Currently, the world is facing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic which started on 11 March 2020 in Wuhan, China and the coronavirus is no longer a new normal. The Government of Nepal has imposed a nationwide lockdown since 29 April 2021 and enforced its federal, regional and local level structures to respond to the crisis, fully cognizant of its vulnerabilities.
Nepal's food security situation is exacerbated not only by many domestic factors (e.g., weak policies and institutional arrangements, and poor governance) but also by the effects of COVID-19 these days. The COVID-19 has aggravated food security by restricting movement, closing all restaurants, production, markets, and malls except for emergency needs. Even though these are steps designed to slow the spread of the virus and alleviate potentially devastating economic and social effects in Nepal, and also reflect measures taken by most countries.
Overall, the virus has made it difficult for already impoverished and marginalized groups to survive. People are facing great food price inflation at the retail level, owing to the lingering supply disruptions caused by the lockdown.
Amid the pandemic as the silver lining of crisis, some positive impressions are also observed. Hereby, I have discussed some of them, to sum up, my opinion.
After the emergence of the second wave, the Government of Nepal has focused more on vaccinating the citizens rather than distributing relief packages. Realizing the importance of food security, provincial and local governments are primarily concerned with increasing the local supply of food, now more to cultivate fallow lands (estimated to be 30%) with the participation of returning migrants.
Promote agriculture among young people