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    • What are your experiences in the use and application of the CFS Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI) for improving food security and nutrition?

      Nutrition is in between the path way from agriculture to nutrition to health. Better nutrition is possible through the better management of food security that comes from the proper channels of food system, and food system is belonged to the network of agriculture. Therefore, it should be realised that food security should be well managed for the improvement of nutrition situation of the community / country.

      Food security requires an effective food system that may be possible from different sectors like crops, livestock, fisheries, and agro forestry under the agriculture farming. Whatever the production is made higher from these sectors supports for better food security and better food security results better nutrition. 

      In this regard, agriculture sector is fighting with various hindrances like climate change, price volatility, and government policy of the respective countries.  On the other hand, it requires the supply of the inputs like seed, fertilizer, water management, and labour as a regular process for agriculture farming. Further, considering the provision of investment as one of the principles of CFS requires high rate of investment in agriculture farming corresponding to food system since high rate of investment gives high rate of return and vice versa. In this respect, investment actually contributes in two ways – first, it can address the hindrances or problems facing by the agriculture sector as mentioned above, secondly the inputs for the agriculture farming can be managed from it. But the process of investment has been discriminated from the very beginning. The rich countries are becoming richer because of high rate of investment with ultra developed mechanisation in agriculture sector. The poor countries are lacking of amount resulting to poorer due to low purchasing power due to price volatility of the basic foods in the market. Even the manual farming is difficult for them due to lacking of investment. It is not possible to get return without enough investment. Therefore, the poor countries are facing the problems of food insecurity resulting to poor nutrition situation in the form of under nutrition resulting to health hazard. On the other hand the rich countries are accumulating the foods growing from their own land or importing the highly nutritious foods from other countries. But they also are facing the problems of nutrition in the form of over nutrition resulting to overweight and obesity because of intake of high calorie foods. 

      Finally, investment must be done in agriculture with efficient food system for improving better food security resulting to better nutrition.

    • UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016-2025: priority actions on nutrition for the next five years.

      Nutrition is a path way from agriculture to health. It does keep equal importance to agriculture and health including other sectors like education, social welfare, economy, governance and so on because of a multisectoral subject. Referring to the multisectoral approach of nutrition some priority actions on nutrition for the five year 2016 to 2025 are identified as follows.

      Priority actions on nutrition for the next five years 2016-2025.

      1. Sustainable, resilient food systems for healthy diets:

      Actually, healthy diets are the sources of both types of nutrients known as macro and micro nutrients.  But it raises one of the main questions that what the sources and how the diets are available in a sustainable manner. In this regard, some of the measures are recommended for regular supply of the healthy diets as follows.

      1. First of all it has to be ensured of food security at different level like household, community and at national level. Food should be accessed economically as well as physically for everybody. People should have to be increased their purchasing capacity with boosting up of the economic condition. On the other hand food supply situation should be regularized with increasing total production of the foods.  Eventually, it has to be increased total production of the foods from farming as well as from the livestock products in the country.  It is recommended as a priority action for availability and accessibility of the food crops quantitatively.
      1. Moreover, qualitative measures are more important than the quantitative in the case of healthy diets since the qualitative foods are the synonyms of the healthy diets. We are talking about the healthy diets which are possible only from contaminated or polluted free foods without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides. In this respect, the foods must be organic and produced with the use of traditional compost manure for higher production, and use of herbal medicines instead of the pesticides and insecticides. Whenever the foods are not free from contaminations and even free from different types of preservatives used to keeping the foods safe and looking fresh the healthy diets will not be available for everybody.

      In this regard, it has to be mentioned it here that most of the people of the developing / poor countries are consuming the contaminated foods produced from their household or even by purchasing in the market because of cheaper price of the foods.  Similarly, the people from developed / rich countries are consuming the foods used of various types of preservatives to keep the foods looking fresh and shiny for a long time imported from other countries though the foods are expensive. Therefore, both the people from the developing or developed countries are not getting original and genuine healthy diets. They are getting unhealthy diets every day. It has to be thinking if we really want to have health diets with priority for the next five years.

