KATHMANDU, October 21: The current agricultural system dependent on pesticides has its consequences on public health, soil fertility, water system and ecological sector, according to experts.
Experts present an idea of promoting organic farming as a substitute for existing harmful farming practices.
They gave their opinion on an interactive program on “Organic Agriculture: Revitalizing the Food System” organized on the occasion of World Food Day which is celebrated each year on October 16 to commemorate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Organization in 1945.
Bal Krishna Joshi, a senior scientist with the Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC), said that to some extent local crops are healthier and meet the requirements of a balanced diet than crops produced using modern technology.
Food activist Pramod Dahal expressed concern about the increasing use of chemicals in agricultural production and its increasing health risks, including for children.
The Deputy Director General of the Department of Agriculture, Dr Hari Bahadur KC, was of the opinion that a total organic farming system was not sufficient to meet food needs, ensure food security and food sovereignty and that the agricultural system should be applied simultaneously.
Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Development Sabanam Siwakoti said we need time to increase agricultural production and the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides on crops should be gradually reduced instead of banning it completely quickly.
Farmers’ representative, Madhav Dhungel, accused the educated community of spoiling the agricultural sector and policy makers of acting with a double standard.
Food Farming Campaign coordinator Uddhav Adhikari believed that only organic farming would help reduce the impact of climate change.
Also speaking on the occasion, the Chairman of the National Inclusion Commission, Dr. Ram Krishna Timalsina, stressed the need to promote organic farming as an alternative to pesticide-based farming which has caused risks growing for public health. He blamed the dual role among government officials for causing obstacles to the promotion of organic farming.
The Principal Private Secretary to President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Dr Bheshraj Adhikari, said that although the Constitution has guaranteed the right to food as a fundamental right of the people, the implementation of this right is impossible in the lack of a reliable food production system.