Nepal sees import of grains rising annually
AajakoKhabar | Published on Tuesday July 17, 2018
Krishna Raj Gautam
Kathmandu: Nepal is an agricultural country but it is compelled to import various food grains from abroad in lack of sufficient production. And the import of grains has increased over the years.
Highly imported grains include rice, maize, millet, barley and wheat among others
According to the statistics of Ministry of Agriculture, Land Management and Cooperatives (MoALC), food grain worth over Rs 41 billion was imported as of mid-June of the last fiscal year 2017/18 while local crops amounting to Rs 10.6 million were exported in the corresponding period.
Similarly, the import of crop in fiscal year 2016/17 stood at over Rs 40 billion while the export of the same remained at Rs 30 million during the same period, shared Senior Statistics Officer, Ram Krisha Regmi.
Likewise, the country witnessed import of grains worth Rs 390 billion in the fiscal year 2015/16.
Rice has been a staple food for many people in many countries since 1000 years. Rice plantation covers around 1,500,000 hectares of land of the country and Asia accounts for 90 per cent of the total consumption of rice in the world.
MoALC Joint-Secretary Dr Yogendra Karki reasoned the rain-fed irrigation, occasional scarcity of seeds, seedlings and manure among others for the low production of food grains in the country.
Rice production, in last fiscal year, increased by 1 million metric tonnes to reach 5,200,000 metric tonnes in the last fiscal year compared to biannual productions in the previous fiscal years. So has the population increased, posing threat of food crisis in the remote parts of the country or steep rise in the import of daily consumables.
Economist Radheshyam Malakar argued that in lack of seeds, there’s always a threat of food crisis and inflation on food items.
MoALC in joint efforts of the World Food Programme has been implementing various programmes on Food Security across the country.
The government has also launched relief and compensation schemes as well as emergency assistance for the farmers and their families in crisis. RSS