Experts initiate agriculture campaign to ensure food security in Karnali

Local women farmers are seen in a paddy field in Karnali Province. Photo: RSS

KATHMANDU: Agriculture scientists studying food and agriculture in the country have initiated policy advocacy for the ‘Agriculture Campaign for Food’.

In a discussion programme with journalists based in Karnali province, they described the campaign as a strong practice for policy advocacy. The programme was organised with the support of the Environmental Resources Institute in Birendranagar, Surkhet on Sunday.

Agricultural expert Krishna Prasad Poudel on the occasion said that the human race has deviated from sustainable agricultural practices for 500 years. “We have been eating junk food these days due to the sheer ego that we can triumph over the Earth. The fact is that our agriculture is being done merely for money. Rather it should have been a means of survival but it has become our destiny,” he said, expressing concern over the unsustainable practices in agriculture.

Dr Poudel also argued that over-exploitation of resources for food and the ‘mad development’ were the main reasons for climate change.

Executive Director of Collaborative Actions for Dignity (CAD Nepal) Jumla and agriculture campaigner, Dhan Bahadur Gautam said they have been providing policy support to the government since the last decade for promoting self-sufficiency in agriculture, conservation of indigenous crops and organic farming.

He said the government should better invest more in boosting agriculture products in the mountainous districts of Karnali province rather than wasting money in supplying rice worth millions of rupees to these districts.

Representative of Environmental Resources Institute, Sujata Tamang, informed that the campaign has been involved in conducting debates and discussions as well as action-oriented research on agriculture and food issues. She said they have also been raising issues of emerging problems, challenges and opportunities in agriculture.

On the occasion, the media persons suggested to the Campaign for devising ways for attracting the youth force to agriculture, expanding irrigation coverage, preparing policy framework for making agriculture a dignified profession and implementing the same.

They pointed out the reality of the country that 82% of the population involved in agriculture was struggling with hand-to-mouth existence while 5% population involved in agriculture in countries attaining self-sufficiency in agriculture were providing food to 95% population.

Source: RSS

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