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Microenterprise development: as mitigating strategy of food insecurity in rural livelihood.

Nepal is an agrarian country, and it is obvious that most of the micro-enterprises established so far are either agro-based, forest-based, or livestock-based. The practice of such enterprises has successful entrepreneurship. Such programs are relevant due to the high incidence of poverty in underdeveloped rural economies in Nepal. Situated in the extreme northwest of the country, Humla is one of the districts of Karnali Zone which is not linked to the rest of the country by a moterable road. On the other hand, it is geographically and historically linked with Tibet to the north. According to the UNs Human Development Report, it is the least developed area in Nepal, with very low indicators of human development. It is characterized by a growing population, environmental degradation, low productivity, annual disease epidemics and famines, a weak educational system, negligible employment opportunities, and growing out migration in search of work. The WFP estimates that about 43 percent of Nepals total populations are undernourished. Agricultural production in Humla meets household food requirements for only 3 to 9 months of the year. The large population are depending on government subsidized rice to meet their hand and mouth. One of the main causes of high levels of mortality and morbidity in Humla is malnutrition, rice maize, barley, wheat, buckwheat, potatoes, soyabean, beans, amaranth, coriander, and several types of dry rice are grown in this district. Oats, cotton, and other vegetables are other general crops. A study conducted from January 2 February 3, 2011 shows that there are lots of opportunities of microenterprise development to mitigate severe food insecurity in Humla district. According to local NTFP trader Katak Lama of Hepca village (45 years old), there is a great demand for atis (Delphinium himalayae) at Nepalgunj market, which ultimately supplies India. The market can absorb the production of cultivated atis. Hence, there is a need to cultivate it. Moreover, some semiprocessing and value addition work could be done to assure quality. At present they are involved in cultivating attis in small scale in their own fallow land which is supported by Small and Cottage Industry Organization, simikot (district headquarter). Simikot VDC is t most potential area for microenterprise development because large population is residing under it. There are many NGOs and GOs. In Simikot honey production is more than other surveyed VDCs. According to the Budhe Raut, a local entrepreneur of simikot the average

honey production per hive is 10 kg in their indigenous hive. Modern beehive is not suitable because of unsuitability the high altitude adverse climate. Syada is north facing on side of Karnali River. In Syada cooperatives could also establish village-based small scale industries such as soap factories from Naru( Strackeyi spp), oil extraction mills from the kernels of the wild apricot Chuli (Prunus spp.), wild peach Khaamo (Prunus spp.) and walnut Okhar (Juglans regia) as these wild fruit trees are found abundantly in this areas. They use Naru for bathing purpose, highly foaming property. Presently, Humlis are manually extracting oil from the seeds of these wild edible fruit trees. Extraction of oil is very labor intensive and time consuming, and it is basically done by women. If and when a mill is established, it will save time for women, which they could invest in their social reproductive and productive responsibilities at the household.

Fig. extraction of oil from walnut

fig. process of making woolen cloths

Establishment of oil extraction mills at village levels could also lessen the dependence of cooking oil from Simkot and Taaklaakot market as the produced oils could be locally used for household consumption. In addition, the surplus oil after household consumption could be sold at local markets as well as the nearest markets both in the southern and northern parts of Humla. The fruit flesh of wild apricot and wild peach can be used for producing wine, candy, jam and jelly as post-harvest products and exported to the nearest city market with good packaging and labeling. In whole Humla one cannot observe a established single instance of entrepreneurship initiative expect some retail shops in Simikot, unorganized seasonal handicraft work like Phuru(wooden cup) making and some wool work like Fere, Lieu, coat piece, Bakkhu (woolen cloths) etc in villages.

Huge water resource, development small and large scale industries to extract valuable products from different medicinal plants, packaging and processing of fruits and others locally available vegetables, handicrafts are the components to mitigate food insecurity in Humla.