Special agro-schemes for youth in new budget
By Laxman Kafle
Kathmandu, May 18: The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development is going to introduce ‘Youth Agriculture Special Programmes’ in the upcoming fiscal budget.
“The Ministry is bringing ‘Youth Agriculture Special Programme’ in the new budget to attract youth to agriculture and make them entrepreneurs in home,” said Tej Bahadur Subedi, spokesman at MoALD.
Under the programme, the ministry would provide subsidy up to Rs. 1 million to youth who want to be an agro entrepreneur, Subedi told The Rising Nepal. “This will help discourage the overseas migration of youth.”
According to him, the ministry is expected to make around 1,000 youth entrepreneurs in a year through the programme, which would last for five years.
“This programme will help increase investment of the youth whereas the government will provide subsidy based on their investment. The government will provide cash subsidy and the bank will invest as per the proposal of the entrepreneurs,” he said.
“Considering the increasing import of potatoes and onion, the ministry is also planning to introduce import substitute programme of potatoes and onion in the next fiscal year. Under the programme, we will focus on expanding the potatoes and onion farming areas and provide quality seeds to the farmers,” he said.
According to him, the ministry has proposed additional budget of around Rs. 140 million to run this programme.
The ministry has also proposed a budget of around Rs. 150 million for increasing the production of sugarcane in the country, he said adding that the fund would be used for the production of quality seeds, mechanisation and research and development.
He said that the ministry has planned to introduce special programme for the quality meat production considering the public health.
“We will work in chain for quality meat production. Under the programme, slaughter houses will be established and transportation vehicles will be managed for the farmers. Meat shop reform programme will also be conducted,” he said.
Similarly, the ministry is preparing to introduce a programme to substitute the import of goats in the next fiscal year and encourage the farmers to rear goats.
According to him, the ministry will proposed a budget of around Rs. 40 million for the programme.
According to Subedi, the ministry will prepare the programmes in line with the budget ceiling given by the National Planning Commission (NPC) to implement the existing programmes and new programmes aiming to make the country self-reliant in major food items at the earliest possible.
The budget ceiling for the MoALD has been fixed at Rs. 25.24 billion for the fiscal year 2019/20.
He said that the ministry is allocating around Rs. 7.5 billion budget for importing chemical fertilisers and selling it to the farmers at a subsided rate.
Subedi said that the ministry would strengthen the monitoring of the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project to make it more effective in coming years as the monitoring part of the project had been weak.
The ministry has proposed to allocate budget of Rs. 4.5 billion to run the zone and super zone programmes of the PMAMP where the pocket and block programmes had already been transferred to the local governments.
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