Budget not enough in agriculture: Minister Khanal

budget 2019/20 in agriculture sector

KATHMANDU, June 9: Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Chakrapani Khanal has expressed dissatisfaction over the allocation of budget in agriculture and livestock development.

The government on May 29 unveiled a budget of Rs 1.53 trillion for the upcoming fiscal year 2019\20. Of the total budget, the government has allocated Rs 34.8005 billion rupees for the agriculture ministry.

According to Minister Khanal, at least five percent of the total budget is needed to commercialize agriculture sector in the country.

“Only 1.8 percent of the total budget has been allocated for agriculture. But we are committed to fully implement the budget,” said Minister Khanal, speaking at an interaction program organized by the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Sunday.

The government, according to the budget, plans to make the country self-sufficient in dairy, poultry and fresh vegetables.

“The country is already self-sufficient in the production of eggs, poultry and pork. We have forwarded programs as per the government plans. The programs also include encouraging the involvement of youth in the agriculture sector,” said Khanal.

Similarly, the government has increased the grant in by 50 percent for the upcoming fiscal year. About 9 billion has been allocated as a grant for buying fertilizers.

“It is not enough. We can only provide 3.5 lakh metric tons of fertilizers as a grant to the farmers. But the demand is 6 lakh metric tons.”

According to Khanal, the government is planning to open a fertilizer factory aiming to start its operation within two years.

“For this, we have proposed 150 million for this project,” he said.

Moreover, the government, who has given agriculture a top priority, has planned to double fruit cultivation in the next five years. The government has also planned to set up a Food Quality Lab in every province. Likewise, about Rs 500 million has been appropriated for community farming.

Similarly, the government has allocated a budget of 23.6 billion for irrigation programs. 960 million has been allocated for irrigation programs in Terai, and 2.05 billion has been allocated for developing Sunkoshi Marine as a National Pride Project.

Also, Rs 5.6 billion has been allocated for the construction of the dam.

The government will also mark the next fiscal year as Tree Plantation Year. For this, security will be beefed in the forest areas. Newer practices will also be launched in livestock management.

Also, About Rs 1 billion has been earmarked for the ‘Rastrapati Chure Program’. Newer practices will be launched in livestock management.