Monthly Archives: June 2014
Ironically, when it comes to food we don’t think much.

While entering into the canteen for dinner at nearly 8, of course in the evening, my eyes were suddenly captivated by the mess going around the kitchen. Well, I wasn’t sneaking at the kitchen from where I am served the dinner and the lunch daily. It happened in just a matter of seconds when I was there to wash my hands in the basin which was near the kitchen. What I saw in there was quite awful and I have to admit the smell wasn’t good too. The dimly glowing bulb was merely brightening the room. Meanwhile, the woman chef gazed at me as if I was there to steal the whole kitchenware while I was just figuring out how those cooking pans looked like where the food were made. I tried to avoid the awkwardness so I marched towards the dining table where I was to be served that thing made from the same old rusty cookware. Well, I had to consume that thing anyway. If you are wondering what happened the next morning. Well, I have shifted to a new well-maintained canteen now with an open kitchen which offers far better services than that before.

Street food

photo: street vendors selling food.

Hitherto, I didn’t really care about the source from where I get the food each day. It might be because of the price of the single meal which is merely expensive compared to other canteens where I used to dine. But that day I realized there was something fishy going around. And I began thinking myself as an oblivion dumb that was totally unaware of the mess which was happening in front of his eyes. I didn’t even think of the quality of the food that I was eating since years. Apparently, it’s the food that provides us with all the nutrient for our cells, but even that much importance of the same food couldn’t make me think, for a while, about all the procedures from “farm to fork”. Food safety has been a great deal of concern lately, around the whole world but we, being a part of a literate community, don’t even care to face the truth about the process that goes around from the farm to our table.
It’s not just the single kitchen source we should be wary of; we need to snoop around the kitchen and the raw food-store before sitting on the table to order the recipe any place where we pay for the meal. I know that sounds little wierd but it’s the only way we could be ascertained if the food that’s going to be served is esculent. We’ve been talking about GMOs and the insecticide and pesticides sprayed food since years with great consciousness, but we don’t seem to be very worried about the other handling processes that go around after harvesting and before they enter our guts. The nutrient composition of the food doesn’t solely depend on the type of food we consume or how it is produced, but it is also equally important to maintain the hygiene while cooking. Haphazard handling of these foods during cooking leads to nutrient loss. When we make the entrance through food security (which we haven’t been able to do till now) it comes to safety concerns. As the saying goes “the food that we eat is what we become”, so we should be more conscious about the safety issues of the items served in our plates.
According to WHO, based on affordability, availability, quality and safety- the three goal parameters- Nepal ranked 79th out of 105 countries scoring 35.2 in global food security index 2012 and falls on the category that needs improvement. For affordability Nepal ranks 91, 71 for availability and 74 for quality and safety among 105 countries. Clearly, these data suggests that we are almost at the bottom of the chart and we need to do a lot of improvement in our feeding habits. And I think it’s the public themselves who should be blamed. The reckless performance of hotels and restaurant owners, to get benefitted massively, is eventually messing up with the health of the customers. And the customers themselves are not conscious enough and don’t have enough time to inspect the status of the kitchen. This is mostly prevalent in our case, may be because we Nepalese are too busy figuring out the new methods of developing the country and we don’t have a time to waste on thinking of our food. This careless nature of the customers themselves has been escalating the problems of outbreak of several diseases. Moreover, the greatest health hazard arises from microbiological food poisoning and food borne infections and the poorly managed food items are more prone to the microbial attack. Even the star hotels are found to be messing around with public health. When one can’t be assured of hygienic quality of food from even those high charging hotels, how can one expect to get a quality food from those small hotels on the outskirts of dirty streets?
