The Secretary for Ministry of Agriculture, the Danish Ambassador, high level officers from Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and DoLIDAR and Local Development Officers of seven programme districts met in Dhankuta to sign a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding for the Infrastructure Component of the UNNATI Programme.
In December 2013 Denmark and the Government of Nepal signed an agreement on a new inclusive growth programme supporting the commercialization of value chains in Eastern Nepal with 70 million USD.
Almost half of this budget is allocated to infrastructure and will be implemented by the DDCs/DTOs in the 7 selected districts in the Eastern Region.
The overall UNNATI – Inclusive Growth in Nepal Program was launched in Kathmandu on 27th of January 2014. The programme supports the commercialization and development of the value chains of ginger, orthodox tea and dairy in Eastern Nepal and implementation in the seven districts has now begun. A severe obstacle for the commercialization of agriculture in Eastern Nepal is the inadequacy and underdevelopment of rural infrastructure. Due to this severe constraint smallholder farmers are not able to get their products to markets in due time. This is why half the budget of the UNNATI programme – appr. 35 mio. USD – has been allocated to improving infrastructure in the selected districts.
The Infrastructure Component will be implemented by local government authorities in the programme districts supported by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and the Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads (DoLIDAR).
“With today´s signing ceremony we have taken an important step towards strengthen rural infrastructure development in 7 districts in the Eastern part of Nepal. Denmark has been working with local government for a long time, not least through our active engagement in LGDCP. We consider the strengthening of local governance to be essential for ensuring economic development, peace and prosperity in Nepal. We trust that the DDCs will make best use of the support we are providing. Because after all, we have a common goal: To strengthen market-based growth, reduce poverty and improve living standards”, said the Danish Ambassador, Kirsten Geelan at the Signing Ceremony in Dhankuta on May 12.