      1. Aligned health systems providing universal coverage of essential nutrition actions.

      Under this priority action it has to be increased coverage of the essential nutrition services in the country.  In this respect it has been recommended to highlight the concept of “Golden Thousand Days” from community to community in each country. As a nutrition specific to health sector the concept of the Golden Thousand Days has numerous advantages for the development of the child and the mother from pregnancy to under the age of two. Various relevant actions like caring of the mother and the child, exclusive / breast feeding, iron supplementation to the mothers, growth monitoring, sanitation and hygiene, healthy diets like feeding the eggs and others are included under the concept of the Golden Thousand Days. Therefore, it has to be prioritized to strengthen and to extend the concept of the Golden Thousand Days which might be virtually enough under this topic.

      1. Social protection and nutrition education.

       Most of the children of the poor countries are lacking of enough food to filling up their stomach because of low purchasing power of their parents. Provision of the healthy diets is a far cry for them. Therefore, they must be provided financial supports even for the short term period. Financial supports can be done simply by two ways. The first one is to providing some income generating programmes to the household having the children under the age of two, malnourished children’s home, or the pregnant women’s home. Accordingly, cash transfer is another way of social protection which can be given to the same households as mentioned just above.

      Nutrition education is highly relevant to improve nutrition status of the children and the pregnant mothers. Nutrition education can be given by various forms like formal education in the class room, and informal type of training  / workshop, street drama, gathering of the mass, painting, and others. Means of nutrition education depend upon the need of the education and the targeted population.

      1. Trade and investment for improved nutrition.

      Nutrition is a multisectoral subject which is related to trade and investment too for the improvement of nutrition situation of the country.

      1. Safe and supportive environments for nutrition at all ages.

      Environmental factors have crucial role in respect of nutrition.  In this regard, the safe and supportive environment has positive impact upon nutrition for the people of all ages.

      1. Strengthened governance and accountability for nutrition.

      The last but not least considerable factor is governance and accountability. It has already been discussed about the priority actions from 1 to 5 above. But the actions under all the 5 points will not be effective and useful unless and until the priority action of 6 about the governance and accountability is not strong and transparent in the country. Various developing countries are being victims of weak and corrupted governance where accountability has not been considered by the bureaucrats or by the politicians in the country. Whenever the governance will not be strong and clean all the development activities including the nutrition situation will not be improved in the country.

      Therefore, it is recommended to strengthen strong and an accountable governance in the countries even by intervening them from international institutions like WHO, World Bank, UNICEF and so on. There might be applied other types of interventions depending upon the country and its governance system.

    • Ending Child Labour in Agriculture with the Help of Agricultural Stakeholders

      Childhood, simply the stage between birth and puberty, is not the condition of well developed physically as well as mentally. They are physically weak with developing the organs of their bodies slowly. The fragile organs are not ready to perform the hard works inside or outside of the home. On the other hand the stage of childhood is inclined to playing and entertaining with their parents, friends or with their kin. They want to enjoy in playing the games that give good results ultimately for the overall development of the children. Accordingly, doing formal study in the pedagogies or in the homes according to the ages is another task of the children.   

      With this background of the childhood it has to be justified to eliminate the child labour from the agriculture sector at this moment. Actually, the authorized agencies are trying to prohibit or to ending the involvement of the child from any sector may be agriculture, industry, transportation, or even the sexualities. In this regard, agriculture is one of the highly sensitive sector where the possibilities of child labour seems to be high. They have been mobilised in this sector voluntarily as well as obligatorily too.  It could be happened actually due to three reasons. The first one is - by voluntarily where the family members do not deny the involvement of the children in the pretext of enjoying by their children in the agricultural activities together with them. The second one is that the family members automatically mobilized their children in agriculture farming because of lacking of needed labourers for the work. The third one is that child labour is comparatively cheaper than the labour of the seniors may be man or woman.  It should not be paid full wages to them as paid to their seniors including fathers / mothers. Therefore, the community people or any other organizations / companies want to mobilize the children in some soft type of activities which could be performed by them without hard labour.

      Now we have to identify the actual stakeholders of the agriculture before going to discuss about their roles regarding the child labour. First of all family members or the households are the prime stakeholders of agriculture followed by neighbouring / farmers, private or public organizations / companies (food producing / supplier, distributors, and marketing of the products ), NGOs/ CBOs,  political parties, and the government formed at different levels depending upon the country.

