By Prem Raj Simkhada,Kalikot, May 26: Kalikot district is waiting for a situation of food scarcity as the warehouse of the Food Management and Trading Company (FMTC) in Manma has run empty.
The lack of preparedness and management of food in Karnali Province has led to similar scarcity in the region several times over the years.
Locals informed that concerned officials upset the proper process of food management despite enough budget allocation for the commission from third parties.
According to the FMTC branch in Kalikot, their warehouse has emptied after rice was not transported there on time.
“Around 20-30 quintals of rice gets sold in Kalikot daily. However, rice has not arrived from Nepalgunj and Bardiya as it was supposed to. While the concerned contractor has not been able to bring rice from Surkhet on time, there is also not enough rice in Nepalgunj and Bardiya,” said Kamal Raj Pandey, chief at the Kalikot-based FMTC office.
Kalikot had demanded 12,000 quintals of rice for the current fiscal year. Out of that, 9,000 quintals have already arrived and sold and the office is now waiting for the remaining 3,000 quintals.
According to authorities, farmers and locals are returning empty-handed from the warehouse despite the season of rice plantation on the doorsteps.
“The warehouse will get completely empty within two weeks as there are only 300 quintals of rice of Aruwa type,” said Pandey.
With the shortage in Manma, the depots in Padamghat, Khulla and Thirpu are all getting empty, officials informed.
Locals in rural villages argued that rice was not transported to the depots by the contractor timely.
According to the FMTC, Surya Nirman Sewa, the contractor, has delayed the transportation of rice to the depots citing a lack of vehicles.
Kalikot-based Agriculture Development Office, in its recent survey, has stated that the risks of food insecurity in the district were increasing with drought and lack of irrigation facilities.
The survey also showed that 40 per cent of the population in Kalikot could survive only for six months with their agriculture yields. Similarly, 55 per cent of the population have a poor Body Mass Index (BMI).