Food storage facilities planned in 4 districtsIf things go according to plan, food storage facilities will soon be built in four remote districts of the country, where lower crop production generally triggers food scarcity, especially during the monsoon.
If things go according to plan, food storage facilities will soon be built in four remote districts of the country, where lower crop production generally triggers food scarcity, especially during the monsoon.
The districts where the Ministry of Supplies (MoS) is planning to build the food storage facilities are: Humla, Dolpa, Kalikot and Gorkha.
Supplies Ministry Deepak Bohara said his ministry has already asked the Ministry of Finance to provide Rs20 million build the facilities. “We are planning to build storage facilities in seven places of these districts,” he said.
The ministry is planning to build storage facilities in Circuitghat and Shreenagar of Humla district, and Sharmi, Luku and Gaigaun of Dolpa. It has also floated plans to build two more storage facilities at Thipu of Kalikot and Bardibas of Gorkha.
Each of these storage facilities will keep stock of at least 100 tonnes of food, according to the ministry.
The proposed locations for construction of storage facilities generally observe food shortage during rainy season because of lack of surface transport facilities due to poor infrastructure. Minister Bohara said creation of adequate food stock in these areas could avert crisis even during difficult times.
The government through state-owned Nepal Food Corporation (NFC) has been supplying food to these districts. The government has been transporting rice in particular to these areas under the ‘food for work’ programme. However, people in these districts suffer almost every year during monsoon when NFC cannot ferry rice due to bad road conditions or unavailability of required number of mules.
Although NFC also airlifts rice to these districts, airline companies generally do
not operate flights during monsoon, creating shortage of food.
Last year, NFC distributed 15,600 tonnes of rice in 23 remote districts of the country including those in the Karnali Zone. Due to scant rainfall, crop production in Humla, Dolpa, Mugu, Kalikot, Jumla and Mugu districts fell by almost half in 2015-16.
In most of these districts, 90 percent of the crop fields rely on rainfall for good harvest due to lack of irrigation facilities.