Current Affairs

Nepal’s agro engineers intensify online dialogue on farm modernization and mechanization in Nepal

Birat Anupam

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Itahari, 12 May (2020) – Agriculture engineering studies began at the Purwanchal Campus of Dharan in 2057 BS with the objective of producing technical human resources essential to modernize and mechanize the agricultural sector in the country. The opening Bachelors’ of Agriculture Engineering quota of 24 was increased to 48 in 2070 BS. Still, the graduates of this only agriculture engineering campus under Nepal’s Tribhuwan University are not happy with the under-utilization of these much-needed agro technicians in the agriculture-dependent nation.

”Nepal’s majority population is engaged on subsistence farming and they are in dire need of academically and practically sound agriculture technicians like agriculture engineers”, said Sagar Kafle, the Secretary of Nepalese Society of Agriculture Engineers (NSAE). In order to bridge the farm and agriculture technicians, Kafle said, NSAE is intensifying virtual dialogue with concerned stakeholders of the State No. 1 and 2. ”We held a fruitful dialogue with stakeholders of State No. 1 on May 2 and with concerned stakeholders of state 2 on May 8”, informed Kafle, also the lecturer at the Department of Agriculture Engineering of the Purwanchal Campus of Dharan.

On May 2, NSAE organized a zoom-supported video conference dialogue with state minister of the Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative Ministry of state 1 Ram Bahadur Rana, State Planning Commission Member Meena Bhandari, economic advisor of Chief Minister Sherdhan Rai Dr. Mahendra Gurung, mayor of Belaka Municipality of Udayapur district Durga Kumar Thapa, Asociate Prodessor of Purwanchal Campus Er. Javed Alam and spokesperson for the Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative Ministry of State No. 1 Rajendra Uprety.

Speaking on the occasion, minister Rana said the state government has devised a plan to uplift substantial farming to profit-making commercial farming. Other speakers spoke on the importance of farm mechanization and modernization with the active research and practices of agriculture technicians. They stressed on the provision of compulsory agriculture engineer quota in agro-based local bodies of the state.

On May 8, the NSAE hosted another online dialogue on the importance of agricultural engineering human resource at agriculture-dependent local and state governments. In the dialogue, state minister of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperative Ministry Agriculture Ministry of state 2 Yogendra Raya Yadav said State No. 2 government had accorded strong priority on agriculture and that more funds would be poured in agriculture in the upcoming fiscal year. Other speakers including Vice-chair of Policy and Plan Commission of State No. 2 Dr. Bhogendra Jha, mayor of Golbazar Municipality Debnath Shah, mayor of Hariwan Municipality Ganesh Prashad Prasai, director of Agriculture Directorate of state-2 Dr. Ratan Kumar Jha and the chief of Agriculture Equipment Testing Center Ramnath Jha also spoke on the urgency of farm mechanism and modernization.

They said possible food crisis in post-pandemic Nepal was another reason to adopt agriculture modernization. Sagar Kafle said the NSAE would continue its online and offline dialogue with all other stakeholders of all seven provinces of Nepal. ”Agriculture engineering is something many stakeholders are unknown. Therefore, we are in mission to impart importance of agriculture engineers, farm mechanization and modernization in all state and local governments”, said Kafle. He added, ”COVID-19 has been a good starting point towards this end.” RSS

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