Twenty-one percent of people in Nepal are out of the reach of the daily minimum calorie requirement. According to Januka Pandit, deputy director general of Department of Agriculture, the problem of people not getting enough calories has not improved yet as 21 percent of the common people are deprived of the necessary calories even now.
The World Food Organization's standard for adult requirement is a minimum of 2,220 calories per day. The government does not even have the data on how many calories are consumed by the 21 percent of people who do not have access to minimum calories.
According to government data, Nepal's total food grain production reached 17.72 million metric tons in the fiscal year 2078/79. As per the government information, about 7,530,000 metric tons of consumable food can be obtained from the produce after deducting the amount of seeds, animal feed, storage and processing losses.
According to the results of the National Census and Household Survey 2078, the total population of Nepal is 29.1 million. It is said that about 5,867,000 metric tons of unprocessed food will be required for this population annually. Correlating to this data, there is about 1,663,000 metric tons of food in surplus in Nepal. But even though there is a food surplus, the stakeholders say that people are unable to get the prescribed calorie intake due to the weakness in the government’s policies and regulations.
Director General of the Department of Agriculture Dr Hari Bahadur KC said India has a system of ration cards which Nepal lacks. Although the Food Sovereignty Act mentions that the government should take responsibility for the food security of the people, it is not accessible to everyone despite higher production.
Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Dr Govinda Prasad Sharma said that all the food produced is not used for humans alone. According to him, a large amount of food is used as animal feed.