July 21, 2024, Sunday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

LSD relief guideline on anvil

The Nepal Weekly
September 5, 2023

Minister for Agriculture and Livestock Development Dr. Bedu Ram Bhusal informed that the Guideline for providing relief to the farmers suffering loss due to death of cattle caused by the Lumpy Skin Diseases will be issued at the earliest.

Speaking at a press conference while making public achievements after he became Minister at the Ministry Sunday, Dr. Bhusal said that he was seriously working to issue the guideline at the earliest even though it has been delayed to provide relief to the victims of LSD.

Minister Bhusal said, “The standards sent from the Ministry are being processed in the Ministry of Finance and Home Affairs, and it has been delayed due to procedural work rather than the intention. Farmers will get relief.”

He said that lumpy skin is control-oriented and now the government will provide free treatment.

According to the Ministry, about 52,500 animals died due to the lumpy skin disease across the country. About 1,519,000 animals were sick from the disease.

Meanwhile, around 1.3 million doses of vaccines of LSD have been imported from Lebanon, Tanzania and Turkey.

Minister Bhusal has claimed that the government has advanced the process to procure the seed virus of LSD from neighbouring countries to produce vaccines inside the country.

According to the Ministry, the budget of the office under the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, which the government decided to cancel, has been released.

This decision was made so that the work of the offices will not be affected until the process of merger and cancellation begins.

He informed that this decision was taken in coordination with the Ministry of Finance after the work of the offices, which were in a state of zero budget after the budget announcement, was affected.

Minister Dr. Bhusal said that the Ministry has given priority for preparing acts and regulations required for the overall development of the agriculture sector.

“Due to positive initiatives, we have managed to import the largest quantity of chemical fertilisers last year in ten-year period. About 60,000 tonnes of chemical fertilisers are still available in the depot, which is positive,” he said. 

A budget of Rs. 30 billion has been allocated for the import of chemical fertilisers for the current fiscal year as the lack of budget had affected import of chemical fertilisers in the past, he said.

He said that a proposal has been submitted to amend the Public Procurement Act and Regulations to shorten the procurement process of chemical fertilisers. Stating that there is a problem in distribution of imported chemical fertilisers to the farmers, he said that it was an urgent need to improve the distribution system with the effective coordination among the federal, provincial and local levels governments.

Minster Dr. Bhusal said that the country’s economy can be strengthened only by increasing production and export and import substitution.

He said that the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development has planned to run the campaign for increasing the production of Chaite paddy as the country can be self-reliant in paddy only through the expansion of Chaite paddy cultivation.

“Rice accounts for 67 per cent of our food crop. There is a shortfall of almost 1.2 million tonnes of paddy than what we need. If we can increase the Chaite paddy cultivation area to 240,000 hectares from the current 118,000 hectares, the deficit of paddy can be reduced,” he said.

Additional 600,000 to 700,000 tonnes of paddy can be produced if the area of Chaite paddy cultivation can be expanded to 240,000 hectares, he added. According to him the Ministry of Agriculture was coordinating with the Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation for the expansion of irrigation facilities to arable land as irrigation is the biggest problem of agriculture in Nepal.