KATHMANDU – In the last fiscal year, the government imported 489,000 metric tons of chemical fertilizer, of which 401,000 metric tons were sold, thereby easing supplies chain.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development said over the past year, fertilizer availability in the market has improved compared to previous years, providing easier access for farmers who were previously struggling to get fertilizers.
Tapendra Prasad Bohora, Joint Spokesperson for the Ministry, attributed the increased availability of chemical fertilizers to enhanced crop production and productivity. The Ministry credited the timely initiation of tenders, efficient evaluation processes, and prompt agreements for the timely procurement of fertilizers. The Ministry expressed confidence that the current stock and ongoing procurement efforts would ensure easy access to fertilizers for the upcoming farming season.
The government, according to the Ministry, consistently announced support prices and procured 37,000 metric tons of rice from farmers through cooperatives and the Food Management and Trade Company Limited.
Furthermore, in the past year, the government received a gift of 14 Murrah buffalo bull from India under the Animal Breeding Programme, a part of Nepal-India cooperation in agriculture and the livestock sector. Joint Spokesperson Bohora said with these efforts spanning the past decade to bring Murrah buffaloes were materilised. The government expects their significant role in dairy and meat production.
Similarly, Nepal received 101 advanced breeds of calves and eight bulls during this period, aiming for increased dairy production within the next five to six years. The country also recorded 711,000 artificial inseminations in cattle nationwide for advanced breeds of animals.
The construction of semen production and processing laboratory at the National Livestock Breeding Office, Lahan and distribution of 83.2 million fingerlings to the farmers are also mentioned among the Ministry’s achievements in one year.
A protocol has been signed between Nepal and China for collaboration in the agriculture, livestock and fishery sectors and plant quarantine condition. Likewise, a MoU has been signed between Nepal and South Korea for collaboration in the agriculture sector.
The Ministry stated that 181 thousand and 65 insurance policies related to crop and livestock have been issued and crop and livestock insured worth around Rs 50.40 billion. He said Rs 159 million 900 thousand towards agriculture insurance and Rs 1 billion 962 million and 700 thousand towards livestock insurance has been paid as the subsidy premium of agriculture and livestock insurance.
Quarantine check post has been operated at Trinagar transit point in Kailali and at Suthauli transit point of Kapilbastu for regulating and managing the import and export of vegetable and fruit produce.
An additional 700 thousand farmer households have been listed in the farmer listing system taking the number of listed farmers to 1.4 million. An amount of Rs 580 million has been handed over to the provincial agriculture ministries under the fiscal transfer for providing relief to the farmers whose fowls had been culled in course of prevention of bird flu.
The Ministry stated that 1,000 metric tonnes source seeds of various crops and 633 thousand seedlings of vegetables have been distributed. An immunization programme has been conducted by producing 538 million and 710 doses of vaccines of 13 different kinds for controlling infectious diseases in animals.
Similarly, the Ministry facilitated in the import of 1 million and 37 thousand doses of vaccines for controlling lumpy skin disease in animals. 351 thousand livestock has been administered the vaccines.
Twenty-eight metric tonnes of silage produced in Nepal has been exported to China for the first time. One thousand six hundred and eighty-six metric tonnes of Chhurpi worth around Rs 3.27 billion has also been exported during this period.
Self-sufficiency has been achieved in egg and chicken while the country is moving towards the same status in fish and milk also, the Ministry said in its progress report. The Ministry said 3,113 samples of food and feed had been collected for testing as per the Food and Feed Act, and of these samples 98 were found to be sub-standard. Cases have been filed against such products and firms found producing and selling such sub-standard feed products.
The Ministry stated that monitoring had been conducted for 10,689 times at bar, industries, hotels, restaurants and sweet shops during this period. Twenty-three parameters related to seven food grains, including tea, coffee, honey and spices, among others have been certified in this period.
Twenty-two varieties of various crops including rice, wheat and vegetables, among others, were registered and six new varieties released. Similarly, 25 various technologies related to agriculture and livestock have been developed during this period, the Ministry stated.