One in every four Nepali consumes inadequate food
A quarter of the population consumes inadequate food, according to a survey.
"Some 25.3 per cent of the population had inadequate food consumption during the latest cycle, a slight deterioration since the previous cycle but a significant improvement compared to the same period last year, reported the Nepal Food Security Monitoring System (NeKSAP) household survey.
"The highest proportion of households with inadequate food consumption (33.6 per cent) was in the mountain districts," it revealed, adding that the average household food stock was 341 kg. "With current food stock levels households can meet their food needs for roughly 3.9 months."
The NeKSAP District Food Security Networks (DFSNs) has also classified 11 village development committees (VDCs) in Dailekh and Darchula districts as Phase 3 highly food insecure or crisis.
In Dailekh the primary reasons for the high level of food insecurity include the loss of roughly 80 per cent of the main winter crop – that is wheat – as a result of hailstorms and a decrease in income from the sale of agricultural products by 40 per cent to 60 per cent, whereas in Darchula, flood led to the current situation, it added. "Overall, an estimated 37,130 people are affected."
Reported coping strategies include selling of livestock and assets and skipping meals; out-migration has increased by 20 per cent to 40 per cent in Dailekh. Furthermore, DFSNs in 12 districts have classified 147 VDCs as Phase 2 moderately food insecure or stressed in this period.
Likewise, Ministry of Agricultural Development, WFP and FAO joint crop assessment the fiscal year 2012-13 estimated the production of main winter crops, wheat and barley, at 1.9 million metric tonnes (MT) and 37,000 MT respectively, an increase by two per cent and six per cent respectively over a fiscal year 2011-12. However, the estimated national crop production was 8.74 million MT, a decrease of 7.6 per cent compared to last year. Overall, there was a net positive national cereal balance for human consumption, with a surplus of 408.4 thousand MT. Nevertheless, 33 districts, mostly in the Mid- and Far-Western Hill and Mountain regions, are food deficit.
However, the rest of the country has had a seasonal improvement in the food security situation, largely due to the recent harvest of the winter cereal crops like wheat and barley, the report prepared Jointly by the Ministry of Agricultural Development Food Security Monitoring Unit and WFP Food Security Monitoring and Analysis Unit – for the period from April to June – said. " The number of VDCs experiencing varying levels of food insecurity have fallen to 158 from 209 in the January-March period."
Some parts of the country are likely to experience a deterioration in the food security situation during July-August, but it should improve with the start of the maize and paddy harvest during September-October."
Household income pattern
KATHMANDU: The survey also revealed that the largest share of household income source was daily wages (29 per cent) followed by crop sales (19 per cent), remittances (14 per cent), and private enterprise (13 per cent). According to central bank, the remittance inflow during in the last fiscal year 2012-13 stood at Rs 434.58 billion, an increase of 20.9 per cent compared to a fiscal year ago.