Forest and Food Security of Indigenous People : A Case of Chepangs in Nepal <Article>
JIDC_17-1_113.pdf 1.04 MB
Piya, Luni 大学院国際協力研究科
Joshi, Niraj Prakash
This study was conducted with the objective of analysing the role of forest plant resources in the food security of Chepangs, a highly marginalized indigenous nationality in Nepal. Shaktikhor Village Development Committee (VDC) in Chitwan district and Handikhola VDC in Makawanpur district were purposively selected as the study sites. A total of 120 households, 60 from each VDC were randomly selected for the purpose of household survey conducted using semi-structured interview structure. Relevant information was also collected through key informants' interview and group discussions. It was found that the average food self-sufficiency of the study community is 7.3 months, while 37.5% of the households are not able to meet the minimum daily calorie requirement of 2,344 cal/AE/day prescribed for the hills. Collection of forest products for consumption and sale forms an important coping strategy to overcome food self-insufficiency for 71.2% of the households. Wild tubers form the staple food of the Chepangs during the period of food shortages, and they play an important role in bridging the hunger gap when the stored food grains are depleted and new harvests are not yet available. Forests play an important role not only in the food security of the Chepang community, but also in the fulfilment of their food diversity and nutritional requirements. There is, thus, a need to exploit the potential of these wild foods so as to complement the staple food crops so that the food security situation of the Chepang community can be improved.