Thursday, July 22, 2010

Food Security in Nepal


IRIN informs us (via Poverty News Blog) that food security is worsening in the western hills of Nepal as rice prices rise higher than their peak during the global food crisis two years ago. Over 600,000 people are affected.
Many villagers are already reducing the number of meals they eat each day, cutting portions, or migrating to urban areas or India for work … “out-migration [to Nepali cities and India] has increased already by 40 percent,” Ragan said. …

Rice, a staple part of the Nepalese diet, has increased from US$0.34 per kg in 2008 to over $0.50 this year, local traders say, [while incomes are stagnant and unemployment has risen.] … More than 80 percent of the people living in rural areas depend mostly on subsistence farming for their livelihoods, according to the FAO. …

The [Bajura] district was badly affected by drought in 2009 when there was no rain for six months from August to January…. Already 87 percent of Bajura’s [and Humla’s] population [nearly 175,000 combined] is food-insecure.

“These are the areas which already suffer from very low agricultural production and the situation has been made worse by food inflation,” Narendra Khadga Chettri, director of Support Activities for Poor Producers of Nepal, said.

With monsoon rains expected in June and lasting until September, there is now concern about the risks of landslides and floods

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