      Following measures are recommended to eliminate or to ending the child labour with the help of those stakeholders of the agriculture as mentioned above:

      1. Government: The ruling government has hole sole authority for execution of law and order in the country. It can address the issues of child labour in the process of ending it from the country. In this respect the government, in coordination with other stakeholders of the country, has to incorporate the provision of ending of child labour in the constitution or acts of the country, and to be implemented the rule and regulations regarding the child labour accordingly.

      2. Political parties: Political parties and the parliamentarians are considered as the stakeholders of the agriculture sector since they can make the plan and policy of the country as per the needs of the people.  Hence, they can support to prepare the plan and policy about the ending of the child labour of the country with a consensus among the political parties / parliamentarians / government and none government agencies, and any other sectors as needed.

      3. Private and Public Organizations /Companies: It should be prohibited for the participation of the children as the labourers in the private or public companies involved in the process of farming of the crops, or producing different types of foods with the purpose of marketing. Eventually, they want to hire more and more children for some soft type of activities in the companies because of low rate of wages for the children. It is recommended to stop the deployment of children in such organizations or companies by the authorized agencies of the country.

      4. NGOs / CBOs: The non government or community based organizations working in agriculture sector should be very conscious of child labour. Therefore, they should ask and follow up of their clients / stakeholders for not accepting the child labour in their works.

      5. Neighbouring / Relatives: There is high possibilities of involvement of the children in agricultural works mobilizing by the neighbours or relatives who are very close to the households specially in the rural areas of developing countries from Asia and Africa. It could be happened due to two reasons. The first one is that some of the children do not go to school because of lacking of money with their guardians. So the children are spending their days in vain in the households. The second one is that the children are not allowed to go to school in the pretext of caring of the children as well as of the livestock in the households. Therefore, the neighbours or the relatives request to the households to send their children specially at the time of cultivation as well as harvesting or even at the time of weeding of the crops.

      Therefore, it is recommended to make aware to the households about the drawbacks of the child labour. Accordingly, there should be established a common understanding among  the households and neighbours for not mobilizing the children in agricultural jobs.  

      Besides, the other important recommendation is that there should be applied the  practice of exchanging of labour (known as Parma in Nepali ) at the time of farming  from one household to another household in the settlement which is very popular in some parts of Nepal.

      6. Family / Household: Actually the child labour is originated from the family / households. They do not allow their children to go to schools rather send to the jobs either in agriculture farming or in any other jobs to earn money for their subsistence. It is a very miserable fact that thousands of families / households do not have money to send to the children in the schools. In this respect, ending of the child labour has become only publicity for the policy makers or for the researchers. The agriculture sector including the livestock is considered as one of the highest sectors of exploitation of the children in various countries mainly in the third world.

      To address the alarming situation of such households in respect of child labour it is recommended to provide some incentives by the government to the households having the potential children for labour works. They can be awarded by cash, or kinds like school dress, books and copies or even to provide some material supports to those parents who send their children to the school. In this respect, cash transfer is one of the supportive tools for ending the child labour.

    • Responding to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on food value chains through efficient logistics

      Nepal is an agricultural country where 66 percent of the population is engaged in agriculture facing with several challenges like droughts, famines, torrential rain, landslide, and some manmade disasters too. In the meantime the country has to fight with the COVID 19 likely the other countries. However, the country has taken some measures towards minimising the effects of the disease through efficient logistics on food value chains. Transportation and movement of the people has not been normalised resulting to irregular and insufficient catering of food.  Therefore, realising existing situation and future predicament of the country government has taken policy of supplying the food regularly without possibilities of shortages across the country. Thus some of the measures that the government has taken for food value chain with the supports of efficient logistics have been mentioned briefly as follows:

