China proposes to help Nepal in farm research, development
KATHMANDU, Sept 30: In a bid to speed up farm commercialization in the country, China has proposed to support Nepal in applying modern technology in livestock farming, fisheries and hill agriculture development, among others.
The Chinese proposal comes ahead of the agriculture secretary level meeting between the countries scheduled to be held in Kathmandu on Monday. Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD) Dr Ganesh Raj Joshi and Niu Dun, Chinese Vice-minister for Agriculture, are leading their respective countries in the bi-lateral talks.
A source at the MoAD told Republica that Chinese officials have already proposed to Nepal in promoting animal husbandry to boost production of animal products such as milk, meat and wool in Nepal. Nepal has been spending millions of rupees a year to import those products.
Similarly, the Chinese side is also interested in supporting Nepal to expanding fish farming, which is still not widely commercialized despite having huge potentiality.
“The northern neighbor is also eager to support us to promote horticulture, cultivation of cereal crops and other farm activities in hilly areas. Besides, Chinese officials are also ready to support us in other potential areas of agriculture,” the source said.
The source said Nepal will request Chinese officials to help ease quarantine process at customs points while exporting Nepali agro-products.
“As visiting Chinese officials are not dealing with quarantine issues, we will informally request them for their support in simplifying quarantine process,” the source said.
Nepali traders are frequently facing problems in supplying meat products due to strict rule imposed at customs points by the Chinese side.
During the day-long meeting, Nepali officials will also seek Chinese cooperation for strengthening Nepal´s capacity in food quality testing, production of livestock vaccines and increasing mechanization in farming. Human resource development in agriculture sector is also among the agenda to be discussed during the meeting.
The Nepali side will also seek Chinese investment in a 100MW hydropower project to run the proposed chemical fertilizers factory in Nepal.
Though MoAD and Ministry of Entergy have already signed an agreement to execute a 100MW project to power the proposed chemical fertilizer plant in Nepal, it is not clear from where investment for the project will come.
“We are also floating options to Chinese official to invest in small hydropower projects that can be utilized to run small scale fertilizers here,” the source added. Given the lengthy process to procure chemical fertilizers from overseas market, Nepal will also seek Chinese firms to supply chemical fertilizers to Nepal for immediate purpose.
During the meeting, the Nepali side will also seek Chinese support to expand hybrid seeds production technology by helping Nepal build necessary infrastructure.
The Chinese delegation is scheduled to visit Nepal Agriculture Research Council in Khumaltar to discuss about possible technical assistance in farm research.