Let's transform agriculture into industry: Finance Minister

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KATHMANDU, Dec 31: Finance Minister Janardan Sharma has stressed on the need for turning the agriculture sector into industry instead of limiting it only to production. 

Inaugurating the 14th annual general meeting of Nepal Agricultural Cooperative Central Federation Ltd (NACCFL) here today, he said agriculture should be promoted to build a production-oriented economy. 

Expressing concern over the situation of cultivable land remaining uncultivated on the one hand and the consumption of imported goods increasing on the other in the country, Finance Minister Sharma pointed out to the need of increasing agricultural production through the maximum utilization of water, land and human resources. 

"The agriculture sector is neglected and the farmers are not getting the services and facilities they are entitled to from the State. There is a need for special investment by the State to mobilize this sector in a systematic and organized way," the Finance Minister suggested. He urged the NACCFL to play a role in making important contributions to nation-building by making the farmers business-oriented and self-sufficient.

Finance Minister Sharma pledged the government's full support for resolving the farmers' problems. 

NACCFL chairperson Khem Bahadur Pathak said they have encouraged the poor and deprived farmers to increase agriculture and livestock production and productivity by creating employment in the agriculture sector and mobilizing the scattered capital in the rural areas. 

On the occasion, Ganga Devi Raute, a woman from the nomadic Raute community, was felicitated. She is now involved in agriculture and livestock farming becoming associated with an agricultural cooperative. 

Finance Minister Sharma handed over Rs 5,000 to her on behalf of NACCFL. Raute, from Dadeldhura district, has cultivated black gram and is rearing over a dozen goats. NACCFL has stated that she has been earning Rs 80,000 annually by selling goat kids. She had taken a loan of Rs 100 thousand from NACCFL to start her small agriculture business.

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National News Agency, Nepal

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