May 30, 2020 | Investopaper
The Finance Ministry has allocated Rs 41.40 billion for the agriculture sector in the coming Fiscal Year 2077/78. This is 2.81 percent of the total budget. The government allocated Rs 34.80 billion for agriculture in the current Fiscal Year and Rs. 22.84 billion in 2075/76. Compared to the agriculture budget of the current fiscal year, the agriculture budget of the coming fiscal year has increased by Rs. 6.60 billion or about 19 percent. The government has given priority in the agriculture budget to address the challenges and opportunities created by the Corona epidemic. The agricultural sector is a reliable source of income for the Nepali economy.
Introducing the budget, Finance Minister Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada said that maximum use would be made of land, technology and market to make the country self-reliant in agriculture. One pocket area program will be implemented in one production area by restructuring the Prime minister agriculture project. The Ministry of Finance has allocated Rs. 3.22 billion for ensuring that there will be one agricultural pocket area at each local level. The budget has increased the fertilizer subsidy to Rs. 11 billion.
The government has made arrangements to return cash to the farmers who buy seeds from the licensed sellers. The provision has been made for quality seeds as there is a problem in agricultural production due to purchase of low quality seeds. Stating that markets will be managed at all local levels for marketing of agricultural produce, budget has been allocated for the construction of 78 wholesale agricultural markets in all the states, financial transfer to the local level and establishment of state level agricultural hub market.
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Establishment of 300 Land bank
The government will fix the support price of agricultural produce. From next year farmers who cultivate land through local government organizations and land banks will be given subsidy in cold storage. The government will arrange a land bank for the youth returning from foreign employment.
Minister Khatiwada informed that the government will set up 300 land bank units at the local level next year with the investment of federal, state and local government. The government is going to make arrangements to rent the land leased by the land bank, the land owned by the government but not in use and the land raised from river control to the individuals and organizations who want to use it for agricultural work for a certain period of time. Minister Khatiwada informed that the government will provide concessions to those who produce by renting land.
The government has allocated a budget of Rs. 500 million for the establishment of land bank. The land bank will open at the local level where there is a lot of barren land. Khatiwada also said that the government will purchase the products with the support price. The government is also going to set up a food bank to store food by maintaining the food warehouse. Likewise, the government has allocated Rs. 500 million to arrange at least one agriculture and one animal husbandry technician at all local levels.