Consolidating media’s role in promoting agricultural productivity


CHITWAN: While the concept of “food sovereignty”—people’s right to decide what they eat and what they produce—has been overwhelmingly incorporated under the Constitution as a sacrosanct fundamental right, the experts, journalists and stakeholders emphasized on consolidating media’s role in promoting agricultural productivity.

Highlighting the importance of food sovereignty, Dr. Tirtha Raj Regmi, director of Heifer International Nepal said, “The peasants and small farmers are Nepal’s main food producers but the policies in force are serving the large conglomerates.” He further said that the efforts should be made to convince the farmers to use the latest technologies in agribusiness. “The cooperative mechanism, assurance of livable income and reduction of import of foodstuffs could play a pivotal role in securing the mandates of food sovereignty.”

Deputy Mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan city Parvati Shah Thakuri said, “Nepal has always been described as a beautiful country endowed with rich natural resources and agriculture. But, our identity is under transition due to strong reliance on import of foodstuffs.” Showing satisfaction with the three-day long training workshop titled ‘media capacity building workshop on agriculture and economic growth,’ which concluded today, organized by Media Action Nepal and Heifer International Nepal, she said, “I am hopeful that the participants would have benefitted from this workshop and they would creatively disseminate information on different dimensions of agriculture and economic growth.”

“Economic development has an ultimate goal to end poverty. Agriculture journalism intends to disseminate information from varied perspectives, ranging from food sovereignty to sustainable development,” said Laxman Datt Pant, Chairman of Media Action Nepal. He further said that the advancement of technologies has unfolded a new beginning in agriculture journalism. “With the help of social media, we are in a position to disseminate any information within a fraction of second. The issue of development or prosperity should gain media attention in modern days.”

Likewise, Regeena Regmi, Associate Communication Officer, Heifer International Nepal was of the view that the sustainable goals cannot be achieved in true and material sense unless we prioritize agricultural productivity, food sovereignty and sustainable development.

Chairperson of Federation of Nepalese Journalist Chitwan chapter Radheshyam Khatiwada said, “We ought not to forget a thing that all of we are descants of peasants in one way or the other. The agriculture issues should be highly promoted in order to maintain our national identity.” He suggested the participating journalists to take this training workshop as an opportunity.

As part of their practical work, the participating journalists visited goat farm and interacted with farmers on how they were benefitted with the small agricultural initiatives in Devitar of Kalika municipality in Chitwan district.

The three-day training that began on January 10 saw the presence of 30 journalists including 12 women from thirteen districts of province numbers 3 and 4. The training was facilitated by Mr Laxman Datt Pant, Mr. Madhu Sudan Dawadi, Mr. Jivesh Jha and Ms. Regeena Regmi.