      1. Buffer stock of foods: It has been highly prioritized in food security of the country with establishment of additional food procurement stores in some main parts of the country followed by introducing the concept of food bank targeting to the COVID 19. It has been targeted to make availability of the foods round the year with provision of buffer stock through the terminal market (Food Corporation) of the country. The food corporation purchases the food from the farmers immediately after harvesting and sells out to the whole sellers / retailers of the food. In the meantime the government has targeted to increase the production of all the crops of the country like rice, maize, and wheat followed by other cereals, pulses, vegetables and livestock products.
      2. Supply of inputs: To meet the target of production of the food arrangement of inputs like fertilizers, irrigation, credit facilities, labour, and insurance of the crops and livestock has been emphasized in the country.
      3. Marketing of the agricultural products: It has been arranged the distribution system of the agricultural products through a channel of marketing like from producer to wholesaler and retailer to consumer. Accordingly, pricing policy of the products exists in the country where minimum support price of the main products is fixed before plantation of the crops.
      4. Rationing of food: The government at different levels from federal to local level have been involved in rationing of the food to the ultra poor and to the others who are unable to purchase the food from the market.
      5. Involvement of private sector: Some of the corporate houses, business men and individuals too are donating raw food as well as cooked food in edible form in many places of the country.
      6. Home delivery of food: Accordingly, home delivery system of the food like rice, pulses, cooking oil, spices, livestock products, green or dry vegetables and fruits has been expanded from the trading partners.
      7. Maintaining quality of food: Normally, quality of the food is not considered at the time of crisis rather than quantity since everyone’s target is to meet hunger. However, it has been asked to the concerning departments / sectors to maintain the quality of the food even supplying through different channels.

      Thank you.

    • How can agricultural policies and strategies help to end child labour in agriculture?".

      Child labour has been a problem in most of the countries though they all are trying to end or even to reduce its magnitude. But no result has been achieved until now. We have seen most of the child labour has been seen in some sectors like public vehicles, industries, magic and circus, garbage management, and agriculture. Most of the countries have been suffered from the issues of child labour painfully. In this respect Nepal is one the countries which has a great problem of child labour in different sectors except somehow in the magic and circus. Therefore, Nepal has been done commitments and advocacies in various international and national forums to end or to mitigate the child labour from the country. But it has not yet been achieved the results as the expectations were done.

      Nepal is an agricultural country where more than two-thirds of the employees are engaged in agriculture.  Almost half of all the children in the country are economically active who are employed in different sectors but concentrating in agriculture occupation since their family members are doing works in farm land or talking to them about the activities of agriculture. The children go to the field even without the permission of their parents rather for their pleasures. But it has to be stopped the works of the children in each and every country. The policy / strategies should have to be undertaken by the government followed by the households too as follows:

      A. Role of the government:

      1. It has to be incorporated in the main constitution of the country that no child labour will be mobilized in any sort of occupation including the agriculture sector.
      2. In the case of Nepal it has to be circulated in all the 3 steps federal, provincial and local government.
      3. Strictly mention in the act about the prohibition of the child labour.
      4. Banned in the consumption with restriction in marketing of the products that were done with child labour.
      5. Mechanisation in agriculture which can increase mainly the production, and reduce the human labour force on the other hand.
      6. More facilities to the children to go to the schools.
      7. Cheaper the wage rate of the labour in the country so that less family members including the children will be involved in farming.
      8. Provide opportunities to the children for developing their physical and mental status.
      9. Create opportunities of playing games in the schools and out of the schools.
      10. Heavily subsidise or full scholarship in education for the children.
      11. Publish and propaganda to stop the child labour in the country.
      12. Monitoring and supervision of the child labour directly by the authorities in the field.

      B. Role of the family (household)

      1. Divert the mind of the children from working in the field to their books and schools.
      2. Discourage the children to go to the fields rather encourage to go their schools.
      3.  More and more children to be admitted in the schools.
      4. Create homely environment to the children to spend their leisure time in the games and physical exercises or yog. 


    • Dhananjaya  Poudyal

      Independent Consultant Food and Nutrition


      Q. 1 Does the draft adequately explain the principal components of a sustainable  food systems approach (section 2.1.) and put the latter in relation to the approaches discussed in section  3.1.?

      1. Yes, I think so. It has been explained the key areas of a sustainable food systems approaches clearly. Accordingly the approaches are discussed in 3.1 too.  However, I have a small remark regarding the public health approaches in 3.1.4. It has focused on safety and qualitative foods with nutritional profile too. Food intake gives nutrients to the body which ultimately supports in health status. In this regard, I would like to suggest changing the “public health approaches” as “health and nutrition approaches”.

