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Statement by Nepal on the occasion of the 34th session of the IFAD Governing Council

Mr. Chairperson,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Governors,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is indeed my great pleasure to address this august assembly on behalf of the Government of Nepal and my own behalf in this historic city, Rome.

Agriculture is the crucial sector and plays vital role in socio-economic transformation of a country like Nepal, which is still a subsistence and agrarian in nature. Meeting the needs of growing population, there is an urgent need of addressing issues related to agriculture development, challenges emerging from the effect of climate change, mainstreaming young and women in agricultural development and improving food security situation of the small and marginalized farmer. In this context, current theme of this meeting" Feeding future generations: Young rural people today- prosperous, productive farmers tomorrow" is the relevant in present context.

Mr. Chairperson,

The global fight against hunger and malnutrition is still one of the most important tasks facing the international community. More than one billion people in the world are starving now and most of them are in the countries of south Asian regions like Nepal. The challenge to provide food for hunger population with an adequate and balanced diet in one hand and attracting and retaining youth in agriculture is great challenge facing developing countries.

In this context, IFAD ‘s role and contribution to enable poor farmers to overcome from chronic poverty, through their economic, social and political empowerment are more crucial and relevant then ever. Similarly, providing decent job opportunities for youth both in agricultural and non agricultural in order to maintain social harmony, enhancing food security and reducing poverty.

Mr. Chairperson,

To overcome with these multiple challenges, there is an urgent need to develop innovative and knowledge intensive approach towards agricultural development. We must not only help poor farmers and youth, we must also enable them to seek lasting solutions to cope with and mitigate the impact of climate change and improving food security situation.

Nepal is committed to abide by the commitments and declarations made during last world events in World Food Summit, Rome 2009; Climate Change Sumit in Copenhagen and World Food Security and Climate Change Conference in Hague, 2010 and  is willing to lead our partners in developing concrete strategy for our policy through the mutual and global co-operation.

I would like to take this opportunity that, the Government of Nepal has realized the need of formulation of concrete strategy and plan to overcome with this challenges and initiated the process to formulate i) National Food and Nutrition Security Plan and ii) National Agricultural Sector Development Strategy to address the current challenges in agriculture sector.

Mr. Chairperson,

Last but not the least; on behalf of the Government of Nepal and my own behalf, I would request to materialize the earlier decision of IFAD to establish country office and scale up the support to Nepal.

I thank you all for your kind attention.

19 February 2011