Groundnut Export Potential

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Groundnut Export Potential

In general parlance, Nepal is an agricultural country. However, that sounds like more of a satire,considering the fact that Nepal is a net importer of most agricultural products which have a huge production potential within the country. The action taken by various governments have been futile as the import of agricultural products has been consistently rising over the past few years. The absence of an implementable land use policy, lack of protection schemes for farmers, inadequate support measures and lack of an integrated strategy to address the cross-sectional issues are the raison d'être behind the dismal performance of this sector. With an average annual growth rate of 33 percent, the import of groundnut, too, is not an exception. 
 
Nepal's soil is suitable for groundnut farming. Also, the demand for groundnut has been increasing. The commercialisation of agricultural production has been the aim of various government programs. But this is not possible without the support of the private sector. And this is true for the commercial production of groundnut as well. The private sector should come forward and take the lead in the commercial production of groundnut.
 
The government should protect groundnut farmers by providing them incentives and subsidies, with the guarantee of purchasing the farmers’ production at a minimum support price. It should also provide tax waivers to groundnut producers and traders. The producers should also be provided training, technical support and irrigation to increase the production, thereby making Nepali groundnut more competitive in the domestic as well as the international markets. These are some of the remedies for curbing the growing import of groundnut and making Nepal self-reliant in the crop.

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