These days the headlines on the newspapers reads like this “MOST OF THE MARKET MILK SUBSTANDARD”, “MOST OF THE SWEETS SOLD ARE UNHYGIENIC”, BE AWARE OF COLD DRINKS, MEAT AND MEAT PRODUCTS CONTAINING VDR( vitamin D receptor), “DUE TO CONSUMPTION OF UNSAFE FOOD IN MARRIAGE FESTIVAL PEOPLE ARE GETTING SICK”, along with these adds up “MINERAL WATER POISONING”, “POISONOUS MUSHROOM”, “INCREASING PESTICIDAL USE SHOWING EFFECT ON HEALTH”, “STREET FOOD INCREASING DISEASES”, “IMPORTING FISH OR FISHY?” Almost all market products these days are obsolete and nearly inconsumable and we are not even pinched a little by it. Food adulteration has been a serious problem these days. Food adulteration, which I would define as 4f, besides missing one ‘f’ word with “ing” suffix, filth-filled-food. We encounter sand in the bread on the second bite if we are lucky enough on the first bite, metal scraps on so called-bujhiya, almost 100 gm of mud balls on a kg of chickpea, non-permitted synthetic food colors in different juice products and in other food stuffs, this is food adulteration. The tomato sauce we mix with each item of our meal are packed on a beer bottle, it reads “TUBORG”, and we are never bothered by it rather what we do is share a little laugh and start pouring it until it makes a farting sound. They are neither labeled nor certified and we are totally okay with it.
Generally, DFTQC (department of food technology and quality control) is responsible to regulate food in the market and ready to eat food while DoA (department of agriculture) and DLS (department of livestock services) are responsible to regulate primary production and some processing. Enforcement of food act 1966 is the major regulatory activity of the DFTQC. But there are lots of gaps and overlaps in the roles and responsibilities of these organizations which make the regulation process more complicated. Similarly, Ministry of Health and Population is also involved in the process for epidemiological study of food related illness. Lack of coordination among different government institutions is reducing their efficiency. However, during the year 2066/67 raid from the DFTQC on different bakeries, diaries and hotels were quite effective,they were midget and couldn’t last long. During that year the percentage of sub standard milk dropped from 87.5 to 23.6(benchmark 100%), trend of sub standard samples of processed drinking water dropped from 50.9 to 47.1(benchmark is 60%), in case of mustard oil it dropped from 95.5 to 54.8%(benchmark 120%) along with other slight improvements (source: pramod koirala, DFTQC), which was remarkable in controlling the production of defective food products.
For almost a year we could hear on the news, the raids on different factories and hotels, the rubbish kitchen and the kitchen wares, the furniture and other polluted food producing instruments which were mixed up with garbage and even poops of certain small creatures were exposed in the media. Some manufacturers were arrested, some ran away, some dairy and confectioneries were collapsed, some warehouses were sealed but suddenly the investigations were halted may be because of the political instability or whatever. Just months after that, those sealed factories again reinstated to their incriminating acts and are now doing the same old dirty business under the shadow of some politicians.
These factories and the hotels have been hiding their real picture from us and we are letting them to. It is us who have to be marching against these treacherous acts; we shouldn’t solely depend on the government and the food departments to solve all the problems. When we pay the cent percent of the price of the product we should be ascertained that we get the quality product. We should never take our food for granted. In fact, it’s the food which is the most important thing to survive. And it is time to commit ourselves to solve these problems and carry out the campaigns to investigate these frauds within our society to remove them from the root level and prepare a healthy society for the development of the country.

International Conference on Climate Change Innovation and Resilience for Sustainable Livelihood

The international conference on Climate Change Innovation and Resilience for Sustainable Livelihood is going to be held on 12-14 January in Kathmandu, Nepal.

The conference will focus on innovative approaches from the physical and social sciences to support economic development in mountain and lowland South Asia, which faces serious climate hazards along with food, water, and soil management and environmental justice challenges. The conference will stress innovative applications of scientific and technical research to promote rural enterprise and broad-based improvements in health, nutrition, and living standards under the four themes of the conference; Climate Change, Water Resource Management, Agriculture and Livestock, and Gender and Livelihood.

