The eight mountain districts of Provinces 6 (Karnali) and 7 are some of the most food insecure areas of Nepal, with higher prevalence of poverty and stunting than any other area or the national average. The frequent occurrence of shocks such as the 2015/16 winter drought poses further risks to food insecurity. For more information on the food security situation of these areas, please visit To track seasonal changes over time, a food security monitoring survey panel was started in November 2016 and repeated in June 2017 and November 2017.
Overall food security situation has improved in the mountain districts of Provinces 6 and 7 in the first trimester of 2018, with a decrease of 43.8 and 33.1 percent in households consuming an inadequate diet compared to June 2017 and November 2016 respectively. This figure (23 percent) remains notably higher than the national average (AHS, 2015/16).
The contribution of unskilled daily wage labour and remittances to household income has increased in April 2018 compared to June 2017. However, cereal-based agriculture still remains the primary and dominant source of income. The food security situation is found to be better in households with relatively stable income sources.
Households surveyed in April 2018 faced fewer shocks compared to June 2017 but more than November 2016, using fewer and common coping strategies such as borrowing food or money, consuming less preferred foods and reducing size of meals, and exhibited lower propensity to recover from shocks, mainly in Karnali Province (Province 6).
The mVAM household survey followed a November 2016 baseline survey in the five mountain districts in Karnali Province and three mountain districts in the Province 7 – see Map 1 – by following the procedures outlined below:
Step 1: Face to face baseline survey using a representative sample of the population: The baseline survey conducted in November 2016 used a multi-stage stratified cluster design in which 98 primary sampling units (PSUs) were selected at the first stage followed by 15 households interviewed in each PSU at the second stage, for a total of 1,470 households. In this survey, a total of 48 new PSUs were selected to interview and out of 50 repeated PSUs, about 78 percent of sampled households had a phone number and agreed to be contacted via telephone calls in the subsequent survey rounds, while a total of 152 repeated sampled households without telephone number were included in the face to face interview. In addition, 92 traders from markets in the vicinity to the PSUs and the district headquarters were also interviewed.
Step 2: Dual mode panel survey (live telephone calls and face to face survey): Following the baseline survey, trained call operators from a call center made live telephone calls to the panel households with a phone number while field enumerators conducted face to face interviews for the panel households without phones and non-reachable households with phones after sufficient call attempts. A total of 300 households and 34 traders were successfully interviewed in April 2018, fifteen months after the baseline survey in November 2016.