Agro minister pledges to ensure food security via new policies
KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 16
Agriculture Minister Ghanashyam Bhusal has pledged to ensure food security in the country as the ministry is preparing new policies and regulations to regulate the food production and distribution sector.
Addressing a programme organised on the occasion of the 40th World Food Day today, he said that the Food Act has been formulated as per the spirit of the constitution and regulations are being drafted.
He stated that the issue of right to food and healthy food for everyone has been addressed constitutionally and politically, but a lot of work still remains to be done.
“There are many well-experienced technicians in the country, however, whenever the need arises there are no technical persons available in the required destination.
We have to be clear that farmers alone cannot sort out their problems,” Bhusal said. “At least one agricultural technician in every ward is the present need for the development of the agricultural sector.”
Meanwhile, Uddhav Adhikari, chairperson of Alliance of Agriculture for Food campaign, stressed on increasing production to discourage the import of agricultural products by adopting sustainable development through organic agriculture. “A task force formed by the ministry for the promotion of organic agriculture has already submitted its report but there has been no response so far,” he said, adding, “The government needs to be serious and bring result oriented policies.”
Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary Rajendra Prasad Bhari said that the ministry is working on the classification of farmers to ensure access to food for all and for sustainable development.
“We are now planning to categorise farmers and provide facilities through a voucher system,” he said, adding that the ministry has also asked all the provinces to provide data on farmers.
He further added that the ministry has a plan to reduce chemical farming and promote organic farming in the coming days.
According to Bhari, the private sector and local governments have decided to buy and sell the agricultural produce of the farmers as the products cannot be bought only by the food management and trade companies.
On the occasion of the 40th World Food Day, prizes were distributed to farmers under four categories including Seed Production and Distribution, Agricultural Market Management Committee, Melifera Bee Entrepreneur, Serena Bee Entrepreneur, Organic Farming Campaign.
Similarly, social activists who have been involved in providing food to the marginalised sections during this COVID-19 pandemic were also honoured.
A version of this article appears in print on October 17, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.