Organizers

 

Co-organizer

Conference sponsor

Call for Abstract Submission

Abstracts should be related to the theme of the conference. Authors submitting abstracts at this conference should consider the following guidelines:

1. Abstracts must describe in a succinct manner the purposes and results of the research so that the quality, originality, and comprehensiveness of the work can be evaluated by the Conference technical committee. Each abstract should contain:

  •  an introductory sentence indicating the purposes of the study;
  • a brief description of experimental procedures;
  •  a summary of the new, unpublished data; and
  •  a statement of the conclusions. American spelling should be used throughout.

2. Titles should be indicative of the content of the abstract. All words necessary to identify the subject matter should be included in the title to facilitate electronic retrieval (if applicable). Avoid nonstandard abbreviations in abstract titles.

3. The combined length of the abstract text should not exceed 250 words.

To submit the abstract please fill this online form. 

Deadline : 15 July 2015 | Download First Circular 

For more information please visit official site of ClimDev15

 

रामपुर क्याम्पसमा वातावरणमैत्री आई.पी.एम. पाठशाला

कृषि तथा पशु विज्ञान अध्ययन संस्थान, रामपुर क्याम्पस, चितवन मा अध्ययनरत बि.एस.सी. कृषि छैंठौ सत्रांतका विद्यार्थीहरुद्वारा रामपुर क्याम्पसमै २० हप्ते एकीकृत शत्रुजीव व्यवस्थापन (आई.पी.एम.) पाठशाला संचालन गरिएको छ | वातावारमैत्री आई.पी.एम. पाठशाला नामक एक बालि अवधिभर संचालन हुने एकीकृत शत्रुजीव व्यवस्थापन (विद्यार्थी)-कृषक पाठशाला का मुख्य श्रोत व्यक्ति का रुपमा रेशम खेति विकास अधिकृत तथा अनुभवी आई.पी.एम. प्रशिक्षक श्री लेखनाथ अधिकारी तथा कृषक आई.पी.एम. सहजकर्ता श्री बासुदेव पोख्रेल रहनुभएको छ | यहि चैत्र २९ गते २०७० शनिवार बिउ रोपेर उद्घाटन गरिएको यस कार्यक्रम मा सभापतिको रुपमा यस पाठशाला का संयोजक दिपेन्द्र कुमार ऐर, प्रमुख अतिथि तथा क्याम्पस प्रमुख श्री श्यामसुन्दर पन्त लगायत अन्य अतिथिहरुमा जि.वि.स. कृषि विभागबाट माधब प्रसाद उप्रेती, किटविज्ञान तर्फका प्रा.डा.रेशमबहादुर थापा, यमप्रसाद अधिकारी, माटो विज्ञान तर्फका प्रा.डा. केशव पाण्डे लगायत अन्य ४२ जना को उपस्थिति रहेको थियो |

IPM course in IAAS, Rampur, Chitwan.

Inauguration of the 20 week long IPM course.

