Karnali state faces a food shortage of 23,420 metric tonnes annually.
According to the data unveiled by the Ministry of Land Management, Agriculture and Cooperatives recently, the total annual food requirement in the state is 350, 998 metric tons while the total production is 327,578 metric tons.
The state which is made up of 10 districts and among them, Rukum West, Salyan, Surkhet, and Dailekh are known as food-sufficient districts.
The annual production in Rukum West is 47,908 metric tons and it reserves 4,100 metric tons after meeting the internal requirement. Salyan has the highest food surpluses weighing 13,996 metric tons. The district's annual production is 65,904 metric tons and the requirement is for 51,908 metric tons.
Similarly, Surkhet saves 1,074 metric tons, meeting the requirement for 77,660 metric tons.
Food surplus is nil in the case of Dailekh as the requirement and availability is equal.
As said by Ministry secretary Rajendra Prasad Bhari, food production in Jajarkot, Dolpa, Humla, Kalikot, Mugu and Jumla is not sufficient to meet the requirement. Kalikot witness 11,775 metric food production annually against the requirement for 29,739 while Jajarkot faces 2,097, Dolpa 2,787, Jumla 7030, Humla 8,273 and Mugu 5,444 metric tons food shortage.
"The annual food production in six districts under the State is insufficient to meet the requirement and as a result malnutrition is a common health issue among children here," he said.
State-level Nutrition and Food Security Directory Committee, stunted growth among children below five years of age is 54.5 percent, wasting is 7.5 percent and 35.5 percent children face low weight problem.
Similarly, 35 percent women of a reproductive age group (15-49) suffer from anemia.
State Planning Commission vice chair Prof Dr Punya Prasad Regmi shared that the fifth-periodic plan has given priority to the issues relating to food security. The government has been advised to realise the multi-sectoral nutrition plan (MSNP) in the state. He sees no alternative to extend the irrigation facility for the agricultural growth.
At present only 15 percent of land in the state has the irrigation coverage. According to Regmi who is also the Directory Committee chair, preparations are going on to implement the MSNP in Surkhet and Salyan districts.
Source: National News Agency Nepal