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Environments 2018, 5(9), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments5090101

Drought Impact and Adaptation Strategies in the Mid-Hill Farming System of Western Nepal

Ministry of Forests and Environment, Kathmandu, Nepal
Received: 31 July 2018 / Revised: 22 August 2018 / Accepted: 23 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agriculture and Climate Change)
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Abstract

Climate-induced drought hazard has been emerging as one of the major challenges in the mid-hill farming system and rural livelihood in Nepal. Drought stress, in combination with century-long socio-political issues such as unequal social structure, gender discrimination, and marginalization of poor and disadvantaged groups have made smallholders more vulnerable in society. Climate changes are exacerbating issues within an already vulnerable society. Therefore, a review study on the impact of drought on the rain-fed hill farming system, and the potential adaptation measures, was carried out in the mid-hill region of western Nepal. Both agricultural impacts such as depletion of traditional varieties of crops, crop-specific diseases, low production, lack of water for irrigation; and non-agricultural impacts such as changing rural livelihood patterns, and social conflict due to agriculture and water issues were identified as major impacts. Some of the agricultural adaptation measures viz. the promotion of climate smart agriculture practices, crop diversification, and agroforestry practices seem to have been more effective in the region. At the same time, small-scale structural water harvesting measures, for instance, rainwater harvesting, conservation ponds, and irrigation channels, drip water irrigation, and an early warning system for drought events could also be an advantage in this context. Nonetheless, there are several adaptation barriers including ecological and physical constraints, human and information resource-shortages, and social barriers to adaptation. Therefore, local site-specific adaptation measures should be developed, and implemented, to increase the adaptive capacity of smallholders, and enhance the farming system in the face of the climate-induced drought scenario. View Full-Text
Keywords: adaptation; agriculture; drought; impact; mid-hill farming system; Nepal adaptation; agriculture; drought; impact; mid-hill farming system; Nepal
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Adhikari, S. Drought Impact and Adaptation Strategies in the Mid-Hill Farming System of Western Nepal. Environments 2018, 5, 101.

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