“ बिभिन्न एकीकृत शत्रुजीव व्यवस्थापन प्रविधिहरुको उपयोग तथा राशायनिक बिशादिहरुको न्युनतम प्रयोग गर्नसकिने तथा नगर्नुपर्ने भनि सिकाइने यस वतावारमैत्री आई.पी.एम. पाठशालामा ३६ जना विद्यार्थीहरु तथा ५ जना स्थानीय कृषक हरुको सहभागिता रहनेछ | बिगतका बर्षहरुमा हुने गरेका एकीकृत शत्रुजीव व्यवस्थापन कृषक पाठशाला हरुमा कृषकमात्रै को सहभागिता रहने गरेको भएता पनि यस बर्ष विद्यार्थीहरुको आफ्नै पहल तथा स्वयम् खर्च मा संचालित यस पाठशालामा कृषकहरुको व्यवहारिक ज्ञान तथा अनुभव र विद्यार्थी तथा बिशेषज्ञ हरुको ज्ञानको सम्मिश्रण रहेको हुँदा अहिलेसम्म हुने गरेका पाठशालाहरु मध्ये यो पाठशाला बढी प्रभावकारी रहने ” बताउनुहुन्छ पाठशाला संयोजक तथा वि.एस.सी. कृषि छैठौ सत्रांतका विद्यार्थी दिपेन्द्र कुमार ऐर | यस पाठशालामा लगाइने मुख्य बालीमा पाली जातको प्रथम पुस्ताको तिता करेला रहने र अन्य परिक्षण बालिका रुपमा फर्सी (सर्लाही हरियो),काँक्रा (मालिनी), लौका (नामघारी), चिचिंडा (धदिंगे स्थानीय), घिरौला (सोनाली), अन्य तिन जातका करेलाहरु (सेतो, टप टु टप, झालरी) रहने बताइएको छ | बिगतमा नेपाल सरकार तथा विश्व खाध्य संघ र संयुक्त राष्ट्र विकाश कार्यक्रम को सहयोगमा चल्ने गरेका कार्यक्रमका लागि अहिलेसम्म विद्यार्थिहरुलाई न त कृषि विकाश कार्यालय बाट सहयोग प्राप्त भएको छ न त जि.वि.स. बाट नै, न त क्याम्पसबाट न त नवस्थापित कृषि तथा वन विज्ञान विश्वविद्यालय बाट नै तैपनि विद्यार्थी आफै पैसा उठाएर अहिलेसम्म संचालन गरिरहेका छन् |उक्त कार्यक्रमको पूर्ण बजेट ८०,००० भन्दा बढी छ | एस्तो कार्यका लागि सरकार तथा विश्वविद्यालय, तथा अन्य जुनसुकैले सहयोग गरेर प्रोत्शाहन गर्नेहो भने साच्चै नै हाम्रो देश कृषिमा आत्मनिर्भर मात्र नभई व्यवसायिक समेत बन्नेछ | जुनसुकै संस्था भएपनि कार्यक्रमको उद्देश्य हेर्ने हो भने यस कार्यक्रमलाई सहयोग किन नगर्ने ? आखिर एस्तो किन ? के कृषि विश्वविद्यालय ले यस्मा सहयोग गर्नुपर्ने होइन र के यो कार्यक्रम संचालन गर्ने दायित्व शैक्षिक संस्थाको तथा कृषि संग सम्बन्धित सरकारी कार्यालयको होइन ? यदि हो भने खै त ?

IAAS IPM group photo

Group photo including the teachers, students and farmers involved in the field school.

With great power, Youth overcoming climate change

“Lovely weather today, isn’t it?” maybe the most common expression when two person meet. Well, it’s not that they are actually concerned about the weather and climate, it’s just a simple ritual or a movement of awkwardness.

Youth and Climate change

Mountainous landscape of Nepal.

However, the rate we are going on exploiting the mother planet, it’s high time we show that we care. The climate has never been so sick. The atmosphere nowadays showing resemblance with mars and venus. The level of toxic gases Carbondioxide, Sulphurdioxide, methane are jumping off the charts. The concentration of co2 has increased from 280-365ppm since the initiation of industrial era. Similarly the temperature has raised about 0.6C in past 200 years. Every time we write a page, the chlorine produced during the bleaching of papers destroy millions of ozone at a time for more than 150 years. Well, chlorine lives more than us and the one we have produced will be making a ozone hole until our grandchildren.

Thank god there are oceans that absorb about three quarters of green house gases. But for how long? The rapid acidification in ocean has left with destruction of coral reefs and the natural ecosystem making a giant graveyard.

Everything has been messed up with. The meteorological elements bring hammered the most. Weather surely was unreliable. However, nowadays if anything is sure about weather should be unnatural uncertainty. The change in rainfall patterns due to destruction of climate resulting in drought in many countries, to which all in Sudan sadly says, “Though we live in dry countries, but that does not mean we can live without water”. In biosphere, the condition could be harshly termed as cancer, but if its about atmosphere the similar state us softly summoned a climate change or any other clichéd terms like global warming or ozone depletion.

