What a shame!

It has been reported that many families from the Seti zone have been compelled to move out of their villages due to an acute shortage of food supply to this backward region of the country. The Nepal Food Corporation’s godowns in Dhangadhi and Mohanpur, which supply foodgrains to the districts, have been depleting fast, even when the godowns have a storage capacity of 20,000 and 40,000 quintals respectively. Besides the villagers, prisoners and flood victims are hit hardest by the scarcity. This is a recurrent feature and it has only been highlighted this time around because the scarcity has hit much earlier than the usual Dashain and Tihar festivals season. The Food Purchase Committee fixed the price of rice at Rs 1425 per quintal, which is actually Rs 75 less than the current market price. This has led the farmers to discontinue selling rice to the NFC thereby causing the shortage.

It is ridiculous that a whole lot of people are being asked to starve when the actual cost difference is miniscule. The NFC can easily show some generosity by covering up the difference. Logic dictates that no producer would sell his or her product at a loss and it would be truly unfair and unjust to expect the poor farmers to bear the burden. Thus it is just a matter of reaching a compromise with the producers; and sooner the NFC tries its hand on it the better because it is immoral on the part of the state to keep its citizens hungry for no serious reasons. As it is, people know that a lot of government resources have been frittered away in unproductive areas time and again. The issue at hand should be treated as a serious one, causing national concern in the official quarters since it involves fulfilling a very

basic necessity of the people. It is the state’s primary duty to tackle the problem of food insecurity, rampant in this part of the world. Food security should be a top priority of all the South Asian governments where the majority of people sadly have to do without two square meals a day.