Food is the key in Nepal

Food is the axis of the civil society report on the SDGs in Nepal, where “transnational corporations are grabbing land, monopolizing seeds and food markets, and marginalizing small holder farmers more”. As visible evidence, “now in Nepal packed foods are common not only in the urban townships but also in remote and hard to reach areas, replacing indigenous food consumption patterns. Farmers rely heavily on seed markets rather than preserving their own seeds, which was common practices in Nepal even a few years back.”

Food quality is degrading as farmers are using chemical pesticides and fertilizers. This creates health problems, and even when food availability has improved, the supply is inadequate to meet the surging food demand. Cereal import dependency has been rising, while Nepal's capacity to export food has been falling. This can also be linked with the huge out-migration among youth for work in foreign lands in the absence of opportunities in the country.

“There are three main threats to food security: inequality, limited role of small-scale farmers, and climate change,” concludes the report authored by Gyan Bahadur Adhikari and Kritika Lamsal, from Rural Reconstruction Nepal. To tackle them “the food system must become more rights-based, less market-based, and more people-centred and designed to take into account the perspectives of the poorest people themselves”.

Source: Nepal National Report 2018.