Clear policy sought on FDI in agriculture
Pokhara, March 14: Need for a clear policy on bringingin foreign direct investment in agriculture has been pointed out.
Speakers in a programme organised by the National Farmers Commission and co-organised by Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives here on Tuesday underscored the need for a clear-cut policy on FDI in agriculture.
Stating that the national economy could be consolidated through modernisation and commercialisation of agriculture, they however said that FDI in agriculture should be invited only after formulating a sound policy in that regard. "Bringing in FDI without such a policy would only complicate matters," they cautioned.
Chairperson of the National Farmers Commission, Chitra Bahadur Shrestha said although FDI was necessary for the development of the agriculture sector, it should be done by formulating a clear policy on that and as per our requirement.
"The coming age is the age of economic prosperity. We should work for creating an environment to promote self-sufficiency and export in agriculture for strengthening the economy," he suggested.
Agriculture economist Basudev Kafle said that private-public partnership should be built on and made more effective for agricultural development. He stressed that the state's role should be pro-farmers in this connection.
Commission member-secretary Tej Bahadur Subedi said market access of agriculture products should also be enhanced along with FDI. He said clear policy should be formulated regarding in which sector FDI should be brought.
Secretary at the Province-4 Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives, Sharad Chandra Shrestha emphasised that the state should formulate a suitable policy as per the national need for commercialisation of agriculture and accordingly invite the FDI. He also pointed out the need of identifying the genuine farmers and forming a farmers network for carrying out farm-related activities through this network.
President of the Kaski District Coordination Committee, Bain Bahadur Adhikari said that the state should prioritise agriculture.
Mayor of Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolitan City, Man Bahadur GC said the metropolis would be made farmer-friendly. He also spoke of the need of making agriculture a respectable profession.
Regional director of National Tea and Coffee Development Board, Laxman Pokhrel demanded that the state should promote agriculture and especially high-value agricultural crops like tea and coffee.
Commission members Bhanubhakta Sigdel and Rabindra KC, journalists RC Baral, Manohar Kadariya, Shiva Raj Bhandari, Maya Adhikari and Lok Prasad Adhikari among the speakers also underlined the need of modernisation of agriculture and farmer-friendly agricultural policies.