Innovative Solutions To Challenges Around Sustainable Food System, Production And Supply
Likhu 2, Nuwakot
Nepal has 30 lakhs hectares of fertile land. 3.8 million families are engaged in agriculture. Still we rely on food imports. Nepal imported agricultural goods worth more than Rs.220 billion last fiscal year. With the breakdown in supply chain, and increasing reliance on import, prices of daily essentials have already begun to rise in the market. Nepal imported vegetables worth Rs.4 billion during the period of lockdown. Meanwhile food produced by farmers in other parts of Nepal is becoming waste. Tons of vegetables are being dumped. Disruption in the supply of farming inputs like fertilizers, seeds etc. are certain to impact food production.
Private control on market system of agricultural products might be the one of the reason behind the import of tons of vegetables from foreign countries and dumping of local products. Those people who work to collect vegetables from farmers and supply it to consumers, so called vegetable suppliers get more profit by buying vegetables from foreign countries than by buying from local level. Due to expensive farm inputs, cost of productions is higher in Nepal. As a result price of vegetables farmers seek is higher. But for the same goods suppliers get it in lower price if they buy from foreign countries. So suppliers prefer import to local products. It’s quite hard to find a person who think about public welfare than own benefits. Therefore private control over the supply of vegetables might be the root reason behind this scenario .
Establishment of governmental market of vegetables will ultimately reduce the current situation and local vegetables will get better market. But for the sustainable food system, productions and supply, this governmental market will not be enough. Better and effective strategies for the development of agriculture sector is foremost. Government should take part in two way task; supplying necessary inputs to farmers in affordable cost and collecting their products in reasonable price.
In addition to this establishment of cold store or store house for vegetables is essential for better management of collected products. Storing of vegetables during surplus condition in cold store will helps to reduce the vegetables dumping due to lower demand and each production made by farmer will get reasonable price. This will attract more number of people in the sector of agriculture. And ultimately it directly aid to make national economy strong.
Furthermore concept of green house farming, organic farming , hydroponics ,urban farming, etc., introduction of modern machinery, tools & equipment, perform effective management practices such as mulching, drip irrigation, staking, etc. are needed to build up by government of Nepal.