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Nepal’s biggest agricultural project to conclude next year

Officials of the Ministry of Agricultural Development hold a meeting with a World Bank team in Kathmandu, on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. Photo: PACT

Kathmandu, January 19, 2017: The World Bank has begun consultations with Nepal government officials regarding concluding the nation’s largest agricultural development project, the Project for Agricultural Commercialisation and Trade (PACT).

The Ministry of Agricultural Development has been carrying out the project since August 2009. It is expected to conclude in June 2018.

In this context, a WB team led by its Senior Agricultural Economist and Task Team Leader Patrick Verissimo held a meeting with MoAD Secretary Suroj Pokharel on Tuesday.

During the meeting, the WB official appreciated the performance of PACT.

“This is one of the best missions in the last couple of years, Honourable Secretary,” a statement issued by the project quoted Verissimo as saying, “PACT has done well.”

In response, Secretary Pokharel said the government would extend the maximum support possible in activities of the project.

He added that the MoAD had regularly monitoring PACT activities.

High MoAD officials, representatives of the National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Finance among others were present on the occasion.

On the same day, PACT had held its annual progress review seminar in Kathmandu.

Addressing the seminar, Verissimo had suggested that PACT had a short time left to complete its activities and, therefore, should be careful about launching new sub-projects so as to conclude the project on time.

In the seminar, four parallel discussions on monitoring and evaluation; value chain; infrastructure development; and social and environmental safeguards were held.

Earlier, on Monday, a discussion was held between the WB team and the Ministry of Finance officials at the MoF.

Stakeholders in the meeting had suggested PACT to tighten its monitoring and evaluation system.

The total investment of the 10-year project is US Dollars 81 million, of which the World Bank contributes Rs 60 million.

The World Bank contribution is 46 per cent grant and 54 per cent loan.