Himalayan Times: Minister for Agriculture Development Tek Bahadur Thapa Gharti has directed ministry officials to evaluate the performance of projects based on the benefits that the projects have provided
to people. Impact on livelihoods should be the base for evaluating the projects, he said during a performance review meeting of the Agriculture Ministry.
“The traditional evaluation method will not be able to provide justice to people as the government plans to commercialise the agriculture sector,” he said, adding that agriculture projects should reach remote villages to bring about changes in the livelihood of the poor.
The minister urged officials to consult farmers when designing agriculture programmes. Participatory planning is a must to achieve success, he added.
According to the ministry, agriculture projects achieved less than 80 per cent success in its 34 projects. Agriculture projects achieved around 73.34 per cent progress and spent around 57.96 per cent of the total budget, said secretary of the ministry Jayamukunda Khanal. The ministry has received 3.04 per cent from the total national budget of Rs 404.82 billion.
The ministry has started a few new projects — Zoonosis Control, Nepal Agriculture and Food Security, Climate Change, Rani Jamara Irrigation, Farmer’s Seed and Fishery — this year. Different donors have been contributing towards it, said Khanal.
Minister Gharti also directed officials to provide easy loans to farmers. Responding to the directive, Khanal said that the ministry will solve financing problems after consulting Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB).
The ministry will consult the Nepal Rastra Bank governor regarding it, he said. The government has given importance to lending in agriculture sector and NRB is supporting the drive.
DDC employees demand improvement
Four trade unions — National Employee Organisation, National Employee Organisation Nepal, Dairy Development Corporation (DDC) Employee Association and DDC Employee Association Nepal — have sought reforms at Dairy Development Corporation. They submitted a memorandum to general manager of DDC Siyaram Prasad Singh on Wednesday. They have asked for an improvement in solid but not fat (SNF) and fat in milk, use of stocked skimmed milk and quick payment from agencies. The trade unions have asked to maintain 8.2 per cent SNF and 3.5 per cent fat in milk bought from farmers, said president of DDC Employee Association Balram Phuyal. Similarly, they have also urged for the use of 650 metric tonnes of skimmed milk in stock. The skimmed milk will expire in July this year, he said.
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