Working on Identifying the trade deficit reduction strategy in fresh vegetables- Experience as Daayitwa Fellow

n-a RUPESH THA, Daayitwa Fellow 2021 , 10th November,2021

"The COVID-19 seems to be the biggest challenge for me to smoothly work on research. The Daayitwa Fellowship is running online due to COVID 19. Therefore, there is no supervisor or mentor to answer questions and queries immediately. For that reason, we have to email our mentor and supervisor for our unsolved questions. Sometimes, it is very hard to get a reply from a supervisor, which is one of the disadvantages of working on research from home."

"It has been 2 months since we have joined the Daayitwa Fellowship. We have participated in several training and leadership courses conducted by Daayitwa. These training sessions are helpful in conducting research and solving problems while conducting the research.

After completion of the Inception Report, I am very clear about the research and its objectives and findings. The report has provided the research structure and the table of content as the draft has been prepared. So, I have an idea of what will be in each chapter. I think the preparation of the inception report is very important, which gives a clear picture about what research you will be doing for the next 5 months.. The Daayitwa Fellowship has provided guidelines on how to write the Inception Report, which includes all the activities that will be conducted during the research. Therefore, there is the significant importance of an inception report.

The next step of research is to conduct a desk review with massive reading related to research and collection of secondary data related to research. My research topic is identifying the trade deficit reduction strategies for fresh vegetables in Nepal. The trade deficit is one of the significant problems in the Nepalese economy. It is hard to find related literature related to the trade deficit of fresh vegetables in Nepal. Most of the literature on this topic was related to supply chain, logistics, challenges, and opportunities or small farmers' problems. Nevertheless, there is no such study related to trade deficit reduction strategies for fresh vegetables in Nepal. Therefore, it is hard to find literature related to this topic. However, I use different sources to collect the literature and collect the secondary data. 

The COVID-19 seems to be the biggest challenge for me to smoothly work on research. The Daayitwa Fellowship is running online due to COVID 19. Therefore, there is no supervisor or mentor to answer questions and queries immediately. For that reason, we have to email our mentor and supervisor for our unsolved questions. Sometimes, it is very hard to get a reply from a supervisor, which is one of the disadvantages of working on research from home.

The trade deficit is the main problem of the Nepalese economy, whereas, for fresh vegetables, Nepal fails to produce enough vegetables being an agricultural-based country. The previous literature talks about challenges and problems of markets, availability of seeds, and other logistic problems. When we talk about the trade deficit in Nepal, petroleum products or others are mostly pointed out. Producing enough vegetables and being independent in fresh vegetables do not only save the flow of money to other countries (especially India), but also saves from a harmful disease that mixed color or use of harmful pesticides in fresh and green vegetables from India. To be independent in fresh vegetables and use of substitution vegetables will be the first step to reduce the trade deficit in the federal republic of Nepal. Such steps will help to meet the national objective of “happy Nepali and prosperous Nepal.”

With the desk review, I came to know the problem and significance of this research. Ass Nepal is an agricultural country, we are a vegetable importer country with poor infrastructure and weak institutions for the commercialization of agriculture. On the other side, lack of market facilities, lack of storage, and lack of agricultural information for farmers is a problem. This research is important to provide a clear picture of the import and export of fresh vegetables in Nepal.

Apart from secondary data and literature review, I was wondering how to collect the views of trade and agricultural experts. Therefore, I prepared the questionnaire to ask online. The main objective of the key informant interview is to find out how Nepal can reduce the trade deficit in fresh vegetables. I think amidst the pandemic, the best way to collect the expert view is to collect expert ideas through online KII. The Nepalese education sector has already accepted online education so Nepalese experts are familiar with online technology and easily can provide the needed information.

Similarly, the Technical Skill Development for Research II (STATA) course was held on July 28 and 29, 2021. Technical knowledge is very essential in research for conducting significant data analysis with scientific reason. Dr. Amgain taught a very useful and important lesson in STATA that will help not only in this research but also in the lifelong research for conducting the data analysis with statistical knowledge. The econometrics interpretation is very important in data analysis, which we learn from this two-day course. The application of the probit and logit model is clear and how to run in STATA is clear with technical skill development for a research course. 

The STATA training is a plus point for me, learning a new econometric model for data analysis and research students is always fruitful. This course makes me more clear about what kind of data is needed in my research and what data analysis model will be used. Further, I will be meeting with the mentor and supervisor in person in the coming days, with their feedback and support I will be conducting the research."

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