Rebati Ram Poudel (Chetan)
Nepal is an agro-based country whose 70% citizen still relies on the agriculture as the major source of income. Even though majority of the citizens have occupation as farmer, many of them don't even possess their own land i.e. needless to say they are landless. Agriculture is that factor field which is most responsible for economic growth in our country. Till 2006 agriculture itself held 39.5% of the total economy while looking into the indicator of G.D.P. This means still now agricultural sector covers more than one third of the total national economy. If only we could concentrate upon the new approaches for systematic and scientific agricultural system then our national economy growth would reach a greater height. This would ultimately solve the poor economic condition of our citizens and later prosperity would prevail.
There has always been much neglect regarding the agricultural sector for ages. Realization of better country's economy with prosperous agricultural sector is there but unwillingness to act upon it is a problem. Farmers of more than 60% of the fertile land have unheard the irrigation facility yet and still depend upon rain water for cultivation. Lack of proper education or training, farmers apply same old fashioned way of farming that yields less than that with new techniques. Some where fertilizers are used in excess manner whereas some where they are insufficient. Management of the harvested crop has been one of the prominent problems for the farmers. If there be no market there would be no sell which ultimately leads to no economic gain. Orchards of Humla and Jumla are inaccessible for the people of Kathmandu due to no proper transportation facility resulting to rotting of those products. Some farmers don't have lands for their own to cultivate whereas some have unlimited lands that are left barren. Thus, there happens to be many problems in the agricultural sector that had to be addressed by the government.
Budget for fiscal year 2063/64 was announced last year. It was expected that this budget would make every citizens of Nepal believe that they are really in different and new stage than before. New and prosperous life would be entertained by people of new Nepal; addressing would be done by the new government especially for deprived groups, regions or sectors, but the dream went wrong. Neither was there any provision for revolution in land services nor was there any new approach for betterment of the sector and people. Only indirectly affecting factors had been introduced that would just touch the hair of agriculture. This act have really outspoken a bitter truth that the country had never been serious towards this sector before and would never be better in future if the budget follows the same trend. Thus, it does suffice to say that the budget has totally excluded agricultural sector for this year.
Why has this unfair act been seen or felt by the majority of the citizens? Answer lies within the concept of globalization and liberalization which has been tried to be introduced in our country as well. But with the fact that the country has many poor people than rich, globalization in the present context would be lethal for our country; this would only make our economic condition more and more worse by making greater and greater barrier between rich and poor which might burst like it did in people's war for 12 years. Until and unless majority of the citizens become capable of having access to each and every basic facilities, striking the right or core point i.e. revolution in agricultural system has to be considered seriously. Then only our country will have greater breakthrough in economic growth and who knows it might reclaim its pride of once being one of the prosperous countries in the world.
Hence, budget has to be reconsidered and a reform in agriculture and better provisions has to substitute other vague and less important sectors.
Rebati Ram Poudel (Chetan)