Food Safety Awareness, Food Policies, and Gender: A Review and an Empirical Examination from Nepal

Authors

  • Aditya Raj Khanal Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
  • Rita Kumari Gurung College of Natural Resource Management
  • Ram Hari Timilsina Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology
  • Saroj Raj Poudel Sahavagi, Ratnanagar, Chitwan, Nepal

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.59552/nppr.v3i1.62

Keywords:

safer food, fresh produce, vegetables and fruits, metropolitan households, women roles, food safety, awareness, consumption, developing country

Abstract

Hunger and malnutrition are critical challenges for developing countries. Access to sufficient safe and nutritious food is the key factor in addressing food security, health, and nutritional goals. Food safety and security are vital components of sustainable food systems. However, in developing countries like Nepal, food safety issues have received limited attention within the food systems. This study aims to review the relationship between food safety and food security, sustainable food systems, awareness, and food policies in Nepal, while also discussing the potential roles of women in these areas. Furthermore, the empirical examination presents our findings based on primary survey data from 604 consumer households in five major metropolitan areas of Nepal, Particularly focusing on gender differences in food safety awareness and purchase of fresh produce. Our overall findings suggest that the basic food safety practices and the enforcement of regulations have been overlooked in Nepal. Moreover, the study also underscores the potential roles women could play in enhancing awareness of safer fresh produce systems and safer food consumption. However, the findings also indicate that women in Nepal have lower awareness of food safety compared to men, emphasizing the need to improve education and awareness among women. To fully harness the potential of women as effective initiators, implementers, and promoters of enhancing food safety and sustainable food systems, awareness and training programs on food safety should prioritize the participation of women. It is crucial to encourage their involvement in food-related activities, leadership and management, and entrepreneurship.

Author Biographies

Aditya Raj Khanal, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Aditya R. Khanal is an agricultural and applied economist working as an associate professor in the College of Agriculture at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA. Dr. Khanal has been involved in research related to production economics, finance, risk, food security and food safety, and international development in the US and in South Asia. He has around 60 research publications and numerous conference papers. Khanal has received an outstanding young scholar award of agricultural finance from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA), USA and an emerging scholar award from Southern Agricultural Economics Association (SAEA), USA. He serves as a topic editor of sustainable food section and advisory panel of the journal Sustainability and an editor of Global Journal of Agriculture & Allied Sciences. Khanal received his PhD in Agricultural Economics and three MS degrees (in Finance, Economics, and Agricultural Economics & Agribusiness) from US institutions (Louisiana State University and Virginia Tech) and a BS degree in agriculture from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Rita Kumari Gurung, College of Natural Resource Management

Rita K. Gurung works as an assistant professor of agricultural extension in the College of Natural Resource Management of the Agriculture and Forestry University, Pakhribas, Dhankuta, Nepal. Ms. Gurung is an aspiring early career professional with her research interest in the areas of gender, environment, agricultural extension, and development. Gurung earned her MS in Agricultural Extension Education from Banaras Hindu University, India. She received her BS degree in agriculture from Banaras Hindu University, India.

Ram Hari Timilsina, Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology

Ram Hari Timilsina works as an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Rural Sociology at Agriculture and Forestry University, Rampur, Chitwan, Nepal. For the last fifteen years, he has been actively engaged in teaching, research, and extension activities of universities, governmental research organizations, non-governmental organizations, and private sectors in Nepal. Mr. Timilsina has published about 20 research articles, three books, and book chapters. In addition, he was involved in research related to bio-fertilizer production and agricultural land use change in Nepal.

Saroj Raj Poudel, Sahavagi, Ratnanagar, Chitwan, Nepal

Saroj Raj Poudel works as a program officer in Sahavagi, a national NGO in Nepal. Mr. Poudel’s area of research includes natural resource management, invasion ecology, and the broader themes addressing climate change, biodiversity conservation, livelihood, and development. In formal and informal educational settings, Poudel has taught agroforestry, disaster preparedness, and ethical issues in research and has experience in project management. Poudel received his M.Sc. in Forestry from the Forest Research Institute deemed to be University in Dehradun, India and his B.Sc. in Forestry from Tribhuwan University, Nepal.

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Additional Files

Published

2023-05-21

How to Cite

Khanal, A. R., Gurung, R. K., Timilsina, R. H., & Poudel, S. R. (2023). Food Safety Awareness, Food Policies, and Gender: A Review and an Empirical Examination from Nepal. Nepal Public Policy Review, 3(1), 169–193. https://doi.org/10.59552/nppr.v3i1.62