Thursday, 18 June 2009

NARC to launch farm support drive

KATHMANDU, June 17 - The Nepal Agriculture Research Council (NARC) is gearing up to launch an agriculture village model programme 'Scientists with the Farmers' in the coming fiscal year. Bhola Man Singh Basnet, chief agronomist at the NARC, said the innovative farmer-oriented drive aims to involve scientists and farmers across the country to share expertise.
The scientists will interact with farmers of specific regions separately, encouraging the latter to apply efficient technologies and opt for agro-biodiversity (crops, livestock and fish).
The agronomist said the scientists will be mobilised at Tarahara in Sunsari district for the eastern region, Parwanipur for the central region, Lumle for the western region and Khajura in Banke district for mid-western and far-western regions. This programme will enable farmers to interact directly with agricultural scientists, say NARC officials.
The programme will identify the crops, livestock and fisheries for the specific regions and promote them. For instance, NARC will extensively promote Rara-12, a rice variety, in the eastern region, Basnet said. The programme also aims to raise awareness on NARC's improved crop varieties and encourage the farmers to use the improved seeds for better production.
The research council has released 221 improved varieties of 44 crops in 48 years. Farmers have been using old improved seeds for over a decade, Basnet said, suggesting the use of newly-released batches of improved seeds. Among others, the scientists teams will comprise crop experts, irrigation and manure experts.
'We want to reach out to the farmers to show we can utilise our scientific knowledge on the field for better crop yield,'' said Basnet.

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