Media reports have it that Nepal is likely to face acute food shortage next year. The situation would be worse in some hilly and Himalayan districts which are always food deficit areas as the production of food in these districts can hardly suffice to feed the population for six months. The demand of food stuff is met through supply from other districts, mostly from Terai. However, the situation in Terai and other districts is also getting worse as the entire country has turned into a food deficit country. Nepalís agriculture depends more on monsoon. If there is any kind of irregularity in the monsoon pattern, Nepalís agriculture suffers heavily.
There are indications that this yearís monsoon would not be sufficient, which is likely to hit the production of staple crops. The monsoon is generally expected in late May or early June but has not developed so far this year, which has already hit the rice planting activities. The late arrival of monsoon is likely to lower the production of paddy crop, which may cause greater food insecurity next year.
Food insecurity has now been a global problem and it is more severe in the developing countries including Nepal. It is estimated that hunger kills more people in the world than any other disease. About 25,000 people die from hunger and hunger related illnesses every day in the world. It is estimated that one in nearly seven people does not get adequate food. The number of hungry people is constantly on the rise despite national and global efforts to ensure access to food. In Nepal, more than 3.6 million people are in the risk of hunger and food security. As the population of the country is growing rapidly, the food we produce is often insufficient to feed the growing number of mouths. If we look at the food balance sheet in Nepal, more than 40 districts are suffering from food shortages.
This means 20 to 25 per cent population of the country is directly affected by food insecurity. The reason of food shortage is attributed to population growth, decline in food production and bad weather. But the main culprit is the sheer negligence and lack of seriousness on the part of the government to address this issue in time and in an effective manner. The government acts only when the problem gets acute. As hunger and food insecurity has become an endemic problem in Nepal, the government is required to act seriously in advance to ensure adequate food stock in the country in general and remote areas in particular.