KATHMANDU, Jan 3: The Ministry of Agriculture Development (MoAD) on Thursday approved minimum support price for wheat in a bid to assure reasonable returns to the farmers.
"We fixed the minimum support price for wheat at Rs 1,800 per quintal," said a reliable MoAD source. "The price fixed goes in line with what our technical team recommended," he added.
The MoAD had recently formed a technical committee led by its joint secretary Bajay Mallik to suggest the minimum support price and the team a couple of days ago had recommended the Ministry to fix the price at around Rs 1,800 per quintal.
The team had recommended the price calculating the local cost of production and also keeping in view of the in the Indian market. Presently, wheat is selling at around Rs 2,000 in India.
Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, who is also looking after MoAD, endorsed the price on the day, the source stated, adding that the MoAD is soon forwarding its decision to the Ministry of Commerce and Supplies (MoCS) so that it could send it to the cabinet for endorsement.
However, officials themselves expressed doubt over the fate of the Ministry´s move as its similar decision, under which it fixed minimum support price for paddy has not yet been endorsed by the cabinet for implementation.
Following the similar course, the MoAD had also fixed the minimum support price for paddy a couple of months back, but the cabinet is still to endorse it. The MoAD had decided to fix the minimum support price at Rs 1,658 for a quintal of Mota variety of paddy and Rs 1,785 per quintal of Mansuli variety.
The MoAD had taken such decision after the government this year decided to reintroduce the minimum support price system after gap of more than one-and-a-half decade. Through the system, the government aims to enhance the competitiveness of Nepali farmers that are facing difficulty in reaping returns on investment due to soaring farm inputs prices.