Final sharing meetings of TCP/NEP/3502 and TCP/NEP/3503 were organized jointly by the FAO, the Plant Protection Directorate and the Agribusiness Promotion and Marketing Development Directorate of the Department of Agriculture in Lalitpur on 28-29 March 2017.
The two-year project “Strengthening pesticide management in agriculture to reduce risks to health and environment (TCP/NEP/3502)” is a FAO-funded project in Nepal under the Technical Cooperation Program (TCP) which aims at reducing pesticide risks in agriculture ensuring food safety. It is in line with continuation of 10-year National IPM program.
Similarly, “Building Agribusiness Capacity of Smallholders Farmers to Market Safe Produce of Good Quality (TCP/NEP/3503)” is a 2-year project under the technical and financial support of FAO. The project aims to contribute to enhanced market-oriented production, improved income of smallholder farmers and enhanced access of consumers to safe and quality produce.
Both the projects were launched simultaneously in the districts of Kavre, Dhading, Bara and Kapilvastu targeting strengthening capacity of the vegetable farmers. Government of Nepal has expressed commitment on reducing pesticide misuse in agriculture through promoting IPM-based Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) and eco-friendly pest management.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Suroj Pokhrel, Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture said that both the public and private sector should be involved with commitment and dedication to ensure the supply of safe food to the consumers. He also suggested the concerned authorities to find out solutions to the problems related to the price fluctuation in the vegetable markets that appears from time to time as burning issues causing financial threats to the vegetable farmers.
Dr Somsak Pipoppinyo, FAO Representative, said that the projects have played a role to initiate and establish common platform for strengthening the government’s capacity on the residual monitoring and effective management of pesticide legislation and safe use. He expressed gratitude to the Government of Nepal, especially to the Plant Protection Directorate, Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agricultural Development for the continued collaboration and cooperation with the FAO towards successful completion of the projects.
Speaking from the chair,Dila Ram Bhandari, the Director-General of the Department of Agriculture, said that legal, administrative and technical interventions of the projects have been instrumental to produce manpower in pest management and educate the farmers on the market streamlining. He also thanked the FAO for the technical and financial assistance to both the projects.
Iswor Rijal, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Agricultural development and Dr Binod Saha, Assistant FAO Representatives also addressed the meeting.
Dr Dilli Ram Sharma, the Director of the Plant Protection Directorate, who is also the National Project Coordinator of TCP 3502 and Laxman Poudyal, Agribusiness Promotion and Marketing Development Directorate, who is also the National Project Coordinator of TCP 3503 made the detailed presentations on the achievements of the projects. The meetings were attended by the government and FAO experts, representatives of farmers and consumer forums.