countryaah, Nepal is one of the least industrialized, least urbanized
and poorest countries in the world. 75 percent of the
working population are employed in agriculture.
The manufacturing industry is very small and mainly
located to the Kathmandu valley as well as eastern and
middle Tarai. Important sectors are the food industry (for
example, sugar refining) and the textile industry.
Industrial development is hampered by a very poorly
developed infrastructure, modest domestic market,
competition from India and the great distance to trade
ports. The significant water energy resources are utilized
to only a fraction.
Nepal's economy is dependent on foreign aid, including
from neighboring India. An increasingly important source of
income is increasing tourism.
A large majority of Nepal's population live as farmers in
a rural area overcrowded, either in the valleys of the
mountain areas or in the plain of Tarai. Despite several
attempts at land reform in recent decades, land ownership is
highly concentrated. Farmers' livelihoods are usually
burdened by lease fees and liabilities, which in combination
with increased resource utilization, an unpredictable
monsoon climate and the absence of transport systems keep
The most important crop is rice, which is grown both on
the southern plains and on terraces in the mountain areas.
Other cereals of importance are maize, wheat and millet. The
main forage crops, which are grown almost exclusively in the
Tarai, are sugar cane, tobacco and jute.
A serious problem is the ever-increasing risk of severe
soil erosion, floods and landslides on the mountain areas'
cultivation land, which is an effect of deforestation, high
grazing pressure and terracing in increasingly steep areas.
The forest is of great importance to the Nepalese farmer.
for grazing, for collecting wood, building materials, fruits
and herbs and for hunting. The increased pressure on land
resources has led to an over-utilization of the forest with
serious ecological consequences, mainly a sharp increase in
soil erosion. This could include total deforestation (in
industrial felling or burning), heavy slurry (in intensive
wood collection) or new, undesirable vegetation (for
example, if too high grazing pressure).
The harvest for industry and export is very small
compared to that for household needs.
Nepal has a negative trade balance, which is only partly
offset by foreign aid and tourist income. The country is
dependent on India, which is partly the dominant trading
partner and partly controls Nepal's communications by sea.
Other important trading partners are China and the US.
The main export goods are carpets and clothing, as well
as simpler products such as yarn, fabrics and leather.
Import goods are mainly oil products, machinery, gold,
transport equipment, chemicals and medicines.
Tourism and gastronomy
The number of foreign visitors to Nepal in 2015 was just
over 500,000. Most visitors come from India, the UK, the US,
China and Japan. Tourist revenues in 2012 amounted to USD
The absolute biggest attraction is the Himalayan mountain
range with its magnificent scenery. Highly visible from the
capital Kathmandu lies Mount Everest, the world's highest
mountain. The city is the center for most hikers and
climbers, but is also an important tourist destination in
itself. Other places to visit are Buddha's birthplace of
Lumbini in southern Nepal and the seaside town of Pokhara at
the foot of Annapurna mountain.
The food in Nepal has been greatly influenced by Indian
cuisine. Traditional Nepali food is fairly uniform with a
constantly recurring dish, dhal bhat tarkari. This
soup or stew consists of lentils, rice and vegetables, which
are only varied by seasoning. Beef is rare for religious
reasons, instead water buffalo, chicken and goat are eaten
on more festive occasions. For the most part, however, the
diet is vegetarian. Ground draft (vegetable soup)
or gurr (potato pancakes) is served with chiya
(tea with milk, sugar and spices) or beer. Tea can in itself
constitute a whole dish, tsampa, if mixed with
flour and water or milk. Occasionally, tea with salted yeast
butter is served in. Yogurt on buffalo milk (curd)
is an important nutritional supplement; mixed with water it
becomes a thirst quenching drink (lassi).