Nepal Faced Several Challenges Like Lack Of Adequate Storage, Markets And Cold Stores: PM Prachanda

Nepal Faced Several Challenges Like Lack Of Adequate Storage, Markets And Cold Stores: PM Prachanda

July 26, 2023, 7:21 a.m.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' has expressed Nepal's commitment to developing a sustainable food chain for affordable, safe, healthy and nutritious diets.

Prime Minister ‘Prachanda’ delivered keynote address on 'Food Systems Transformation in Practice' at plenary session of UNFSS+2 highlighting successes, challenges and way forward for sustainable food production and consumption practices.

Delivering the keynote address at the plenary session on Food Systems Transformation in Practice in Rome, Italy on Tuesday, Prime Minister Prachanda gave the example of Nepal's Right to Food and Food Sovereignty Act- 2018, as its dedication to the development of sustainable food systems in Nepal. " It is an important instrument for improving food governance and policy coherence in health, agriculture, food security and nutrition," he said.

He also informed that the nation had prepared the Food Systems Transformation Strategic Plan (2022-2030) through national and provincial level dialogues. The plan was prepared after the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2021 to examine the existing food systems, understand vulnerabilities and design pathways to transform them.

As per a statement issued by his secretariat, the Prime Minister informed that Nepal also focused on improving agriculture productivity, supporting local farming and investing in better storage systems for minimising waste. He elucidated that the country also prioritised local indigenous food systems.

"Current food systems have eroded biodiversity, exacerbated inequality, and propelled unsustainable production and consumption," he said, adding, "In many cases, we have also seen worsening of public health with increasing incidences of non-communicable diseases." Therefore, our endeavour to the transformation of food system should be able to address such multiple challenges, he stated.

Prime Minister Prachanda said that food systems today faced a myriad of challenges including low productivity, high post-production losses, frequent climatic shocks and weak climate resilience. And, as a least-developed country, Nepal faced additional challenges like lack of adequate storage, markets, cold chains, low levels of mechanisation, high production costs, weak market linkages and uneven distribution systems. He further identified the funding gap as the biggest challenge to implementing planned activities.

He emphasised the need for transforming global food systems and likened it to building a fortress against hunger.

"Affording a healthy diet was difficult for almost 3 billion people in 2020. Millions were suffering from acute hunger. The COVID-19 pandemic only worsened this scenario, while the climate crisis and conflicts on different parts further accentuated the problem.

"While we are now in the phase of recovery from the pandemic, achieving SDG 2 on zero hunger still looks uncertain. We need to fight the battle against hunger and food insecurity more resolutely," he said. The Prime Minister urged everyone to develop food systems that not only sustained physical well-being but also empower communities, preserve the environment and ensure a sustainable future.

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