Agriculture ministry implementing riverbed farming from current fiscal

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Kathmandu, April 15

Aiming to promote riverbed farming in the country, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has initiated riverbed farming this year.

Targeting to implement the project from current fiscal year, the project is being implemented in three districts — Sunsari, Kapilvastu and Kanchanpur — in the first phase.

Prior to this, the government only used to support such programmes that were implemented by NGOs and INGOs, said Tej Bahadur Subedi, spokesperson for the ministry.

“Contrary to previous years when we used to run such projects with foreign funding, this year the government will implement this project through its own resources,” he said.

While the project was included in the budget announcement of fiscal year 2017-18, its framework was finally endorsed by the Cabinet in January. The project will be implemented under the supervision of National Centre for Potato, Vegetable and Spice Crops Development.

Under this centre, the project will be implemented by Agriculture Knowledge Centre of respective districts.

The government has allocated a total of Rs 10 million for the project in the current fiscal year, according to Hari Bahadur KC, chief of the national centre. “Selection of the farmer groups has been completed in Kanchanpur, while the process is ongoing in Sunsari and Kapilvastu,” he said, adding that the project will begin soon. The national centre has provided Rs 2.8 million to each selected district to implement the project, he said.

The vegetables and fruits — watermelon, cucumber, pumpkin, bitter gourd, sponge gourd and bottle gourd — will be planted in the riverbank area.

As per Subedi, the government decided to initiate the project on its own after witnessing successful implementation of riverbed farming by non-governmental organisations.

According to him, currently the non-governmental organisations are implementing the riverbed farming in Kailali, Kanchanpur, Bardiya, Banke, Dang, Siraha, and Saptari districts. The major target groups of this project are landless farmers and people with low income. “The ministry hopes this project will uplift the lives of landless farmers,” he said, adding, “It will also help people with low income to improve their livelihood.”

As per the ministry, there are around 60,000 hectares of riverbed land suitable for farming in the country, of which, farmers are currently using only 6,000 hectares.

Under this project, the government will provide the seeds of fruits and vegetables, irrigation materials, and chemical fertilisers as subsidies to farmers. It will also provide all technical support and training for farming. The ministry will provide each farmer Rs 10,000 per cluster to lease the land and Rs 5,000 per bigha of land for farming.

Written by Sandeep Sen
This news first appeared on https://thehimalayantimes.com/business/agriculture-ministry-implementing-riverbed-farming-from-current-fiscal/ under the title “Agriculture ministry implementing riverbed farming from current fiscal”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.