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1.3 million hectares of cultivable land left barren



Kathmandu, April 30: Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development, Dr Beduram Bhusal, has said 1.3 million hectares of cultivable land was left barren in the country.

Addressing a programme organized by All Nepal Peasants’ Federation on its 73rd establishment day here Sunday, Minister Bhusal stressed the need for utilizing the cultivable land for augmenting productions. He informed that the forthcoming annual budget and policies would ensure incentives to farmers.

“Agriculture is backbone of national economy. But, this sector is ignored due to numerous problems facing it,” he said, adding that additional budget is essential in agriculture sector. According to him, out of total Rs 51 billion budget allocated to Agriculture Ministry, huge chunk (Rs 31 billion) goes to buy chemical fertilizer, while Rs 12 billion at local and provincial levels, and Rs 8 billion to the government employees. So, extra budget is required to assist farmers and develop agriculture sector, he underscored.

He reminded that the Association was set up to end exploitation of peasants. The chemical fertilizers, seeds, irrigation, tools and infrastructures must be ensured on time to reap agricultural benefit, Minister Bhusal emphasized.

He expressed government’s commitment to food sovereignty. Regulation to this regard was underway, Minister shared.

On the occasion, leader of the peasant movement, Bhairav Regmi, hoped the government would fulfill the 62-point demand they submitted to ensure peasant’s rights.

Association’s Chairman Balram Banskota viewed development of agriculture was prerequisite to country’s development.