World population is growing, most if its members reside in Facebook. Twitter has the fourth largest population after China and India. Among them most of those social networking consumers are youths. After investing a zillion dollars on them what we expect from them is not the prolonged clocking before the screens but a visionary perspective about the worsening climate and an enthusiasm to pitch in some ideas for better earth.

Well they might excuse pointing the global giants of world population like USA, China and Russia which need to be responsible in sanitizing the air and mending the broken climate cycle. They need to be reminded that no countries outrageously degrade the weather and climate like the young generations do. They are the titans of the fossil fuel pollutions and silicon and Germanium induced hazards. Every year tons and tons of carcinogens are dumped in the air for producing lipsticks, skin creams, shampoo and deodorants. These products are collectively synonymous to youth and blended with ingredients like lead, Mercury and formaldehyde that could tear up the living cells or the environment. To which beauty expert Nudelman suggest, “Beauty industry requires a much needed makeover.” The least efficient vehicles are preferred and a boy without a bike seems irrelevant. Likewise, could write an odyssey on effect of cell phones. Similarly an increase in temptation to buy useless trinkets and knick-knacks just because it feels good to accumulate things is raising everyday.

In that case, young people should bear burden of climate change. Anyway there are next inhabitants to inherit the power to run the planet which is followed by descent of vigorous role after all as said in Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibilities”.

In that case, the UNFCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) has taken a lead to invert youth in changing climate. It has been making efforts to ensure the growth of youth in changing climate and that they survive and revive it. It has extended youth and young NGOs to participate in meeting, request speaking and shaping intergovernmental climate change policies through adaptation and initiation of awareness training, behavioral campaign and educational reforms.

On 2008 International youth day, “YOUTH AND CLIMATE CHANGE: TIME FOR ACTION” UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon addressed “Young people are well placed to contribute to fight against climate change.” He further stressed about   the active roles on global levels and leading to the passage for far reaching legislation.

But we don’t need no Armani or a foreign accent and a conference hall in the New York sea shore to better the weather, it could be done through adoptions of green behaviors, that save  both our health and that of the planet’s win choices.

Purchase of clean power instead of dirty energy like fossil fuels, coals decreases the household energy efficiency. It is not a difficult job to turn off the lights or switch off the TV by remote. Similarly the energy efficient appliances should be accommodated in the house. Until now nobody knew that eating less red meat is both friendlier to our heart and our planet. Studies have shown that the family’s emission from the rich meat would easily outweigh the construction and running cost of large GWO vehicles in less than 5 years, who knew? ‘we can convert our carbon foot prints to finger prints.’ Walking in the greenest way of transformation or may be cycling or at least public vehicles could save a few trees. Recycling and reusing have been so extensively used that it must have imprinted on our DNA. Moreover youngsters have shown keen interest on green economic growth through green jobs which involves adoption of green behaviors on workplaces like telecommunicating and teleconferencing that saves 9 times the energy as compared to flights.

Nowadays the concept of ‘Embodied energy’    is gaining attention which takes account of all the carbon, water and energy that goes on producing a product or manufactured item. Local products have lesser embodied energy tag attached to them which must be prioritized.

Many things could be changed and adopted however some stiffs we cannot avoid. Not using toilet papers to reduce ‘Cl’ could literally backfire at us. And not bathing to conserve water only increases foulness around our vicinity. The main theme is not to cut from our basics but from our extravagant life. Like we can live with lesser parties and steaks but we cannot comprise with our water supply and medication.

The world is pointing upon youth to lead to protect our climate and weather but they are not readily handed with defined roles.

“The old have stacks of money and power but the young just have more tomorrows to stacked up”. They should be mobilized and utilized after all the earth too is seeking compassion form its young generation.

The world is a lego  and we are its bits that makes it complete.

The expression,” Lovely weather isn’t it? “ focuses on the weather today but the main concern is the weather tomorrow.