A Survey on COVID-19 Challenges and Responses Among Nepalese Food Businesses

  • Date Posted: September 27, 2021
  • Authors: Food Enterprise Solutions (FES)
  • Organizations/Projects: Food Enterprise Solutions
  • Document Types: Primer or Brief
  • Donor Type: U.S. Agency for International Development


Wholesale vegetable section in Kalimati under Covid-19 (Photo:  R. Lamicchane).

In March 2021 FES began implementing its private sector food safety strategy in Nepal through Feed the Future Business Drivers for Food Safety (BD 4 FS), a project co created with and funded by USAID While implementing the BD4FS “Food Safety Situational Analysis”, the COVID 19 pandemic took a sharp turn for the worse in Nepal, almost completely shutting down the food system In response, the Government of Nepal imposed pre-emptive lockdown and prohibitory orders beginning March 2020 which led to widespread cessation of economic activities The impacts are pervasive, with small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs and associated informal workers, the poor, and returnee migrants disproportionately affected It led to market closures, supply chain disruptions, and reduced demand. A Nepal Rastra Bank study found that the recovery in this sector is one of the slowest, currently operating at only 41 percent of pre-lockdown level. Currently, there are no studies looking explicitly at food commodities. This study is an attempt to take stock of the situation in that segment.


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