LETTERS: China’s selfless support

Northern neighbor China has shown readiness to supply petroleum products to Nepal which is facing acute shortage of the fossil fuel due to an unofficial blockade by India with the excuse of the Madhesi parties’ agitation in some Tarai districts, mainly at the customs points where a few dozen people seem to be staging a sit-in. China’s willingness to supply the essential commodities to Nepal is a true gesture of being a “friend in need is a friend indeed”. The northern neighbor has not sought any political benefits over the supply of 1,000 metric tonnes of petrol free of cost though it will not meet the local demand. India’s unofficial economic blockade, that too, immediately after the promulgation of the new constitution, is an indication that the southern neighbor with which Nepal shares cultural, religious and traditional ties does not want to see Nepal become a prosperous and stable nation. By imposing such a blockade, India herself is hurting her economic interests in Nepal. Nepal cannot compromise her national interests, independence and sovereignty and meet the undue demands of some fringe Madhesi parties. On the other hand, the southern neighbor has also violated the international convention on a landlocked country’s uninterrupted right to access to sea and transit route. Hundreds of thousands of loaded containers ordered by Nepali businessmen from third countries have been stranded on the Indian side due to the blockade. Nepal should internationalise this issue calling on other friendly countries to put pressure on India for easing the supply of essential goods. The Government of Nepal should also find an alternative to ensure smooth supplies of goods from China, which has already said that she is ready to support Nepal in this unprecedented crisis.

Prabal Rai, via e-mail

Food security

The article on “Food security, Emerging priority” highlights the problems of under-developed and the least developed countries which are still struggling for their food security. International and national organizations along with the coordination of government bodies are trying their best to ensure food security at household level. But if we look at the scenario of food security Nepal is far away from achieving the goal. As Bhandari states, the need for food will increase by 60 per cent which also hints at the requirement of human resources like agriculturists, water technologists, irrigation engineers, food technologists, soil technologists, skilled farmers, climate scientists, geologists and so on to maintain the food supply chain.

Also the number of food industries will grow to diversify the agro-products that we get from farms. So, food security is a multi-dimensional issue that needs to be worked out in an integrated manner. In order to ensure food security the government has to allocate enough budget on agriculture, irrigation and agriculture markets where the farmers will be able get a fair price of their products.

Gaurav Khatiwada,

Food technologist