June 11: Experts have emphasised on the need of adopting self-reliant agriculture system for attaining the sustainable development goals (SDG) outlined by the United Nations Organisation.
According to the state-owned national news agency RSS, stakeholders have initiated discussions programme in Nepal in line with the concept of pre-conference on food system which the United Nations has been organising for analysing the situation of countries throughout the world in the context of achieving the development goals by ending global hunger by 2030.
A virtual discussions programme was organised on Wednesday (June 9) in this connection. The discussions programme was held on the topic of contribution of production groups and small farmers to the sustainable food system under the theme – 'Prior Right of the Marginalised Communities, Main Basis for Guaranteeing Sustainable Food System.'
Addressing the programme, National Planning Commission (NPC) member and spokesperson Meen Bahadur Shahi said priority should be given to programmes that support attaining self-sufficiency in agriculture.
Regarding the topic of food sovereignty, he said, the government was moving ahead by analysing the issues raised by the civil society organisations. According to RSS, the NPC spokesperson urged the Agricultural Development Bank to facilitate in ensuring financial access to the grassroots farmers.
Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Dr Yogendra Kumar Karki said the national economy cannot be improved without improving and promoting the agriculture sector.
During the conference, Professor at the Sudurpaschim University Raksha Sharma pointed out that profitable production was hampering sustainable farming system in the country. She added that the profit- seeking tendency has ruined the soil of the farming lands as farmers are found excessively using chemical fertilizer, chemicals, pesticides and energy as well.
Agro campaigner Chandra Prasad Adhikari argued that the excessive use of chemicals has adversely affected the agriculture system.
Community Self-reliance Service Centre’s Dr Jagat Basnet argued that the concept of smart city was displacing the farmers and the agriculture system.
He complained of irregularities in government’s loan policy to small-scale farmers. Similarly, Farmers Network’s Dr Gokarna Gyawali argued that the COVID-19 effect was hampering the UN’s declaration of ending famine by 2030. According to Dr Gyawali, 270 million people are still facing food shortage and an infant dies of hunger in each 10 seconds in the world.
The conference was jointly organised by the National Land Rights Forum, the Federation of Community Forestry Users Committees, the Agricultural Campaign for Food, the National Irrigation Water Users Federation of Nepal and the Association of Nepali Agricultural Journalists (ANAJ).
Six working papers were presented and discussed in the webinar.
The UN is preparing to organize mega conference in course of achieving sustainable goal by 2030. Pre-conference is being organized in Rome since July 26 to 28 for the September conference.