MTCP2 Nepal’s suggestions incorporated on the draft Right to Food Bill

MTCP2 Nepal’s suggestions incorporated on the draft Right to Food Bill

Through the concentrated efforts of the National Peasants’ Coalition (NPC) led by ANPFa, and after a long political struggle, series of dialogues with the government and nationwide campaigns to make it possible to ensure the right to food sovereignty, Nepal ratified demands of farmers for ensuring that every citizen has the right to food sovereignty under Article 36 (3) in the Constitution in 2015.Through the concentrated efforts of the National Peasants’ Coalition (NPC) led by ANPFa, and after a long political struggle, series of dialogues with the government and nationwide campaigns to make it possible to ensure the right to food sovereignty, Nepal ratified demands of farmers for ensuring that every citizen has the right to food sovereignty under Article 36 (3) in the Constitution in 2015.

The constitution mandated the government of Nepal to enact the legal frameworks around this right by 2018. To this end, the Nepal Law Commission (NLC) which is responsible for enacting laws has initiated the drafting of the Right to Food Bill. A preliminary draft was published on February 10, 2017 for wider consultation among the concerned stakeholders.

In the past, the NPC (MTCP2 Platform in Nepal) had collectively created pressure and played a supportive role to ensure food sovereignty as a ‘fundamental right’ in the Interim as well as in the 2015 Constitution. Similarly, the NPC is providing continuous contributions for the enactment of an effective legal framework for food sovereignty. The draft bill contains provisions which the NPC has been lobbying for a long time. However, it was felt that a wider consultation among the concerned stakeholders on the draft bill was necessary.

In this scenario, the NPC in collaboration with the Nepal Law Commission (NLC) has taken the preliminary draft bill to the grassroots level, conducted workshops, various informal meetings along with one national consultation program in Baneshwor, Uddhami Ghar, Kathmandu district, province 3 of Nepal involving broader stakeholders and farmers. The National consultation program was held successfully on 07 May 2017.

Participants in the workshops offered comments and suggestions on the preliminary draft. Having collected their suggestions and feedback, NPC compiled the essential comments and prepared a suggestion paper and submitted it to NLC on behalf of farmers’ organizations on 28 June 2017.

The National Peasants’ Coalition submitted suggestion to address the following issues in right to food sovereignty law:

  • Food and seed sovereignty
  • Access to productive resource
  • Issue on youth and women peasants
  • Promotion of agro-ecological farming
  • Minimum support price
  • Subsidies for producers
  • No foreign direct investment in primary product
  • Clear cut land use policy

The NLC incorporated the suggestions submitted by NPC addressing the abovementioned major issues of farmers. NLC Chairperson Madhav Paudel commented that the suggestions of the farmers are the property of the NLC and have been incorporated on the Draft Right to Food Bill. He also thanked the FOs for their effort to improve the draft bill.

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