Situation report on Nepal’s agrifood systems: November 2023
In October 2023, year-on-year price changes for essential nutrient sources like fruits, milk, and meat saw significant increases in Nepal, reaching up to 14.0 percent. Milk prices in the Western provinces surged by 44.1 percent over the past year, potentially affected in part by lumpy skin disease affecting livestock. Poorer households are likely to have experienced increased challenges purchasing these goods as a result. At the same time, the prevalence of food insecurity measured in rural Nepal was lower in agricultural households compared to non-agricultural households, indicative of the formers’ ability to manage food commodity increases through production of foods on farm and/or through better farmgate profits. During the last month, Nepal also had a higher Food Import Vulnerability Index compared to neighboring countries, particularly for essential consumption commodities like rice, vegetable oils, maize, and wheat. This indicates a greater susceptibility to increased world food prices and the importance of policy makers and development practitioners to consider options to address price vulnerability, particularly for the poor. Lastly, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in West Nepal on November 3, resulting in 154 reported deaths, 366 injuries, and extensive damage to houses and structures, with relief efforts ongoing. A rapid survey in Jajarkot and Rukum West districts reveals that agricultural households have reported loss of livestock, damage to seed stores affecting winter planting, and increased market access challenges post-earthquake.