Nepal is a food deficit country, importing both cereals and high-value agriculture commodities due mainly to slow agricultural growth rates. The government’s commitment to check the country’s ever widening trade deficit by boosting farm production is difficult to achieve unless implementation is improved.
Agriculture needs to be modernized and commercialized to ensure the country’s sustainable food security. This is only possible if we can attract young people to farming. They bring energy, vitality, and innovation into the farming system. They prefer to be engaged in high-tech, high-risk and high-returns agri-ventures like protected agriculture, precision farming, floriculture, poultry, and dairy. In the most adverse and risky situations, young people have extraordinary resilience and ability to cope. So they are an ideal catalyst to change the poor image of Nepali agriculture given their greater possibility to adapt new ideas, concepts and technologies. According to the National Youth Policy 2015, youths are described those between the ages 16-40. Approximately 40 percent of the total population of Nepal falls under this category. This situation can serve as a demographic strength for Nepali agriculture.
It is more than six decades since Nepal started planning process for development. In six decades, nine five-year plans and five three-year plans have been implemented. In case of agriculture, the first long term plan (Agriculture Perspective Plan) was implemented from 1995 to 2015 and the second one (Agriculture Development Strategy) is at its third year of implementation.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is an effective instrument for promoting sustainable development in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) like Nepal. Realizing this fact, the government of Nepal has organized three investment summits so far. First was in 1992 following the restoration of democracy. The investors attending the summit had pledged investment of approximately $100 million, but only around 25 percent of the pledged amount was realized.
Tihar is at the doorstep. It is the second biggest Nepali festival after Dashain. Crow is worshipped on Kaag Tihar, the first of the five-day-long festival. Dogs get special treatment on the second day, called Kukur Tihar. On the third day (Gai Tihar), people show their appreciation to cow by garlanding and feeding them. In the evening, Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, is worshiped by lighting oil lamps (Diyo).