary agriculture production has invited a controversy.

KATHMANDU, Dec 17: After having been deceived time and again by sugar mills and even by the government, sugarcane farmers from the southern plains of the country have continued their protest in Kathmandu for the second consecutive year.

KATHMANDU: After having been deceived time and again by the sugar mills and even by the government, sugarcane farmers from the southern Plains of Nepal have continued their protest in Kathmandu for the second consecutive year.

KATHMANDU, Dec 15: Sugarcane farmers on Tuesday staged a protest with their citizenship certificates and receipts for sold sugarcane after the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies claimed that they are not the farmers but middlemen.

KATHMANDU, Dec 14: The agitating sugarcane farmers have demanded that the government guarantee that their outstanding dues for their produce will be cleared before they sit for the talks.