In implementing organic farming and soil health cards, India has agreed to support Nepal.
In India, soil health cards are widely implemented. Soil health card is particularly a crop-wise recommendation of nutrients and fertilisers required for farms so that farmers can use inputs accordingly and raise the productivity.
Shankar Sapkota, co-spokesperson for the Ministry of Agricultural Development, said that the 5th Joint Agriculture Working Group meeting formally included this agenda among the areas of cooperation in agriculture between Nepal and India.
Both India and Nepal agreed to renew the memorandum of understanding on cooperation in the field of agriculture until December, 2021. Other agendas covered agricultural development, such as expansion of micro-irrigation systems, seed technologies, agricultural mechanization and strengthening quarantine and laboratory facilities, including establishment of mirror laboratories at five border points.
The two sides also discussed regular supply of indigenous chemical fertilisers, climate change impacts, accreditation of laboratories, formation of communication mechanism regarding sanitary and phytosanitary measures, mutual cooperation on agricultural research and germplasm exchange, establishment of deemed university under Nepal Agricultural Research Council and human resource development.
Sapkota said, the two governments decided to draft a work plan and prepare detailed project proposals by July 2015 and implement over a period of five years. The meeting was convened following the direction of Nepal-India Joint Commission held in Kathmandu in July, 2014.
The sixth meeting is scheduled to be held in India in October, 2015.