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Title: Food security and livelihood strategy of rural people in Dailekh district, Nepal
Authors: Thapa, Nar Bikram
Keywords: Food security--Rural area--Nepal
Livelihood strategy--Rural area--Nepal
Issue Date: 28-May-2018
Abstract: This research highlights the key finding which was conducted to “food security and livelihood strategy of rural people in Dailekh district, Nepal”. It aims to assess the food security situation and livelihood strategies of rural people in Dailekh District. Right to food is one of the essential needs of any citizen. The food security has been major problem in Nepal in the recent years due to natural disaster and structural causes. An exploratory research method was used during the field study. Based on this design, research study was carried out to examine the food security status of rural people, their vulnerability context, endowment entitlement of household, transforming social structures and social processes, livelihood strategies for the food security in rural areas. A total of 201 households were taken as sample size. The study area represented as multi-caste and ethnic composition that Chhetri accounted for 50.2 per cent, Dalits 28.4 per cent, Brahmin 14.4 per cent and Janajati 7 per cent of the total households. The majority of the households (61.4 %) have access to agricultural services center within 1-2 hours. The overwhelming (85 %) households have access to Livestock Service Center within 2-3 hours. Almost all household have access to road within 0.5-1 hour one-way travel time. Market price of the goods and services has been reduced due to increased access to road head in the area. Two per cent women have registered land ownership and 2.5 per cent household have landless. In the area 90.5 per cent households have food deficiency. The overwhelming household found vulnerable to food and nutritional security. In the areas, 83.1 per cent respondents had perceived as changed in climate over the last 7-8 years. Climate change has resulted in early maturity of the crops, shifting plant habitats, increased dryness of water resources, long drought and higher incidence of insects and diseases in the crops, livestock and human being etc. The majority of the rural people borrow credit from local moneylenders in 36-60 per cent interest rate per annum. Agriculture is the dominant occupation (96.5%), followed by service (3%) and trade (0.5%) respectively as primary occupation for household food security and livelihoods. Almost all households had access to drinking water through tap stands within 15 minutes walking distance. In the study area, 93.5 per cent households had affiliated with the community-based organizations. The men control over critical productive resources such as land, house, cash, large animals, income generating work, external income, political power, credits, marketing, overseas employment etc. High level of gender inequality at household level is also a major problem of food insecurity among women. There has been positive and negative impact on food security and secure livelihoods due to the strategies of government, donors, political parties, NGOs, neighboring countries etc. The patriarchal social structure, absentee landlords, charity type of development work, activities of criminal gangs reported to have been negative impact in food security and livelihoods of the rural communities. The government of Nepal and donors are supporting to the people to improve the secure livelihood based on their existing capacities. However, it is not enough to make a difference in the lives and livelihood of the rural people. The farmers are unsatisfied with the service delivery of government functionaries in the area. In the area, there are three major market centers such as Chupra, Bestada and Dailekh bazaar for buying and selling of agricultural commodities. A total of 46 items of consumable goods were imported in the area from outside, whereas only 9 goods exported to the outside market from the area. This is unsustainable economic system that pushes to vulnerability and poverty in the area. The price difference from farmers to retailer accounted as Rs 5-30 per kg in the local market. The local people have been exploited by the traders and transportation syndicate. The agricultural extension service provided by the Government of Nepal has received by only 13 per cent households. The local farmers were using degenerated seeds of cereals, vegetables and tuber crops. In the study area irrigation facility by 94 per cent households, improved seeds by 16 per cent households, insecticides and pesticides to plant protection measures by 2.5 per cent households, credits for agricultural business by 17 per cent households, agricultural training to increase knowledge and skills by 14 per cent households and agricultural tools and technologies to improve the farming practices by 3 per cent households have demanded with the Government of Nepal to increase food security and secure livelihoods. There is poor agricultural extension services in the remote areas and poorest of the poor communities due to weak governance, insufficient allocation of budget, lack of extension workers, poor monitoring etc. Paddy, maize, wheat, finger millet, barley, vegetables, fruits-orange are the major crops in the area. The roles and responsibilities of women have found more compared to men in agriculture, and biodiversity conservation due to seasonal migration of men in India and overseas countries. In the study area, 9.5 per cent households have food self-sufficient from own production system. There is high incidence of consumption poverty as the lower middle class and ultra poor class household spent 64 per cent and 80 per cent respectively of their income to purchase food items. The remittance as coping strategy significantly contributed to the household food security and rural livelihoods. The majority of households (79 %) occupied the better social status at present that has changed over time as compared to over the last ten years (2001-2011) in the area. There have been some changes observed in the community because of communication, access to road, market, political freedom etc. There have been gaps of major organizations working in the food security and livelihoods at policy and practice. The conventional and relief type of non-focused food security programs has been launched in the area. There has been lack of specific food security plan, budget and programs to address hunger and sustainable community-based food production and development of agro-enterprises to increase household food security and farm income. There is no specific food security policy formulated in Nepal to overcome food insecurity and hunger in the country. The food security and livelihood is a complex social phenomenon. This is a politico-economic issue. The unequal distribution of food is regarded as main problem rather than production aspect in Nepal. The food distribution system needs to be pro-poor, efficient, affordable and available to every citizen at all time to meet the requirement of dietary needs with cultural acceptability.
Description: A dissertation submitted to the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences of Tribhuvan University in fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Rural Development, 2013.
Appears in Collections:300 Social sciences

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