Karnali grapples with food scarcity

- RASTRIYA SAMACHAR SAMITI, SURKHET

Aug 14, 2018-

Stories of food shortage in Karnali Province make newspaper headlines every year, but get little attention from those who have the power to end this perennial crisis.

Out of 10 districts in the province, Dailekh, Dolpa, Jajarkot, Jumla, Mugu, Humla and Kalikot are food insecure. A government data shows that each person in these four districts consumes 191 kg of food grains annually compared to the annual consumption of 201 kg of food grains by each individual of the other three districts in the province, namely Rukum, Salyan and Surkhet.

Last year, Karnali Province faced shortage of 18,407 metric tonnes of food grains, according to Dipendra Sribastav, technical assistance at the Ministry of Agriculture.

While Rukum, Surkhet and Salyan had surplus production. The food-hit districts of Dailekh, Dolpa, Jajarkot and Jumla had severe shortage According the Ministry of Agriculture, Dailekh was short of 1,530 metric tonnes of food grains like paddy, wheat and corn, Dolpa needed 2,666 metric tonnes of food to feed its people, Jajarkot required additional 3,594 metric tonnes of food grains on top of its annual food production to become food secure, and Jumla had a shortfall of 4,133 metric tonnes in food production. The districts of Mugu, Humla and Kalikot had food shortage of 5,102, 8,415 and 14,633 metric tonnes respectively.

Increase in foreign employment aspirants from the province, distraction from agriculture, low rainfalls, migration, unmanaged urbanisation and climate change are to blame for the province facing food shortage, said Purna Bahadur Thapa of the Ministry.

Published: 14-08-2018 07:20

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