Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Agriculture

Human Civilization has been dependent on agriculture and food for their living from ages. With a booming population of over 6 billion people, countries across the world are facing a bigger challenge to feed its entire people with quality foods. And the recent climate change has pushed earth’s resources to its extremes.

South Asian region has some of the worst case scenarios and this region is seriously affected with food insecurity. South Asia houses 23% of the world’s population but hardly generates 2% of global income. No doubt it has the highest concentration of poverty and hunger.

Nepal is no different than this situation. Although being one of the heavily dependent countries in agriculture and agro-based products, Nepal has been facing food crisis from decades mostly due to lack of awareness within the professional community on how to effectively manage the agriculture and food channeling. Also negligence in all its legal and ethics side has also brought us to the present situation.

To address the current situation South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics & Environment (SAWTEE), Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) and all other members of the National Alliance for Food Security in Nepal (NAFOS), together with the media partner, Nepal Republic Media Private Ltd., organized a National Awareness Forum “Securing Food and Farmers’ Rights in Times of Crisis” marking the World Food Day 2009 on 16th October 2009 in Hotel Annapurna, Kathmandu Nepal.

This program was attended by diverse communities including economists, sociologists, lawyers, government representatives, environmental activists, food and agriculture scientists, biotechnological entrepreneurs, media personals and representatives from various civil society including some farmers and breeders. Representatives from Biotechnology Society of Nepal (BSN) were also a part of the program.

The main objective of the talk program was to create awareness among the professional community and discuss about the food security, farmer rights and policies that guides these rights. The talk program was divided into two sessions each followed by floor discussion. The inauguration session was chaired by Dr. Posh Raj Pandey (President, SAWTEE) and Mr. Kamlesh Adhakari (Research Director, SAWTEE) delivered his welcome speech and presented highlights of the program. Dr. Bishwa Nath Tiwari (Professor, Department of Economics, Tribhuvan University) presented on “Global Economic Crisis and Food Security Issues for Nepal” in which he talked about various ways food insecurity is bringing on the economic crisis in Nepal and abroad and all the other associated contributing factors. Also in the program Dr. Krishna P. Pant (Sr. Program Officer, National Agriculture Development Fund) presented on “Global Environmental Crisis and Farmers’ Rights Issues for Nepal” where he discussed about how unscientific farming, animal feeding habit and agricultural practice can affect the climate change. Dr. Pant also discussed on how protecting farmers’ rights can encourage good agriculture practice and the ethics and laws associated with it.

In the following session, Mr. Dinmani Pokhrel discussed about his paper on “Interim Constitution, food Right, and Access and Benefit Sharing Rights” where he talked on various policies included in the Interim Constitution of Nepal regarding the farmer’s rights, access to these genetic/food/agricultural resources and its benefit sharing. The view point of the local farmer was shared by Mr. Surya Adhikari, a breeder/farmer from Pokhara. At the end, Ms. Maina Dhital (Journalist, Kantipur Daily) presented on “Media Perspectives on Farmers’ Rights” and here she talked about how media sector is advocating and creating awareness about farmers’ rights, food security and access to food.

There was a massive floor discussion on the various policy related to the access to the genetic resources, bio-piracy and Nepal’s possible stance and strategy on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and related modified foods. Also various issues related to the distribution of quality seeds and rights to those seeds were also discussed. Also in the program, issues related to the difficulties that Nepalese farmer’s and agro-based industries are facing to compete in the free market world and what are the necessary strategy that Nepal should adopt so as to encourage farming in these conditions. Overall, the program focused on the Right to Food, Food Security, Farmers’ Rights and its status in Nepal which can guide us to make proper policies in our new Constitution.

Advertisements