Karnali province struggles without food grains every year, but no redress

Karnali Province

SURKHET, Aug 13: Karnali Province reels under scarcity of food grains every year. The people of the province facing food shortage is in the news frequently, but little or no attention has been paid so far.

There are seven districts within the province and all except for Rukum, Salyan and Surkhet face shortage of food grains every year, said the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives of the province.

Last year the province faced shortage of 18,407 metric tonnes of food grains, said Dipendra Sribastav, technical assistance at the Ministry.

“Rukum stored 2,664 metric tonnes of food grains like paddy, wheat and corn in the fiscal year 2074/075, while Surkhet 5,405 metric tonnes,” he said. Salyan kept in reserve most 13,630 metric tonnes.

Likewise, Dailekh went low on 1,530 metric tonnes, while Dolpa 2,666, Jajarkot 3,594 and Julma 4,133. Similarly, Mugu was in short of 5,102 metric tonnes, and Humla 8,415 and Kalikot 14,633.

Each person of existing Karnali consumes 191 kilograms of food grains annually, while people of Rukum, Salyan, Surkhet, Dailekh and Jajarkot eat 201 each, said the Ministry. Workload and availability of food grains are blamed for the differences in food consumption by people of hilly and mountainous districts.

Increase in foreign employment aspirants from the province, distraction from agriculture, low rainfalls, migration, unmanaged urbanization and climate change are to blame for the province facing food shortage, said Purna Bahadur Thapa of the Ministry.

According to the Ministry, the population of the province increased to estimated 1.8 million in 2074 B.S. from 1.3 million in 2068 BS. RSS