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I am currently a Second Class Cadet at the United States Air Force Academy studying Economics. Growing up in a military family, I call North Pole, Alaska home. While at USAFA, I have been involved with the Nordic Skiing team, Competitive CrossFit Team, and an all-women’s bible study, Relentless Love. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, traveling, hunting, hiking, downhill skiing, and cooking! I am so grateful for the opportunity to visit Nepal to experience a different culture and increase my understanding of different economic conditions around the globe. While we are there, I hope to leave a lasting impression through the love and respect that we have for the Napalese people.
Agricultural Industry in Nepal:
The agriculture industry in Nepal is a huge problem for the inhabitants. Two-thirds of citizens rely on agriculture for their economic well-being; this sector contributes 40 percent of the country’s GDP and employs 80% of the work force. With most Nepalese working in the low paying agriculture sector, all of their income goes to surviving and not towards growing. This also puts 80% of the population at a severe disadvantage if there is a bad crop year. In order to break the trend of the majority of the labor force working in agriculture farmers need to be introduced to more efficient seeds and farming techniques.
Infrastructure – Roads
Nepal struggles to establish itself as a key component of the world trade organization being a land locked country. Another component to this struggle is the lack of infrastructure the country currently has, and more specifically: the road system of Nepal. Nepal’s major road expansion commenced in February 2014, but has faced tremendous problems in the construction. Nepal’s rugged landscape results in a tremendous challenge in paving new roads. From the high mountains to the rivers that seem to change course on a weekly basis, the Department of Transportation Management has shown signs of doubt in constructing these desired roads. If Nepal is able to successfully complete this new road system that commenced in February of last year, it would reduce the duration of travel from the capital Kathmandu to the farmland by nearly seven hours. The government of Nepal has expressed that this would ultimately increase the country’s economic situation as 75% of the country’s workforce is farmland oriented while 35% of the GDP involved agriculture (2014).
Although many economists such as Jeffery Sachs states that it is a disadvantage to being a land locked country, Nepal’s geographical location is a prime spot to enter the world trade market. Situated between China and India, two of the world’s largest exporter of goods, Nepal has continued to maintain strong relations with both of these countries. Increasing the infrastructure could allow China and India to funnel more goods through Nepal, and allow it to be built up in an ever increasing global market.