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Small-scale farmers to improve the ability to adapt to the market

Nepal has three typical terrain (mountains, hills and plains), carried out on a variety of terrain agriculture differently. Livestock farming is generally dominated in the mountains, hills region's agriculture places horticulture based, and plains are mainly planted cereal crops. Nepal has a rich agricultural biodiversity, many crops to adapt to strong growth in a variety of Climatic Zones, has great potential for development. In Nepal, there are 2/3 of people engaged in agricultural production, agro-food, income, a source of employment, especially in rural areas. Low levels of economic growth largely determines the small farmers rely on low-value cereals subsistence. Small farmers have an average of only 0.7 hectares of land area (approximately 10 acres), and a decreasing trend. In rural areas, due to fewer employment opportunities, lack of capital, infrastructure and market imperfections, most farmers have to rely on traditional agriculture.

Nepal is a landlocked country, east, west and south side bordering India. Same commodity in different seasons, different places, the price difference is big, and subject to the Indian border market. Due to lack of formal market, brokers often deliberately depress agricultural prices, making the selling price and the farmers there is a huge difference between production inputs, and many agricultural products is difficult to get a reasonable price to sell, resulting in farmers' income growth slow. Some of the lack of large-scale merchants to offer competitive prices, the lack of appropriate supervision decency, authorities, most of the profits have been earned away middlemen.

In the vast rural areas, almost no market transactions carried out some infrastructure, such as lack of regular fairs and agricultural storage facilities, and agricultural production and the links between urban demand little. In some rural areas, lack of electricity, less than 10 per cent of local pass on the power, even in places where electricity is also mainly used for lighting, and not for the processing of agricultural products. The lack of human and material resources makes the product quality certification system, the quarantine system is difficult to establish.

In Nepal, many small farmers remain at subsistence level, but also had a lot of taxes. Strictly speaking, the small farmers in the domestic transport of agricultural products is not required when the tax, but the reality is the opposite, from origin to final destination, farmers have repeatedly told local government tax. As livelihoods single, even heavy taxes, poor farmers do not have much choice, only passively accept.

Support the growth of small farmers

Most farmers are engaged in subsistence production, the production is intended primarily to meet the needs of their own families, and most people sell agricultural purpose is to provide merchants, financial institutions and banks repay debt.

Of agricultural products to the market, not just a simple sale, but by a series of activities constitute, and by the production process, price, place, promotion, and many other factors. Agricultural market refers to the product produced, the process of reaching consumers. In some people's opinion, should first produce products, then go to the market, this view is not correct. Only the first development of the market, will it be possible to sell products, farmers can benefit from the sale. Therefore, the market development is essential and is the driving force of agricultural production.

Small-scale farmers will accept this viewpoint it? Agricultural production came out, in the process of selling to the market, farmers' organizations should consider the form of cooperatives or farmer. When co-operatives and other forms of marketing, the farmers will have better bargaining power. In order to mobilize the enthusiasm of sales staff, but also from a portion of the profits as a reward, but the selling process information must be transparent, so as to establish mutual trust among members. Farmers' organizations and consumers can also like department stores, agricultural enterprises signed an agreement on a regular basis to provide them with products. Note, however, that, if the production too, do not want the product to the same place, because it will reduce the price of the product. This time, we need to explore other markets, or increase value of agricultural products processing. Through these activities, shortening marketing channels, more revenue to farmers and guide them towards enterprise.

High value-added agricultural products in order to have a high return, help to open up new markets, and even build their own brand, and promote farm diversification. Increase the added value means that consumers are willing to pay more than the purchase money of primary products, but the product quality should be guaranteed. There are two ways to increase the value of agricultural products: Capture Value (capturing value), value creation (creating value.).

Capture value, processing or sales process will capture the value added products. Can be obtained through value-added processing of agricultural products, such as the processing of agricultural products into the food, of course, there are certain risks, and will require some new skills. Direct is a method to increase product value, but the scope of large, small.

Another strategy is to create value, that is in some respects a certain development of differentiated products. Product differentiation may be true, it could be felt by people. The key to success is the consumer that the product adds value and is willing to buy. Create value through the creation of brand products, or some special certification achieved. In addition, in the production process, a method using an organic or environmentally friendly product value can be improved.

In Nepal, the lack of agricultural extension, farmers in the planting and crop product knowledge is very poor, for example, time spent on potato planting is more than twice the time of harvest, when prices are bad, many who do not want in the field managed to spend more time. Farmers in many cases, do not know the purpose of their own production, based on the closing seeds, or they eat? And how much revenue depends on the yield and quality of harvested produce and market conditions. Sometimes, the market price fluctuations will affect the choice of crops, farmers, farmers often based on historical prices, such as which month high prices, low prices which month to decide whether to postpone or early sowing, to get a good price.

In recent years, there have been a number of agricultural infrastructure improvement, construction of telecommunications facilities in the country, which is fast, efficient access to market information foundation. Price information is available from the public system, or private, and radio stations, print media, websites are a good medium to provide pricing information. In short, after the commodity price information service enhancements will help farmers understand the market, easy to sell their products.

Technical improvements, the value chain to improve and help small farmers shift from subsistence mode of production commercialization of agriculture. Nepal recent release of national agricultural policy, national investment plans, promotion and marketing of agricultural enterprise development programs, small enterprise development programs, and so are conducive to agricultural commercialization.

In Nepal, due to land ownership restrictions, large-scale agricultural almost impossible. Therefore, only from collective farming or cooperative agriculture departure, that is composed of large-scale farmers loose groups, so that signed a contract negotiated price farmers can get more favorable terms, such as using a lower purchase price of agricultural means of production and better market opportunities. In many countries, including Nepal, agricultural cooperatives still in its infancy, needs to come from the national policy support.

Agriculture is Nepal's economic growth, poverty alleviation, the key to a better life, but underinvestment in the agricultural commercialization of the difficulties encountered in the process. To make the market more conducive to the development of farmers, it is necessary to improve infrastructure, support farmers to enter the market, establish and improve market surveillance, regulation, scale measures. The private sector, government and civil society organizations coordination and cooperation to help the development of the market. Partners in the development of the local agricultural market plays an important role. Quality control and certification systems, sanitary and phytosanitary regulations have farmers in Nepal into a key regional and global markets.



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Friday, 22 September 2023

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