Kathmandu, August 30
A recent report on the food security situation of the country published by the Ministry of Agricultural Development has painted a gloomy picture regarding the issue. As per the report, a total of 212 village development committees (VDCs) in 13 districts are under the threat of food insecurity.
A total of 25 VDCs in Achham, 14 in Baitadi, 16 in Bajhang, 14 in Bajura; 18 in Doti; six in Dolpa; 19 in Humla; 18 in Kalikot, 14 in Mugu, 16 in Dhading; 13 in Gorkha; nine in Nuwakot and 40 VDCs of Sindhupalchowk are at high risk of food insecurity.
As per the report, around 430,000 people are seeking humanitarian aid in the aforementioned districts.
“In 212 VDCs of 13 districts, people have been losing their sources of livelihood and are able to afford very little food,” says the report.
One of the major causes of food insecurity in the aforesaid districts is mainly due to minimal food storage as the production of winter crops last year was very low against the expectations of the people there. On the other hand, natural calamities like floods and landslides and the supply disruptions due to the road networks getting damaged as a consequence of last year’s earthquake have also been cited as reasons for the dismal scenario.
Also, the income source of many households in mid-western and far-western development regions declined this year due to the drop in collection of Yarchagumba. Food insecurity has increased in households that are dependent on Yarchagumba collection as they do not have enough resources to purchase food, as per the report.
According to MoAD, the country had a total food deficit of 71,000 tonnes in the last fiscal as the production of major cereal crops sharply declined. The ministry has expected the food insecurity situation to be over by November because production of paddy is expected to improve this year due to the favourable monsoon because of which timely plantation could be carried out.
A version of this article appears in print on August 31, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.