Kathmandu, May 7
Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai on Monday said that the promotion of the agriculture sector was a must for building a self-reliant economy, and to address the issues related to food security and food sovereignty in the country.
"The agriculture sector has been loosing its charms for the past few years. The youths have been fleeing away from the agriculture profession. Therefore, it is the need of the hour to modernise, commercialise and modernise the agriculture to increase reverence of the youths towards this sector," Prime Minister Dr. Bhattarai said in a message sent to a programme organised to mark the 21st Commemoration Day of Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC).
Saying that the agriculture was the most potential sectors of the Nepalese economy, he said that the government was serious on promoting the agriculture sector and would double the budget in it in its upcoming fiscal budget.
"I have already directed the authorities and institutions concerned to up the budget of agriculture," said in the statement.
Speaking on the occasion, outgoing Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun reiterated that the government would increase its budget in agriculture.
He said that both from government and private sector should increase their investments in agriculture sector.
"We have also asked the private sector to invest in the agriculture sector. The government is ready to build necessary infrastructures," he said, "The private sector should invest in modernisation and industrialisation of agriculture sector."
Vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission Dipendra Bahadur Kshetri said that the government should increase its budget in new research and development in the agriculture sector.
"There are some improvement/increase in agriculture production and productivity. However, it is not enough. The government should invest more in its research and development works," he said.
Dil Bahadur Gurung, Executive Director of NARC, said that the research and development was indispensable for developing agriculture. He asked the government to accord due priority to the sector in its programmes and policies.
Saying that the young scientists were fleeing away from the country in the dearth of ample opportunities, he called the government to bring in special programme to stop the brain-drain from the country.