Complaints of farmers about discrimination in subsidy distribution

The farmers have complained that the Gorkha cluster unit of the Food and Nutrition Security Improvement Project has discriminated in the distribution of subsidies. The complaints of the groups are that the project has discriminated in the selection of beneficiary groups for the program to be conducted in the current year 2079/80.

This year, the office has decided to distribute small grants to 70 grants and 60 groups. Two hundred and twenty groups submitted applications for grant distribution. Small grants are provided to the nutrition group and supplementary grants to the agriculture and livestock groups.

According to the office, small grants will be up to five lakhs and supplementary grants up to six lakhs. Subsidized groups have to contribute 15 percent. During the training, the groups were assured that since this project is the last year, all of them will get the grant, but now they are complaining that there is discrimination in the selection of the groups.

Lila Bahadur Gurung of Barpak Sulikot Rural Municipality 6 Moharia’s Entrepreneurial Agriculture Group said, ‘Everybody’s proposals are the same. This year, we submitted a new proposal from our group to cultivate potatoes on barren land, but we were not selected, many others with similar proposals were selected.’

They complain that the government’s policy is to encourage those who cultivate on barren land, but the project has been discriminating against the groups since the past. There are 29 members in the said group.

A farmer of the Kafalbote Farmers Group complained that the group had requested for it last year as well but did not get any subsidy. “Every year our group is left out, if we look at the criteria and basis of selection, there is no reason why we should not get it, the project office discriminated,” said the complaining farmer.

Farmers said that the project reduced the program in agreement with the staff in the field, completed the 16-week agricultural training in 10 weeks and arranged the documents, and ignored the hearing when complaining. Farmers complain that many groups of the same nature have been given subsidies in the same ward, but in Koinawada, the groups have been deprived of the subsidy.

From the Barpak Sulikot Rural Municipality of Gorkha, where the program was implemented, 61 groups submitted proposals, 30 for supplementary grants and 24 for small grants. Out of these, 18 groups have been selected for supplementary grants and 15 groups have been selected for small grants. In Gandaki Rural Municipality, 23 groups applied for supplementary grants and 22 for small grants, 17 groups were selected for supplementary grants and 15 for small grants.

In Benighat Rorang rural municipality, 26 groups submitted applications for supplementary grants and 21 groups for small grants. 17 of these groups will receive grants and 15 groups will receive small grants. In Gajuri rural municipality, 40 groups have submitted applications for grants and 27 have submitted applications for small grants, 18 have received grants and 15 have received small grants.

Out of the 220 groups of four rural municipalities who have applied for small and supplementary grants, only 130 groups have been included in the grant. The Food and Nutrition Security Improvement Project stated that due to the lack of budget to provide subsidies to all groups, they could not cover all of them when choosing.

Keshab Devkota, head of the Food and Nutrition Security Improvement Project, said, ‘We chose people’s representatives. Stating that it was not possible to deliver to everyone because of the limited quota, he said that the ones given last year have not been repeated now.

The project works only in four municipalities namely Gorkha and Dhading. Even within this municipality, which group will be the beneficiary has been decided before the project starts. Farmers are angry with the project for discriminating among the beneficiaries of the same nature.

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