May 7: The government is preparing to announce a budget of Rs 36.23 billion for the agriculture sector in the coming fiscal year (FY 2021/21). The proposed budget is less than the budget allocated in the current fiscal year by Rs 5 billion.
Last year, the government had allocated a budget of Rs 41.40 billion for the agriculture sector. Based on the ceiling set by the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development is currently drafting the budget for the agriculture sector.
During a virtual programme on 'Coronavirus Pandemic and Agriculture Budget' organized by the Association of Agricultural Journalists (ANAJ) on Thursday, May 6, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development and Head of the Planning Branch Dr Hari Bahadur KC said that the ministry is preparing a budget of Rs 36.23 billion for the agriculture sector in the coming fiscal year.
Out of the total budget for the agriculture sector, about 25 percent of the budget will be allocated for chemical fertilizers. KC said that a large amount of money had to be allocated for chemical fertilizer which is a major need for agricultural production.
Likewise, Rs 3.21 billion will be spent on the Prime Minister's Agriculture Modernization Project, and more than Rs 3 billion on the Nepal Agricultural Research Institute (NARC).
Similarly, Rs 3 billion has also been allocated for the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Animal Husbandry. A total of Rs 14 billion has been allocated under the subsidy heading, of which Rs 15 million will be allocated for various types of agricultural insurance and Rs 1 billion for sugarcane farmers. Likewise, Rs 8 billion has been allocated for the local and state governments, while Rs 1.60 billion will be allocated for financial budget management.
The budget also emphasizes formulating the organic manure mission programme, digital soil mapping, and increasing the scope of soil testing. Likewise, the government plans to set up as many as 100 fruit nurseries, make fisheries self-reliant, and increase milk production and improve its distribution and storage systems. For that, plans have been made to build a powdered milk factory in Kohalpur and milk storage facilities in Biratnagar and Bhairahawa.