      Q. 2.  Are the key concepts in relation to sustainable food systems in section 2.2. well defined and described, including their importance for this publication?

      1. In my opinion it has been well defined of the key concepts in relation to food systems and described in details. It is enough for the publication of the document. But I want to take an opportunity to mention here at this moment that Nepalese diet is also one of the complete (well balanced) and hygienic diet from the point of nutrition.  It has been included all the macro as well as micro nutrients in the diet. Accordingly, new visitors from abroad prefer to have the Nepalese diet because of composition of the food as well as of taste. 

      Q.3 Is the list of terms in chapter 4 complete, are any important terms missing (if yes, please submit together with the respective definitions) or do you think certain terms may be redundant?

      1. It seems to be completed now the list of the terms in chapter 4. But it can be required more as per the needs of the individuals in time factor. Now I would like to suggest you to incorporate the definition of nutrients missing in the document. I don’t think that the terms are unnecessary rather may be less important.

      Regarding the definition of the terms missing in your document I have mentioned as follows: 

      Definition of Nutrition:  As defined by the Food and Nutrition Council (of the American Medical Association), “nutrition is the science of food, the nutrients and other substances therein, their action, interaction and balance in relation to health and disease, and the processes by which the organism ingests, digests, absorbs, transports, utilizes, and excretes food substances.”   - Nutrition and Diet Therapy Dictionary, Third Edition, Virginia S. Claudia, & Rosalinda T. Lagua, Published by Merriam & Webster Inc. Manila Philippines. 1991.

      Definition of Nutrient:  “Any chemical substance needed by the body for one or more following functions: to provide heat or energy, to build and repair tissues, and to regulate life processes.” Although nutrients are found chiefly in foods, some can be synthesized in the laboratory (e.g. Vitamins) or in the body (biosynthesis).”   - Nutrition and Diet Therapy Dictionary, Third Edition, Virginia S. Claudia, & Rosalinda T. Lagua, Published by Merriam & Webster Inc. Manila Philippines. 1991.

      Finally, this is really a very good document which is useful not only in agriculture or food system but it keeps its relevancy for other sectors of development too starting from the pathway of agriculture. Virtually it could be referred as a reference document for anybody like student, teacher, researcher, planner, development worker and also for the farmers. I am very much impressed with the document.

      Thank you.

    • Question No. 1

      1. By providing them the barren land that is no longer cultivated by the land owners. They can improve their living conditions by producing the food crops from the land.
      2. By providing credit facilities without or minimum rate of interest with the provision of conducting off-farm / livelihood activities.
      3. By generating employment opportunities to the family members of those households.
      4. By providing free education facilities to the children, and free medical facilities to the family members of the households.
      5. By providing opportunities of non-formal education to the households on different specially on social sector like health including reproductive health, nutrition, sanitation, and gender etc.

      Question No. 2

      Management of natural resources which are sustainable can have various roles in supporting the eradication or reduction of extreme poverty by accessing to the resources of the poor people. But the natural resources are varied country to country. In the case of Nepal forest, and water are major natural resources followed by land and mines. Community forestry owned by the community people are a good example to address the poverty situation of the communities in rural as well as in urban areas by accessing them to the forest.

      Question No. 3

      Partially yes. I cannot say that all the people from extreme poverty can find the pathways out of the sectors that are mentioned above. It depends upon the place (residing), time (rainy season, winter season) and some of the other factors like awareness, favourism in the community, and skilled or non-skilled too.

      Question No. 4

      Authorities should have the policies of food security in respect of eradication of poverty in rural areas as follows:

      1. Policy should be focused on availability of food whole of the year with increment in food production locally. Policy should be it that if the land owner does not do farming in the land it could be provided the land to the people from poverty sector without paying tenancy to the land owner.  

      Accordingly policy should be addressed towards initiation in livestock activities like cattle or buffalo farming, goat raising, and birds raising and so on.  

      1. To be ensured access of poverty sector to the food.  They should have to eat the food without difficulties of infrastructure, and without shortage of money. For this purpose it would be applicable to take the policy of food rationing, and introduce the programme food for work.
      2. Increase awareness of the people for not wasting the foods rather to give to the hungry people before wasting the foods.

