Friday, July 16, 2010

Nepal ambassador calls for aid resurgence to alleviate food deficit

Amanda Wheat in MediaGlobal: With the price of food rising due to inflation and drought hindering already negligible crops, Madhu Acharya, Nepal’s UN ambassador stresses the need for international aid. The western areas of Nepal have been hit the hardest. Ravaged by drought through most of last year, the region’s crops have unsuccessfully mitigated an already brutal food shortage.

Acharya told MediaGlobal, “Every country faces climate change, but we are struck harder because we don’t have the adaptation capability to deal with it.” He added, “In terms of agriculture, we deal with the intensity and frequency of flash floods, both of which have risen in recent years.”

In a country were only 20 percent of the land is irrigated, agricultural success depends on predictable monsoon rains to decide when to sow and harvest crops. But in recent years, rain patterns have become unpredictable occurrences. “This erratic rain has baffled farmers, they don’t know when to sow the seeds. And when the rain does come, it comes in flash floods,” said Acharya.

But the plight doesn’t end with complications created by climate change; the Nepalese are also battling intense inflation. Because it is far cheaper to sell goods by sea than by land, inflation is much worse for landlocked countries. Not only must Nepal pay more to import goods, their exports cost more for others to purchase, making them less competitive in the international market….

A valley in rural Kathmandu, shot by Till Niermann, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 License

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