Food Sovereignty & Food Security

Food Sovereignty & Food Security

Food Sovereignty & Food Security

Food Sovereignty

The right of people to define their own food system is known as food sovereignty. It holds that farmers, who are the producers, should be participated in the operation of food system.

Food Sovereignty calls for the decisive role of farmers in production, distribution, pricing of agricultural products and sustainable i.e. farmers should have access to adequate feeding, timely feeding and nutritious feeding.

Food sovereignty can further be elaborated as the right of people to food that is ecologically, socially and economically appropriate to their unique circumstances.

Constitution of Nepal provisions food sovereignty as a fundamental right of citizens in Sub-Article 3 under Article 36 stating that every citizen shall have the right to food sovereignty in accordance with law.

Principle of Food Sovereignty: –

  1. Focus on food for people that is adequate and acceptable culturally.
  2. Value for food producers acknowledging their contribution.
  3. Localization of food to meet the need of local people first.
  4. Work with nature-protect heritage.
  5. Freedom for choice of food system.
  6. Decisive role of producers of food in food system.

Situation of food sovereignty in Nepal: –

Following points highlight the condition of food sovereignty in Nepal:

  1. Poor access of farmers to decision and policy sovereignty in Nepal:
  2. Farmers are not organized and empowered due to subsistence agriculture.
  3. Majority of farmers lack their ownership on land. They work land of others.
  4. Lack of adequate supply and choice in fertilizer, seeds and agro-tools, traditional agricultural practices.
  5. Low market access and transportation facility to agro-products.
  6. Farmers do not get reasonable price for their production. On the other hand, ultimate consumers need to pay high price due to excessive and unreasonable profit margin by middle-men.
  7. Concept of agro-insurance has just begun. Government has just introduced policy regarding it.

Food Security

Availability of nutritious food and access of all to it is food security. Food security is the condition of access by all people, at all times, to enough and nutritious food for an active and healthy life.

“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” – world Food Summit, 1996

Food insecurity exists when people do not have adequate physical, social or economic access to nutritious food.

Aspects of food security: –

  1. Production and availability: – Adequate production and productivity of food corps taking into account population, food habit, environment and self-sufficiency.
  2. Access: – Physical, social and economic affordability of food. It takes into account sufficient storage, supply system and equitable distribution as well.
  3. Utilization: – Ensuring nutritious food, food safety, cutting food waste, neither under-feeding nor over-feeding.
  4. Stability: – Continuity of availability of food, access, utilization, and its sustainability.

Provisions for food security in Nepal: –

  1. Constitution: Right relating to food provisioned as fundamental right in Article 36, which states that every citizen shall right to food. Similarly, every citizen shall have the right to be safe from the state of being in danger of life resulting from the scarcity of food.
  2. The right to food and food sovereignty Act, 2075, Food Act 2023, Consumer Protection Act, 2075 as legal provisions for food security.
  3. National Food Safety policy 2076, National Agriculture Policy 2061, Agricultural Business Promotion Policy 2063 and Agricultural Bio-diversity Policy 2063 among others as policy measures to ensure food safety, and develop agriculture.
  4. Zero hunger challenge as one of the sustainable Development Goals initiated from Nepal. Nepal has committed to meet the goal by 2025.
  5. Nepal is a party to Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, 1966 as it has signed and ratified them. Food security is also looked upon by these treaties.
  6. Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development, Relief Fund under Ministry of Home affairs, world Food Programme, Nepal Food Corporation and sub-national governments among others, are working for food security in their respective domain.
  7. Policy of modernizing, commercializing and diversifying agricultural sector to increase production and productivity is undertaken by the government in policies, periodic plan and budget. For instance, Prime Minister Agriculture Modernization Project.
  8. Subsidies on supply and price of agricultural products in remote geographical areas by the government.
  9. 20-Year Agriculture Development Strategy (ADS), 2072 adopted by the government with five major objectives in strategic dimensions of increased food and nutrition security, poverty reduction, competitiveness, higher and more equitable income of rural households, and strengthened farmers’ rights.
  10. National food security storage and SAARC food security bank provisioned to ensure food security.  
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