Nepali gov't proposes special programs to fight food deficit

10:15, June 01, 2010      

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The Nepali government has proposed special programs worth 3.71 billion Nepali rupees (some 50 million U.S. dollars) for the coming fiscal year to boost agriculture production to deal with widening food deficit in the country.

According to Tuesday's myrepublica.com, despite robust growth in wheat and barley production, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives (MoAC) has already forecast a rise in food deficit in the country to 316,465 tons in 2010/11, almost triple the deficit figure of 132,914 tons recorded last year, due to fall in production of other key crops paddy and maize. "We have proposed special programs to raise production of cereal crops, with focus on increasing access of farmers to improved seeds and encouraging high value products in urban areas," Hari Dahal, spokesperson of the MoAC, told the website.

Under the program, the government will launch seed production programs by establishing community-run seed banks in 10 districts. It has also proposed another program with the involvement of Nepal Agriculture Research Council, Department of Agriculture and National Seeds Development Company to make the country self- sufficient for improved seeds.

The ministry has also proposed a program for renovation and improvement of public ponds across the country. It has also sought a budget to boost production and export of tea.

In the next fiscal year, the ministry targets to increase irrigated land by 732 hectares by launching 1,302 new small irrigation projects and 75 co-operative level irrigation projects and raise commercial horticulture by 2,400 hectares and coffee production by 150 hectares.

The ministry has set the target of increasing annual milk production by 150,000 liters. encouraging farmers to rear improved breed of cows and buffaloes.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:张茜)

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