Nepal to sign farm commercialization pact with 5 countries
KATHMANDU, Aug 16: Nepal is to sign new agreements with two countries and renew its existing agreement with three others including China and India to enchance supply capacity of agricultural product by commercializing the sector.
Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD) are busy finalizing the agendas to be incorporated in the deals that are crucial to increase farm production in Nepal and enhancing expertise in agriculture sector.
Prabhakar Pathak, spokesperson of the MoAD said the ministry was preparing to sign new agreement with Turkey to exchange cooperation in agriculture research, soil and water management as well as enhance Nepal´s farm technology.
Turkey proposed to support Nepal in agriculture research and farm commercialization as well as measures to cope with impact of climate change and strengthen food security in Nepal.
“We have accepted the proposed draft of the agreement from Turkey. Besides, we have also asked Turkey´s support to standardize Nepali exportable foods, food quality control, and commercialization in hybrid maize in Nepal. We will fix the date for Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) immediately after we finalize the scope of cooperation between the two countries,” Pathak told Republica.
He also said a joint working committee comprising agriculture officials of the both countries will be formed to implement the agreement.
In an effort to bring in coffee production technology and food security policies from Brazil, the government is also preparing to sign a pact with the world´s largest coffee producing country. In 2010 the South American country produced 3.27 million tons of coffee.
“We are preparing a draft agreement in which we are going to seek Brazil´s support for the commercialization of coffee and replicating Zero Hunger Agriculture Policy applied there,” he added.
Besides, the fresh agreements with Turkey and Brazil, the government is also renewing existing agriculture agreements with India, China and Israel.
According to him, the Joint Agriculture Working Committee Meetings with Chinese and Indian officials will be held in Kathamandu soon to renew the existing pacts with the two close neighbor that are achieving technical and commercial advancement in agriculture sector. The bilateral agreement on agriculture cooperation with India in 1991 needs to be renewed every ten years.
“We are preparing a proposed draft that includes Indian support in development of human resource, exchange of agriculture related information and joint research by Indian and Nepali scientists to enhance our capacity,” he added.
In the pact to be inked at the agriculture secretary level meeting, both sides will agree on strengthening cooperation in controlling infectious farm diseases, upgrading Nepali lab standard for international quality certification and effective quarantine procedures in the customs while importing birds and animal products.
Similarly, Nepal and China are renewing existing bi-lateral agreement on agriculture cooperation soon. The second meeting of Nepal-China Agriculture Joint Committee held in Lhasa of Tibet in 2010 had decided to hold the next meeting in 2011 in Kathmandu. However, the meeting was delayed by one year due to ´technical reason´.
“We have formed a committee to renew the existing bi-lateral agreement,” he said. He further stated that Nepal would ask for Chinese support in conducting feasibility study for a proposed fertilizer plant in Nepal.
Besides, Nepal is also requesting China to sell chemical fertilizers to ensure smooth supply during the crisis period. Nepal has been sourcing fertilizers from India and overseas markets to fulfill the partial demands for fertilizers in the domestic market.
“Chinese cooperation in technology transfer for dairy development, animal feed production in Nepal will also be incorporated in the proposed agreement,” he said. During the meeting Nepali officials are scheduled to discuss simplification of quarantine procedure for Nepali animal and poultry products consigned for China.
Likewise, Israeli and Nepali officials are also setting for dialogue to strengthen cooperation on modernization of Nepal´s agriculture.