India and Nepal have agreed to boost bilateral cooperation in agricultural sector for the benefits of farmers of both the nations.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart KP Oli, who is on a three-day India visit held talks to deepen the ties between the countries on Saturday. The talks deliberated upon various bilateral issues.
"Prime Ministers of India and Nepal (have) reaffirmed their resolve to promote cooperation in agricultural science and technology, agricultural production and agro-processing in line with the Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries for mutual benefit of farmers, consumers, scientific community as well as the private sector," the two countries said in a joint statement.
The two leaders agreed to give fresh momentum to bilateral cooperation in the agricultural sector and decided to launch a new partnership in agriculture, it stated.
The partnership will be led by the ministers for agriculture of the two countries. It will focus on collaborative projects in agricultural research and development, education, training and scholarships. It will also aim to strengthen supply and value chain, climate resilience, research in seed technology, soil health; strengthening the infrastructure of plant protection laboratories and research in indigenous genetic resources.
Other areas the partnership will focus is the animal husbandry veterinary research and development facilities, agro forestry, bio pesticides, bio fertilisers, cooperative farming, and promoting exchanges between the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC).
"The two sides will organise the first meeting of the partnership at an early date to concretise priority areas of mutual interest and to develop a work plan for joint implementation. The Indian side announced a pilot project on organic farming and soil health monitoring for implementation in Nepal," the statement added.