Nepal Agriculture and Fishing Overview

Nepal Facts

Nepal is located between China and India, roughly half in the Himalayan mountains and half at its foot. Nepal is known for the highest point in the world from Mount Everest.
Capital: Kathmandu
Official language: Nepali
Currency: Nepalese rupee
Passport and visa: Finns receive a tourist visa from Kathmandu airport upon arrival in the country, for which one passport photo is required.
Time difference: +2.45 h in summer, +3.45 h in winter.
Climate: The lowland areas have a subtropical climate. Mountains are cold, with both snow and glaciers all year round.

Agriculture and fishing

A large majority of Nepalese live on agriculture, mainly for self-sufficiency. According to the United Nations Agricultural Agency, the FAO can affect more than 90 percent of the population. The most important food crop is rice, followed by corn and wheat. The cultivation of cereals has decreased over a few years and instead the production of vegetables and fruits is increasing.

  • CountryAAH: Comprehensive import regulations of Nepal. Covers import prohibitions and special documentation requirements for a list of prohibited items.

Among the crops grown for sale are sugar cane, potatoes, oilseeds, jute and tobacco. Coffee and tea have become common in recent years and the prospects are good for increased production.

Terai in the south is the country’s grain store, where most of the rice is grown as well as vegetables and fruits. In the mountain areas, maize cultivation is more common, but often the harvests are not enough to feed the population. About half of the country’s districts suffer from recurring food shortages. At over 3,000 meters in height, only livestock management is possible. For Nepal defense and foreign policy, please check relationshipsplus.

Low productivity

Only about a fifth of the country’s area is cultivable and the pressure on the earth is exacerbated by the rapid increase in population. Dividing the soil into smaller plots has resulted in reduced yield. Half of the farms are less than 0.5 hectares today.

Productivity is lower than in many other countries in the region. Forty years ago, quite the opposite, Nepal had a high relative productivity and managed its own food supply. Age-old cultivation methods, lack of irrigation and feudal ownership also contribute to Nepal having to import food. Initial land reforms over the years have not yielded any major results.

Environmental impact

Demand on agricultural land also leads to poorer soils being cultivated which together with deforestation of the forests causes soil erosion. The destruction of the soil is exacerbated by the rainfall that descends from the Himalayan slopes and enormous values, mainly in the form of fertile soil, disappear every year.

In a few decades, Nepal’s forested area has decreased from over half to just over a quarter. Attempts are being made to counter forest deforestation and erosion, but one problem is that the local population is dependent on the forest for its energy supply (see also Natural Resources, Energy and the Environment).


Agriculture’s share of GDP

25.0 percent (2018)

Percentage of land used for agriculture

28.7 percent (2016)



Significantly increased aid from China

China promises to more than five times its assistance to Nepal from the financial year 2015-2016, from the equivalent of $ 24 million to $ 128 million.


Many dead in floods in the southwest

More than 100 people are killed in severe flooding in the Bardia district in western Terai.


First complete budget in three years

The Koirala government presents Nepal’s first complete state budget in three years. In it, the emphasis is on improved energy supply, infrastructure and agricultural development. Cheap loans are offered to young Nepalese who want to start farming, in an attempt to curb young people’s escape from the countryside to the cities and abroad.


Sheriffs in protest after fatal accident on Mount Everest

Sixteen sheriffs are killed in an avalanche just above the base camp on Mount Everest. Sherpor, who often guides the mountaineers, after the accident demands better security and higher pay for his risky work. The government promises compensation to the victims’ relatives. Many planned rock climbs are canceled and dozens of sheriffs choose to finish their assignments until further notice.


NC- and UML-led government is formed

The newly elected Constituent Assembly elects Nepali Congress (NC) leader Sushil Koirala as new prime minister. He forms a government with NC and the Marxist Leninist UML. The Maoist UCPN-M ends up in opposition. UML receives both the home and foreign ministerial posts. Prime Minister Koirala also becomes Defense Minister. Later in the spring, the government base will be expanded by a few small parties.

Nepal Agriculture and Fishing