Recent updates by Oxford researcher Max Roser and his team at OurWorldInData on changing cereal yield patterns between 1961 and 2014 show interesting trends for Nepal. Though global yield has increased by 180% during last five decades, the growth in Nepal is rather poor.
Though less than 20% of country’s land in cultivable, Nepal’s 65.7% citizens depend on agriculture sector for food, income and employment. Moreover, this sector contributes towards 33.1% of national GDP and over 50% of exports. Comparison of Nepal’s growth trend with that of world average and also with changing patterns across different regions – South Asia, East Asia and Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa – is not satisfactory. For example in 1961, Nepal produced 1846.6 kg/hectare of cereals, highest among all these comparison units. However, in 2014, this figure simply rose to 2747.9 kg/hectare (32.8% growth). Interestingly, cereal production in Nepal suffered a lot during the Panchyat Regime (1960 – 1990) and suddenly improved once country restored multiparty democracy in 1990 and started formulating/ implementing more liberal policies.