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Agriculture ministry and IRRI sign agreement

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KATHMANDU — The Ministry of Agriculture and International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) have sined an agreement to help make Nepal self-reliant in rice production on Monday.

Agriculture Minister Chakra Pani Khanal and Matthew Morell, IRRI Director General signed the agreement amid a programme at the Ministry.

Paddy is the major crop of Nepal, nonetheless, it imports about six million metric tons of rice annually. The country produced around 4.3 million metric tons of rice last year.

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On the occasion, Minister Khanal said that the Ministry was working to increase rice production by adopting scientific measures and technology.

On the other hand, the IRRI has planned to hand over the paddy seeds which sustain in dry and inundated areas as well, to the farmers.

The IRRI is supporting the National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC) with new paddy seeds and technical assistance. The agreement will be effective for five years.

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2 killed, 5 injured in tractor accident

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HETAUDA — Two persons were killed and five others were seriously injured after a tractor fell off the road last evening at Panchpandav village in Bagmati Rural Municipality-4, Makawanpur.

Police said that 50-year-olds Hem Kumar Shrestha and Bakhat Rai of Hariharpur Rural Municipality in Sindhuli district lost their lives in the fatal accident.

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Shrestha died on the spot while Rai breathed his last on the way to a hospital in Hetauda, police added. The tractor (Na 6 Ta 442) was heading to Sindhuli district from Phawarbari in Makawanpur by supplying construction materials.

Those seriously hurt in the incident are Shivamaya Magar, Shakti Rai, Mohan Rai, Krishna Rai and Tilak Rai. The incident site is near Makawanpur-Sindhuli border along Dharan-Chatara road section.

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