BAGLUNG, April 28: The government has started implementation of a new Agri-business and Livelihood Improvement Project, under which it plans to spend Rs 2 billion and achieve modernization of the agricultural sector in 10 mountainous districts, including Manag and Mustang.
The project aims to help farmers to advance their traditional agricultural activities and support production, processing, quality improvment and marketing of their produces.
“The project will enhance the quality of life of the farmers from the districts such as Sanskhusbha, Solukhumbu, Rasuwa, Dolakha, Jumla, Mugu and Dolpa,” Krishna Prasad Santhi, head of the project told Republica on Saturday.
The project is supported by Asian development Bank (ADB) and has been brought into implementation after extensive research by a team of experts from ADB, Department of Livestock Services (DoLS) and Department of Agriculture (DoA), said Santhi. He added the project would focus on making agriculture the source of income for farmers.
District Agriculture Development Office (DADO) and District Livestock Services Office (DLSO) will jointly implement the project. “Non governmental organizations and private sector of the concerned districts will also be involved in the process,” Santhi said. The project comprises components such as providing skills, seeds and financial support to the farmers.
“Farmers will get a grant in a range of Rs 20,000 to 200,000 to start agri-business,” Santhi said. The project plans to pledge grant worth 80 percent of the program cost and farmers will contribute the remaining 20 percent.
Farmers´ groups and cooperatives in some places have already started to work under the project. For instance, farmers from Mustang have started cow protection initiative, the project said.