United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Biosecurity Status of Food and Agriculture in Nepal
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Nepal has been making efforts to improve food safety and quality, control diseases and pests, chemical pesticides, quality of medicines (including veterinary medicines), strengthen quarantine capacity and manage genetically modified organisms. About a dozen policies, over two dozens of legal acts and government eight departments are directly or indirectly geared towards these efforts. However, the efforts are found scattered with many gaps and overlaps. In the meantime, the country suffers from health risks emanating from food products, leading to public health problems, limited ability to meet sanitary and phytosanitary requirements for agricultural exports, and increased food import dependency, notably in the high income segments which includes the tourism sector. These problems are also responsible for the weak linkages of the smallholder production to high income food markets, thus compromising their livelihood.

Biosecurity is a strategic and integrated approach to analyzing and managing relevant risks to human, animal and plant life and health, and associated risks to environment, based on the recognition of critical linkages among them. Biosecurity brings together policy and regulatory frameworks for risk management across the sectors of food safety, animal health and plant health to manage risks collectively. Biosecurity comprises of a set of measures designed to protect agriculture, the environment and people from exotic or emerging pests and pathogens, pesticide and antibiotic residues and genetically modified organisms. The measures are applicable at the national, regional and individual firm or farm levels.

This report presents the findings of seven studies that assessed biosecurity status in Nepal which were conducted under a technical assistance project, “Policy assistance for biosecure agro-food supply chain for enhanced market access and food security for the smallholding rural sector (TCP/NEP/3402)”, supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Major Findings:
Policies, legislations and institutions relating to biosecurity are scattered and not effective enough at minimising the risks of many natural and anthropogenic hazards to different stages of the agrofood supply chain. Major natural hazards include diseases and pests in crops, forests, livestock, poultry, fisheries, many of which can transmit to humans also. Some common examples of natural biosecurity hazards are poisonous mushrooms, grayanotoxin contaminated wild honey and mycotoxins in food and feed. Risks from anthropogenic hazards are still higher. Such hazards range from well known high residues of pesticides and veterinary drugs in food products, use of unsafe ripening agents, colouring materials, adulterants, preservatives and polluted water. Compliance to biosecurity increases the costs of production. Estimates in this study showed, for example, that such costs amounted to be 26%, 38% and 30% higher farm gate price for ginger, tomato and milk, respectively than the present price. The issue is how public policy can be used to create an environment whereby producers are able to recover the extra cost from the market by selling safer and quality products.

Conclusions and recommendations:
Nepal’s agriculture needs to be biosecure for improving and sustaining human health and life, animal and plant health, overall environment, as well as for exports of agricultural goods and tourism services. Nepal has no choice but to work hard towards for biosecure agriculture. Towards this goal, a number vi Biosecurity Status of Food and Agriculture in Nepal of suggestions are made in various chapters in this volume.
#FAO #BioSecurity #SustainableAgriculturalDevelopment
FAO ,   (2014 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 FAO : Food and Agriculture Organization
04.01.01  -  Agricultural Economics And Policy; Rural Sociology
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