• Study of climate change in Bardiya district, Nepal: Impact and adaptation in agriculture

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  • 29/02/2016

This BSc thesis study was conducted by Reena Bajracharya, student at the Kathmandu University, as part of the SAF-BIN project in Nepal in 2012.

Bardiya district is one of the most affected areas of climate change in Nepal. Although several studies examining the impacts of climate change were carried out in the Himalayan region, data are rare for the Terai, the lowland of Nepal, like Bardiya. The present study was undertaken to examine the impact of climate change, peoples´ perceptions to environmental change and adaptive practices in place. The study was carried out in Kalika VDC1 of Bardiya district Nepal in 2012. Primary data were obtained through 150 household questionnaires, besides key informant interviews (e.g. with teachers, government officials, NGO staff) and focus group discussions (e.g. with elderly farmers). Secondary data including precipitation trends were collected from the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology and the Central Bureau of Statistics. Within the past 26 years, the annual temperature increased and rainfall has been characterized by large inter annual variability along with annual decreases.  People experienced erratic rainfall patterns, increased temperature and increased frequency and length of droughts. Financially well-off farmers often applied irrigation facilities (e.g. treadle pump, electric machine irrigation), making them more independent of the erratic rainfall patterns. Poor farmers, however, had to rely on the rainfall. The cultivation of newly introduced, drought resistant varieties was among the most applied adaption practice. To adjust to the changing rainfall pattern, farmers changed their cropping calendar and often also planting method. Some farmers have started plastic tunnel and mulching. To combat the increasing rates of disease, pest and weed infestations, famers often applied pesticides, ignoring its hazardous effects, some conducted manual weeding and only few practiced organic farming.The study recommends to conduct more research on climate change its effects and new adaption technologies, such as introduced by the SAF-BIN project. Additionally, a focus should be to improve off-farm income earning opportunities to empower communities and address vulnerability.

1Village development commitee