• Climate change impacts and adaptation measures practiced in agriculture at Latikoili VDCof Surkhet District, Nepal

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  • 29/02/2016

This BSc thesis study was conducted by Preety Pradhananga , student at the Kathmandu University, as part of the SAF-BIN project in Nepal in 2014.

Climate change has a strong effect on developing countries such as Nepal, where adaptive capacity is low and agriculture is highly dependent on climatic factors such as rainfall and temperature. Limited understanding of the impacts of climate change and lack of local research have proven to be major challenges for the Nepalese agricultural sector.This study aimed to identify the effects of climate change on agriculture, examine people’s perception of climate change and assess local adaptations practiced on agriculture in Latikoili VDC1 of Surkhet district. Primary data were collected from 150 household surveys (10-12 SAF-BIN farmers) along with twelve key informant interviews (e.g. teachers, agricultural extension trainers) and focus group discussions. Data on rainfall patterns and temperature trends were collected from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology. Temperature analysis reveal that from 1984 to 2013 the temperature increased steadily (+ 0.03430C/year).  Moreover, rainfall has been characterized by large inter annual variability with substantial decrease in the mean annual rainfall (- 5.7 mm). Analysis of primary data show that famers perceived decreases in the amount and duration of rainfall, increases in temperature, shifts in the monsoon season and increases in drought periods. Moreover, disappearance of local crop varieties, increased frequency of plant diseases and appearance of new weed species were evidence of the changing scenario. Farmers started adapting agricultural practices. They changed the cropping patterns, shifted from paddy to maize and millet, practiced multiple cropping systems, or shifted to subsistence vegetable farming instead of cereal crops. Additional practices introduced through SAF-BIN included: use of plastic ponds, plastic tunneling to maintain temperature during winter season, drip and bottle irrigation, composting, straw mulching to provide moisture to soil, bio fertilizers, integrated pest management practices and drought tolerant varieties. These strategies were taken over also by other farmers. More research relating to climate change and perception needs to be done, especially to aware local people about the impacts of the changing climate. Empowering communities, information, technological skills, education and employment are key to address vulnerability. It is recommended to extend the action-research and to upscale the adaptation strategies.

1 Village development committee