July 20, 2024, Saturday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

RETs can help increase agricultural production, experts say

The Nepal Weekly
July 2, 2024

On the occasion of the 21st National Rice Day on Sunday, Alternative Energy Promotion Center (AEPC) and Renewable Energy Confederation of Nepal (RECON) organized a discussion programme on renewable energy and energy efficiency for agriculture. Ashadh 15 is considered to be the peak time for planting rice, which is the staple food of most Nepali people. On that day, paddy is planted, special folk songs are sung and beaten rice with yogurt are eaten as part of the festival.

In the programme held in the meeting hall of the AEPC, energy experts, professionals and private sector entrepreneurs active in alternative energy promotion have raised the issues of emphasizing productivity and sustainability by integrating renewable energy and energy efficiency technology in the agricultural sector.

Use of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency are instrumental to reduce dependence on imported food and ensure food security, they stressed.

Nawa Raj Dhakal, the executive director of AEPC said, “Continuous discussions and deliberations are necessary to find ways to increase the use of renewable energy in the agricultural sector. Apart from irrigation and crop management, renewable energy can also be used for transportation and long-term storage of agricultural products, he said.

He also mentioned that the necessary preparations are being made by the Government of Nepal to introduce the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Act and the bill in this regard has been tabled in the the Parliament to address the issues related to renewable energy.

Chairperson of Renewable Energy Confederation Nepal (RECON) Guna Raj Dhakal highlighted the importance of RETs to increase the productivity of Nepal’s agricultural sector. Similarly, he mentioned that collaboration between the AEPC and RECON is indispensable in context to renewable energy technology for agriculture.

Subha Laxmi Shrestha, deputy director of AEPC, said that the center is contributing significantly to using renewable energy technology for agriculture and effective programmes should be conducted in the agricultural sector in cooperation with the private sector.

On this occasion, Shekhar Aryal, Sushil Gyawali, K.R. Khanal, Dr. Shantikala Subedi, Sunita Nhemphuki, Suhrid Chapagain, Min Bikram Malla also spoke on different aspects of agriculture including RETs, biofertilisers, mechanisation and financing.

Shisher Shrestha of IWMI, Min Bikram Malla of Practical Action Nepal and Subas Shrstha of AgriDirect had performed presentations on Solar Irrigation Systems, Use of RETs for agricuture and Energy efficiency and building financial capability of small farmers respectively.

Concluding the programme, Er. Ganesh Shah, former Minister of Science and Technology expressed the opinion that it would be appropriate for the relevant institutions to conduct introductory programmes for increasing the capacity and awareness of renewable energy technology for agriculture at the provincial level as well.