Bhusal introduces policy to ensure 25% profit to farmers
19 Mar, 2020
By CK Khanal Kathmandu, Mar. 19: Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has introduced an ambitious plan of ensuring minimum saving (profit) to farmers through the policy of minimum acceptance price in agriculture outputs with buy-back guarantee from the government. Introducing his policy and programme for the development of agriculture and livestock on Wednesday at Singha Durbar, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Ghanashyam Bhusal said that the farmers could be attracted to and retained in agriculture sector by ensuring a minimum saving from their farming. He said that the government would fix the minimum acceptance prices of major agricultural products which would ensure around 25 per cent saving to the farmers above their cost of production. If farmers are unable to sell their product in the market at the set acceptance price, the government would buy their products, he added. “I know that it is a very ambitious and challenging task, but it is possible. The Ministry has moved ahead with firm commitment to implement this plan,” he said. He said that cooperative sector would have the vital role for the development of agriculture due to the current land ownership practice in the country. Minister Bhusal, who had spent around four months conducting study for the development of agriculture after his appointment in the Ministry, said that he had introduced five policy bases to ensure minimum saving to farmers. “While making study on why farmers are not attracted in agriculture, I find two reasons - firstly it is very hard work and secondly it is the sector yielding minimum profit,” he said. “The hardship in agriculture works can be resolved by mechanising the sector. Therefore, I reached the conclusion that making agri-business profitable may be an important factor to attract and retain farmers in agriculture,” Bhusal said. Minister Bhusal said that subsidy in agriculture inputs, facility of agricultural technicians in grassroots level, subsidised credit facilities, crop and livestock insurance and minimum acceptance price will be five policy bases to ensure minimum saving to farmers. He said that the government would not provide any subsidies to individual farmers as earlier but provides subsidies in agriculture inputs including seed/breed, fertiliser, irrigation, electricity and other important equipment to make them affordable. As per the policy, the government would recruit 6,000 agricultural technicians in coordination with lower level governments in the near future for the service of grassroots farmers. Similarly, the government will also ensure subsidised credit to farmers at interest rate not exceeding 5 per cent and expanding crop and livestock insurance service to the access of all farmers. Minister Bhusal said that implementation of these policies would end the presence of middlemen in the agriculture sector. Meanwhile, secretary and joint-secretaries of the Ministry have expressed their commitment to implement the policy and programme introduced by Minister Bhusal.