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Agriculture: Goverment Plans and Covid-19 effects in Nepal

Agriculture is the backbone of the country’s (Nepal) economy . It contributes 26.5 % to the national’s GDP and employs 77% of total population ( census 2068). Nepal , itself is a boon of nature. One can face various climatic condition on different region within the country. And the geographical structure of the country has both pros and cons in the agriculture sector. Agriculture system in Nepal is usually of two types i.e Substistence and commercial . About 75.9% population execute subsistence agriculture whereas only 24.1 % execute commercial agriculture.

Yearly Nepal cultivate Cereal crops like Rice , Maize , Wheat ,etc with other Cash crops , Lentils , fruits and vegetables. But the productivity of the country can’t satisfy the stomach of it’s citizen. According to MOAD ,in 2018/19 , the total production of Cereal crops was 1,06,85,550 metric ton , where Paddy, Maize and Wheat accounts to 56,10,011 ,27,13,635 ,20,05,665 metric ton respectively.Here, the productivity can’t meet the requirement of total population , as a result we are compelled to import agricultural goods in large amount. According to the statistical report , in the last fiscal year Rice , maize , maize and potato of total worth NRs. 73 billion were imported in Nepal. Due to the covid-19 pandemic all around the world , a huge amount of Nepalese from different part of world have got back to the country ; as a result the eating mouth are in increasing rate but the productivity rate is still in decreasing rate. In this fiscal year , Rice , Maize , Fruits , coffee ,tea and spices worth NRs. 22.23 billion , NRs. 14.75 billion , NRs. 20.74 billion and NRs. 11.75 billion respectively has been imported to the country.

 

P.C. : Lisa Choyegal ( Extracted from:Nepali Times)

We are still dependent on manual work for growing crops. Our labour never pays off at the same rate. 39 % of the total Nepal’s population still lies below the poverty line. Purchasing the agricultural machinery as Rice transplantor ( cost NRs. 4 lakhs ) , Corn sheller (NRs. 22,000) etc is like a nightmare to us. In one hand, From getting a quality seed to the fertilizers , we have to look after the way of Government and the Government to it’s suppliers from Neibhouring countries. In this Fiscal year , fertilizers worth NRs. 1900 billion have been imported to the country but was not available at the requisite area on time.Due to delays in the monsoons and crop damage by army worms , shortage of fertilizers and fake seeds distribution paddy production has been reduced by 1.1 percent every year. In the other hand , Nepalese prefer to have spicy and tasty foods and believe that more oil makes food tastier. But there is low production of spices crops and oil crops inside the country. These are some of the reasons behind the increase in import rate of the country.

The only means to balance the country’s economy is the remittance. According to Foreign Employment Promotion Board , 4.5 billion people from Nepal were working outside the country and these people are contributing a lot to the country’s economy. NRs. 34.5 billion remmitance has been received by the country in March – Mid – April of 2019. But here too , due to the covid -19 , people around the world have lost their jobs and lots of them have returned back to their own country ; Here , ADB has predicted the fall in total remittance by 28.7 % this year in Nepal.

 

Jobless Nepalese migrant workers rest on a park bench in the city of Sharjah,UAE

P.C :Ramesh Buddhathoki ( Extracted from : The Kathmandu Post)

To make the country self – sufficient in Food within the next 10 years . Government has given insurance cover worth Rs. 13.21 billion in agriculture crops and protection. It has also provided Rs. 630 million in the form of 75 % premium grant on this . Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development , Chakrapani khanal said 14 various schemes are being started to make the country self-reliant in agriculture. 5 billion rupees would be spent through the Youth Employment Special Program in all the districts within 2024 . At least 500 agricultural farms would be brought into operation , 2500 people would be permanently employed and 12,500 would be given temporary jobs under this program. In like manner , the Nepal Livestock sector innovation project is also in operation and will run till 2025. The project will be implemented in a total 28 districts has a budgetary outlay of 115 million US dollar.

Along with these a huge amount of agricultural loan is being given by financial institutions with low interest rate ( <10 %) . People take soft loan and agricultural loan but invest in other sectors like housing , real estate and other business . The agriculture loan has increased by 167 % in last 5 years and financial institutions have invested 1804.2 billion in agriculture sector , production but the productivity is still in decreasing rate.

Agriculture import of Nepal is booming and the remittance is the only way to balance the country’s economy. Despite relying on the government’s plan only ,better help the government to meet it’s goal. We call rice as our staple food and are busy only in it’s cultivation ignoring other beneficial crops as buckwheat , millet ,etc which requires less care and in return gives good production. Talking about rural areas , Nettle leaf , Asparagus , etc are mostly unused because a huge population there don’t know about their nutritional and economic importance. The unknowns should be made known about their importance of these under-exploited , indigeneous plants and should be brought back in cultivation and in use aswell. On the other hand in urban areas , as the cultivable lands are being converted to plotting , there are a little land left for cultivation . But for people with no cultivable land in urban area , one can practice hydroponics , terrace farming , roof top farming etc. Honestly , Covid – 19 has been boon for Nepal as the drained manpower has returned back to their own country . Nextly the lockdown throughout the country has aswell made the people value the food and to execute different agricultural practices to become self-reliant .

 

( Extracted from : My Republica)

To sum up , to improve the economy and to make the country prosperous , firstly the import should be reduced and the export should be boost up. Nextly, these various schemes made by government should be implemented on time and the last , people should give priority to national product and storage houses and processing plants should be established to minimize the agricultural import.

