Nepal forms work plan with IRRI to strengthen efforts towards rice self-sufficiency
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and the Government of Nepal forged a five-year collaborative work plan to reinvigorate Nepal’s rice sector and help achieve food and nutrition security.
The five-year work plan, which was signed by Nepal’s Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management, and Cooperatives (MoALMC) Secretary Yubak Dhoj G.C. and IRRI Director General Matthew Morell, outlines projects specifically designed to increase grain yield, build technical skills and capabilities, and promote a more market-driven seed system for climate resilient rice varieties as a means to reduce Nepal’s rice imports.
“This work plan is fully aligned with Nepal government plans as we strive to double the rice productivity in next five years. The themes and integrated projects set out in the work plan will directly contribute to achieving the targets set out by Nepal,” Honourable Minister for MoALMC Chakrapani Khanal said.
“Increased rice production means that the country no longer has to depend on imports, as it is consuming a significant portion of our national budget that could be allocated to other priority objectives” he added.
Rice is Nepal’s most important staple food crop and agricultural product, providing 53 percent of cereal consumption and 30 percent of protein intake for 30 million Nepalese.
It also contributes to 21 percent of the country’s Agricultural Gross Domestic Product (AGDP) and 7 percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and rural employment.