United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
Agricultural Policy and Strategies for Poverty Alleviation and Food Security
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Nepal is one of the world’s least developed nations, with low per capita income (US$249), and generally low socio-economic indicators. Infant mortality, at 64 per 1000 live births, is the highest such figure in South Asia. Indicators of life expectancy at birth, adult literacy and nutrition are among the lowest in the world. Its human development index value of 0.499 ranks Nepal 143rd among 175 countries worldwide. Poverty and food insecurity are rife and these, if did not deteriorate in the recent past, have not improved significantly either. The Ninth Plan (1997-2002) adopted the Agriculture Perspective Plan(APP) as a key strategy to alleviate poverty and enhance food security. This study was conceptualized and undertaken to provide inputs to the national policy makers and their development partners in addressing the poverty and food insecurity issues in Nepal. In this task, the study has reviewed the food security situation and poverty trends and assessed the effects and impacts of ongoing economic and agricultural policy reform programs on food security and poverty. Since 1977 number of attempts have been made to measure poverty in Nepal. The most recent is National Living Standard Survey(NLSS) of 1995/96, which provides detailed information on variables such as income levels, composition and distribution of income, and access to various services. Current official estimated national poverty line is based on daily energy requirement of 2124 calorie per capita (which requires an estimated annual expenditure Rs.2637 /capita on food) and estimated expenditure requirement of Rs.1767/annum for non-food items(1996 prices). On the food and agriculture side the picture is very mixed. Various policy reforms have had some positive effect. The major policy change has been the adoption of the APP, but its implementation has fallen far short of requirements, co-ordination has been poor(a situation that has recently worsened), investment has been far short of targets, and many of important institutional reforms demanded by Plan are still–at best–in pipeline. In fact, in terms of impact on food production, most significant policy development since APP adoption was fertilizer deregulation and liberalization, and this was not even envisaged in the Plan. Progress has indeed been made since APP adoption in terms of increasing per capita food production, but this perhaps owes at least as much to broadly favourable weather conditions as to the APP itself, so that caution is needed in interpreting apparently favourable trends reported in this document. Recent developments have been discouraging, particularly fact that poorest and least food-secure part of the country, mountain ecological belt, is one in which least progress has been made in terms of increasing, or even reducing the decline in per capita agricultural production and productivity. Moreover, the remoteness of this area, its rugged terrain and its correspondingly poorly-developed transportation and marketing infrastructure means that any gains made in agricultural production and productivity in the Tarai are likely to have only marginal impact on local food security situation. Meanwhile poverty and food security situation across the country as a whole remains very unsatisfactory in terms of a broad range of indicators.
Publisher:
FAO, UNDP ,   (2003 )
Type / Script:
Progress Report in English
Keywords:
INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AVAILABILITY, RIGHT TO FOOD, LABOUR MIGRATION, SOCIAL SAFETY SOCIAL WELFARE, LIVESTOCK ECONOMY, CHILD DEVELOPMENT, PHYSIOGRAPHY, HIGH VALUE CROPS, AGRICLUTURAL PRODUCTION, AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY, HOUSEHOLD RESPONSES, INVESTMENT FRAMEWORK, POVERTY ALLEVIATION, FOOD SECURITY, POVERTY, GENDER ISSUES, MICRO EFFECT, MACRO POLICY, AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT, RETAIL PRICE, TRADE, FOREIGN AID, PER CAPITA INCOME, FERTILIZERS, MARGINAL IMPACT, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Thematic Group:
 FAO : Food and Agriculture Organization
Thesaurus:
10.01.00  -  Food And Nutrition
Reference Link:
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