Agriculture scientists studying food and agriculture in the country, including in Karnali, have initiated policy advocacy for the 'Agriculture Campaign for Food'.
In a discussion programme with journalists based in Karnali province, they described the campaign as a strong practice for policy advocacy. The programme was organized with the support of Environmental Resources Institute in Birendranagar, Surkhet on Sunday. Agricultural expert Dr Krishna Prasad Poudel said that the human race has deviated from sustainable agricultural practices since 500 years. "We have been eating junk food these days due to the sheer ego that we can triumph over the Earth. The fact is that our agriculture is being done merely for money.
Rather it should have been a means of survival but it has become our destiny," he said, expressing concern over the unsustainable practices in agriculture. Dr Poudel also argued that over-exploitation of resources for food and the 'mad development' were the main reasons for climate change.
Executive Director of Collaborative Actions for Dignity (CAD Nepal) Jumla and agriculture campaigner, Dhan Bahadur Gautam said that they have been providing policy support to the government since the last decade for promoting self-sufficiency in agriculture, conservation of indigenous crops and organic farming.
He said that the government should better invest more in boosting agriculture products in the mountainous districts of Karnali province rather than wasting money in supplying rice worth millions of rupees to these districts. Representative of Environmental Resources Institute, Sujata Tamang informed that the campaign has been involved in conducting debates and discussions as well as action-oriented research on agriculture and food issues. We are raising issues of emerging problems, challenges and opportunities in agriculture, she added.
On the occasion, the media persons suggested to the Campaign for devising ways for attracting the youth force to agriculture, expanding irrigation coverage, preparing policy framework for making agriculture a dignified profession and implementing the same. They pointed out to the sad reality of the country that 82 per cent of the population involved in agriculture was struggling with hand-to-mouth existence whereas five per cent population involved in agriculture in countries attaining self-sufficiency in agriculture were providing food to 95 per cent population.