A common saying, “Khayo Makai, Nakhayo Bhokai,” or “If there is no maize, there is nothing to eat,” often holds true for people living in the hilly regions of Nepal. Maize is the second most important food crop in the country after rice. For the majority of Nepalis living in the hills, maize cultivation is a traditional livelihood passed down through generations, and corn flour is used to make staple foods like dhedo and roti, two traditional breads in the region. But while maize grown in the hills of Nepal makes up about a quarter of the national food grain supply, smallholder farmers struggle to meet demand for this important staple crop. They face a difficult terrain, climatic risks, and limited access to new information and technology that could help improve low and poor quality yields. As a result, many families in rural Nepal endure chronic poverty, hunger and undernutrition.
Last updated: August 20, 2014