Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Assessment of food self-sufficiency and food security situation in Nepal

Joshi, Niraj Prakash and Maharjan, Keshav Lall (2007): Assessment of food self-sufficiency and food security situation in Nepal. Published in: Journal of International Development and Cooperation , Vol. 13, No. 1 (2007): pp. 209-230.

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Realizing the importance of food self-sufficiency in achieving the household food security, this paper tried to assess the food self-sufficiency situation in village areas of Nepal. Agriculture was the main source of livelihood and Bahun/Chhetri was the dominant ethnic group. Involvement of households in agriculture was found declining with the attainment of higher level of education resulting into higher concentration of illiterate and just literate manpower in this sector. The major resource determining food self-sufficiency of households, land holding and coverage of irrigation was higher among Bahun/Chhetri ethnic group and in Tarai ecological region. The better irrigation coverage together with relatively high assess to production resources led to the higher yield among Bahun/Chhetri ethnic group and in Tarai. Thus, Tarai was experiencing surplus food crops production, which was merely enough to fulfill the deficit of Hills and Mountain regions. Food self-sufficiency was achieved among 72% of households in Tarai region while the figure of Mountain region was only 11%. Similarly, the highest proportion (53%) of Bahun/Chhetri households achieved food self-sufficiency compared to mere 10% of Occupational caste households. Together with small land holding and land productivity, production shift from food crops to cash crops were also the major factors responsible for food self-insufficiency. Purchasing was the most dominant means to fulfill the deficit food. About 19% of food self-insufficient households were unable to meet minimum level of food security threshold income for deficit months. This constituted 10% of sample households, who were in chronic food insecurity situation. The incidence of chronic food insecurity as well as poverty gap was the highest in female-headed households, Mountain region, Occupational caste, daily wage laborers and small landholders. Education received the highest priority for the cash income expenditure followed by food items and agriculture promotion. This expenditure patterns show the positive indication to move towards food self-sufficiency and ultimately to food security if provided with better off farm employment opportunities and better market for both farm produces and essential inputs.

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