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Good agriculture practices for safe food and sustainable agriculture in Nepal: A review

Food safety is a growing concern worldwide but is especially prevalent in Nepal. Agriculture is the country's critical economic sector, and its sustainability is challenged due to the increasing use of agrochemicals. As a result, low Soil Organic Matter (SOM), reduced crop productivity, increased food safety hazards, and negative impacts on human health and the environment are reported in the agriculture sector in Nepal. In 2018, the concept of Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) was introduced in Nepal to address the issues of food safety, trade, and sustainability. As GAP is relatively new to Nepal, it is still broad and ambiguous, which makes its use and implementation difficult. For this purpose, we conducted a literature review on available global evidence to present the benefits of GAP and to identify the critical barriers to the adoption of GA. The review shows GAP's potential to increase crop yield by up to 36%, reduce agrochemicals use by 31%, increase SOM from a mean of 3.32%–3.77%, and increase farmers' income by more than 100%. However, the review has also identified barriers to wider adoption of GAP, broadly categorized into production, extension, regulation and standards, and markets and finance. The valuable outcome of this review is that it proposes five key pathways: (i) Technical capacity building, (ii) Awareness creation, (iii) Soil fertility management strategies, (iv) Extension programs, and (v) Market development for institutionalizing GAP in Nepal, based on the learning from global evidence. This review could be useful for policymakers and the government of Nepal to develop detailed implementation guidelines for GAP, including appropriate policies as well as short, medium, and long-term plans and programs for institutionalizing GAP in Nepal.

Kharel, Menila; Dahal, Bed Mani; Raut, Nani

Language: English
Published By: Journal of Agriculture and Food Research
Published date: December 2022

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