      Question No. 5

      There is no specific example with pin pointing in reduction of extreme poverty through an agricultural pathway. But it can be mentioned here that one of the reasons of reducing the rate of poverty in Nepal is due to the activities conducted based on agricultural pathways.

      • Given the global scope of the CoCoFe, do you think the objectives are appropriate? If not, how would you add to them or modify them?

      Objectives are appropriate for me. No changes are necessary in the objectives.

      • How should be the CoCoFe be structured to have the maximum positive impact?

      In general the code of conduct should be rigid which should not be changed in any circumstances. It should be powerful and strict to take action for any guilty person.

      • Who would be the best audience for the CoCoFe to meet our objectives and how could we broaden and diversify this audience to increase its influence?

      Both the farmers who use the fertilizers and the producers who do supply of fertilizers are the best audience for this purpose. The audience can be broadening towards the community people, consumer societies, and the merchants/shopkeepers dealing with fertilizers. They can be given orientations about the contents and theme of the code of conduct. Besides, there should be provisioned of penalty if somebody discard the clauses of code of conduct

      • What should the scope of the CoCoFe be? Which nutrient input sources should be included; only synthetic fertilizers, or also manure, biosolids, compost, etc.? Should other products such as bio-stimulants, nitrification inhibitors, urease inhibitors, etc., be included as well?

      Code of conduct should be applied for all the fertilizers and manures too. However, synthetic fertilizers are more sensitive than the others from the point of view of health hazards. It is recommended to include the other products too as mentioned above in the scope of code of conduct.

      • Will the CoCoFe assist in promoting responsible and judicious use of fertilizers? Why or why not? What other suggestions do you have to help the CoCoFe meet our objectives?

      I think so. The code of conduct will be supportive to make more responsible to the fertilizer producers and to the farmers too for taking care towards legal provisions. It will be happened because they will be bound with some restrictions under the judicious processes. Actually, people from any disciplines or sectors do not follow the code of conduct in the country. They do not care about it since they feel that the code of conduct is applied only for the fragile persons.

      Therefore, the respective government whether from the country, region, or state should strictly follow the legal actions against every guilty person. In the meantime, it should be oriented, disseminated, and trained about the details of the code of conduct through the process of social mobilization.


    • Q. What interventions do you think are needed to increase the agriculture sector resilience to environmental stressors, especially among smallholder farmers?

      Low or middle income countries are highly suffering from various environmental hazards impacting to almost all the people of the country. But, especially the smallholder farmers known as small farmers who are living in a poor condition even in the form of tenants are vulnerable. They have to suffer from different environmental threats like untimely and torrential rain, drought, flood, landslides, avalanches, earthquake, and epidemics etc. They are lacking of food to meet their hunger every day. Consequently, the under 5 children and the lactating and pregnant mothers will highly be affected due to deficiencies of nutrients resulting to malnutrition. Further it will be more serious in the case of under two children who could be retarded physically as well as mentally. Thus the environmental hazards are suppressing to the countries towards low level of food and nutrition security.

      Considering the scenario of agriculture sector resilience to environmental stress some remedies is recommended focusing to the small farmers as follows:

      1. Orientation about the improved farming techniques depending upon the food crop that they are cultivating. Use of compost, as one of the techniques, especially the vermin compost is highly recommended for organic farming that is more lucrative and nutritious with high demand in the market.
      2. Facilitation and orientation to promote production and consumption of indigenous foods depending upon the soil and climatic condition of the locality.
      3. Provided the inputs like seeds, medicines, and other machineries for farming.
      4. Prefer to intensive farming rather than extensive to get better productions from limited area of the land.
      5. Prefer to use traditional tools / weapons in sloping area to save the land from sweeping way and landslides in sloping area. 
      6. Increase awareness of crop diversification with potentialities.
      7. Apply the policy of early warning system of disasters and natural calamities to the farmers.
      8. Prefer to other types of farming like livestock and birds raising, aquaculture, cash crops like cardamom, ginger and tea plantation.
      9. Provision of rented in of barren land to the small land holders should they want to cultivate on it.
      10.  Introduce the livelihood programs for the farmers to reduce dependency from farming occupation.