August 19: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has expressed concern over the country facing a situation where food items have to been imported from abroad.
The prime minister rued the inability to tap in the country's abundant potential to produce enough food items itself.
"Despite the country having huge potential, importing foodstuffs including staple food like rice, wheat, corn and vegetables from foreign countries is a matter of concern. This has also increased the country's trade deficit," he said at a two-day seminar organised on Thursday jointly by the National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) and Quarter Master General of the Nepalese Army on the topic of 'Situation of food security in Nepal'.
To end this situation, PM Deuba suggested that there should be access to food for all Nepali citizens by producing enough food within the country. The country is weak in the world in terms of food production despite more than two-thirds of the country's total population dependent on agriculture, he said.
The prime minister pointed to the traditional form of farming, lack of irrigation, fertilisers, hybrid seeds and workforce, land fragmentation and the market and unseasonal rain for the poor state of food production in the country.
"Rice cultivation during summer and autumn season under the Prime Minister Agriculture Modernisation Project launched by the government can help resolve problems related to food security," he said.
On the occasion, Brigadier General of Nepalese Army Krishna Raj Acharya, who is also assistant coordinator for the NSCS, gave a presentation on the discussions and conclusions taken from papers presented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, the National Planning Commission and the Policy Research Institute. The session aimed to assess and evaluate the current situation of food security of the country and make recommendations to the government accordingly.-- RSS