Agro Minister assures market for farmers

Kathmandu: Agriculture Minister Ghanashyam Bhushal has said that the government is working to create an environment where farmers can sell their produces with suitable price.

He claimed that the government is preparing to take the responsibility of purchasing and managing the market if the products are not sold.

Speaking at an interaction event held by the Central Dairy Cooperative Union Limited in Chitwan today, Minister Bhushal said that the problem of the dairy sector would be solved in the same way.

The farmers had complained to the Minister that the government did not take care of their produces even though it was wasted without selling it.

In response, Minister Bhushal said that the problem was due to lack of basis on how to manage agriculture in the country.

He said that Nepal’s agricultural sector was in crisis and it had taken some time as the agricultural system had to be changed.

“Yesterday we had a system based on foreign aid, then we left everything to the market. The situation we are facing now after leaving the market is not going to improve in one place, ‘he said,’ now we are trying to implement the system that Nepal needs. ‘

He said that despite many plans being made for the improvement of the agricultural sector, the implementation is being delayed due to the Covid-19 pademic.

“Last year’s budget should have included at least one technician in each ward and everyone should have easy access to agricultural credit, but it was not done,” he said.

He further claimed that a policy basis has been prepared not to displace the people engaged in agriculture and after its implementation, farmers and agricultural workers will be able to eat, live, wear clothes and raise families.

“There has been a response of good work in paddy. We are moving forward with the same resolve in the milk sector as well,” he said.

The farmers present at the interaction had complained that the milk produced by farmers are still not getting market. Farmers have also demanded that a fair price of farmers’ produce should be fixed by operating a milk processing factory.
According to Narayan Prasad Devkota, chairman of the Central Dairy Cooperative Union Limited, milk production has declined by 33 percent this year.

Nepal produces 1.9 million liters of milk every day. In Chitwan alone, 315,000 liters of milk is produced daily. The association has statistics that about 500,000 families are involved in this profession.

According to Devkota, more than Rs 40 million is traded daily in the milk business.

“Even though many farmers ‘families have been running the milk business, the frustration has increased in recent days,” said Lal Bahadur Shrestha, chairman of Bhandara Milk Producers’ Cooperative in Bhandara, Chitwan.

Another businessman, Shankar Rajbhandari, complained that the government subsidy for agriculture and animal husbandry had not reached the real farmers.

The farmers had demanded the minister to bring a farmer-friendly policy saying that the government was neglecting to kill the farmers along with cows and buffaloes.