Agroecological perspectives in the 16th periodic planning

Agroecological perspectives in the 16th periodic planning

  • December 17, 2023

On December 17th, 2023, ForestAction Nepal, the secretariat of the Alliance of Agriculture for Food (AAF), organized a discussion event titled “Agroecological Perspectives in the 16th Periodic Planning” at SAP-Falcha Kathmandu. The main objective of this event was to deliberate on the necessity of incorporating agroecology into the 16th periodic plan, considering the recent publication of its concept note by the National Planning Commission.

The program was conducted in the presence of distinguished guests, including Honorable Binita Kathayat, a member of the Agriculture, Cooperative, and Natural Resources Committee (under the House of Representatives); Honorable Dr. Jaykant Raut, a member of the National Planning Commission; Dr. Hari Bahadur KC, Director General of the Department of Agriculture; Dr. Ram Krishna Shrestha, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development; Mahesh Jaisi, Head of the Agriculture Extension Service Department, IAAS and various stakeholders comprising agriculture experts, farmers, media personnel, students, representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs), and members of AAF.

The event followed a specific modality, beginning with a presentation by the AAF. Mr. Uddhav Adhikari, the coordinator of AAF, presented key facts and figures regarding Nepalese agriculture. This included an assessment of the shortcomings of the previous periodic plan and emphasized the importance of incorporating agroecology into the 16th periodic plan.

Following the presentation, the floor was opened for discussion. A summary of the main viewpoints expressed by the guests and participants is highlighted below;

– agriculture should be regarded as a means of livelihood.

– necessity of allocating agricultural budgets towards the development of environment friendly tools and technologies.

– need of improving implementation strategies of plans.

– due to COVID-19 and other adverse circumstances, many of the goals outlined in the previous plans were not accomplished.

– given the current scenario, an immediate transformation towards agroecological farming may not be possible. Instead, a gradual reduction of chemical use and an increase in organic matter as part of a strategy to transition towards organic farming is required.

– agroecology should be viewed as a scientific approach rather than just a form of subsistence farming.

– current plans and policies have failed to attract the interest of youth in agriculture.

– there is need to establish a co-existence between agricultural extension, research, and development.

– necessity of structural reformation for sustainable transformation of the food system.

– need to develop critical thinking in government programs and processes.

– the need for parliamentarians to have a more active and influential role in shaping agricultural policies and plans.