#TogetherWeCanvAgriculture is the backbone of the country’s (Nepal) economy . It contributes 26.5 % to the national’s GDP and employs 77% of total population ( census 2068). Nepal , itself is a boon of nature. One can face various climatic condition on different region within the country. And the geographical structure of the country has both pros and cons in the agriculture sector. Agriculture system in Nepal is usually of two types i.e Substistence and commercial . About 75.9% population execute subsistence agriculture whereas only 24.1 % execute commercial agriculture.

Yearly Nepal cultivate Cereal crops like Rice , Maize , Wheat ,etc with other Cash crops , Lentils , fruits and vegetables. But the productivity of the country can’t satisfy the stomach of it’s citizen. According to MOAD ,in 2018/19 , the total production of Cereal crops was 1,06,85,550 metric ton , where Paddy, Maize and Wheat accounts to 56,10,011 ,27,13,635 ,20,05,665 metric ton respectively.Here, the productivity can’t meet the requirement of total population , as a result we are compelled to import agricultural goods in large amount. According to the statistical report , in the last fiscal year Rice , maize , maize and potato of total worth NRs. 73 billion were imported in Nepal. Due to the covid-19 pandemic all around the world , a huge amount of Nepalese from different part of world have got back to the country ; as a result the eating mouth are in increasing rate but the productivity rate is still in decreasing rate. In this fiscal year , Rice , Maize , Fruits , coffee ,tea and spices worth NRs. 22.23 billion , NRs. 14.75 billion , NRs. 20.74 billion and NRs. 11.75 billion respectively has been imported to the country.

We are still dependent on manual work for growing crops. Our labour never pays off at the same rate. 39 % of the total Nepal’s population still lies below the poverty line. Purchasing the agricultural machinery as Rice transplantor ( cost NRs. 4 lakhs ) , Corn sheller (NRs. 22,000) etc is like a nightmare to us. In one hand, From getting a quality seed to the fertilizers , we have to look after the way of Government and the Government to it’s suppliers from Neibhouring countries. In this Fiscal year , fertilizers worth NRs. 1900 billion have been imported to the country but was not available at the requisite area on time.Due to delays in the monsoons and crop damage by army worms , shortage of fertilizers and fake seeds distribution paddy production has been reduced by 1.1 percent every year. In the other hand , Nepalese prefer to have spicy and tasty foods and believe that more oil makes food tastier. But there is low production of spices crops and oil crops inside the country. These are some of the reasons behind the increase in import rate of the country.

The only means to balance the country’s economy is the remittance. According to Foreign Employment Promotion Board , 4.5 billion people from Nepal were working outside the country and these people are contributing a lot to the country’s economy. NRs. 34.5 billion remmitance has been received by the country in March – Mid – April of 2019. But here too , due to the covid -19 , people around the world have lost their jobs and lots of them have returned back to their own country ; Here , ADB has predicted the fall in total remittance by 28.7 % this year in Nepal.

To make the country self – sufficient in Food within the next 10 years . Government has given insurance cover worth Rs. 13.21 billion in agriculture crops and protection. It has also provided Rs. 630 million in the form of 75 % premium grant on this . Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development , Chakrapani khanal said 14 various schemes are being started to make the country self-reliant in agriculture. 5 billion rupees would be spent through the Youth Employment Special Program in all the districts within 2024 . At least 500 agricultural farms would be brought into operation , 2500 people would be permanently employed and 12,500 would be given temporary jobs under this program. In like manner , the Nepal Livestock sector innovation project is also in operation and will run till 2025. The project will be implemented in a total 28 districts has a budgetary outlay of 115 million US dollar.

Along with these a huge amount of agricultural loan is being given by financial institutions with low interest rate ( <10 %) . People take soft loan and agricultural loan but invest in other sectors like housing , real estate and other business . The agriculture loan has increased by 167 % in last 5 years and financial institutions have invested 1804.2 billion in agriculture sector , production but the productivity is still in decreasing rate.

Agriculture import of Nepal is booming and the remittance is the only way to balance the country’s economy. Despite relying on the government’s plan only ,better help the government to meet it’s goal. We call rice as our staple food and are busy only in it’s cultivation ignoring other beneficial crops as buckwheat , millet ,etc which requires less care and in return gives good production. Talking about rural areas , Nettle leaf , Asparagus , etc are mostly unused because a huge population there don’t know about their nutritional and economic importance. The unknowns should be made known about their importance of these under-exploited , indigeneous plants and should be brought back in cultivation and in use aswell. On the other hand in urban areas , as the cultivable lands are being converted to plotting , there are a little land left for cultivation . But for people with no cultivable land in urban area , one can practice hydroponics , terrace farming , roof top farming etc. Honestly , Covid – 19 has been boon for Nepal as the drained manpower has returned back to their own country . Nextly the lockdown throughout the country has aswell made the people value the food and to execute different agricultural practices to become self-reliant .

 

 

To sum up , to improve the economy and to make the country prosperous , firstly the import should be reduced and the export should be boost up. Nextly, these various schemes made by government should be implemented on time and the last , people should give priority to national product and storage houses and processing plants should be established to minimize the agricultural import.

#TogetherWeCan

Picture:.(Extracted from : My Republica)

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Tuesday, 09 August 2022

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