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Climate 2016, 4(4), 63; doi:10.3390/cli4040063

Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Practices in Agriculture: A Case Study of Rautahat District, Nepal

1
Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra Campus, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur 44600, Nepal
2
Nepal Environment Protection Center, Kathmandu 44600, Nepal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yang Zhang
Received: 27 August 2016 / Revised: 29 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
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Abstract

This study identifies the impact of climate change and adaptation practices on agriculture in the Rautahat district of central Nepal by analyzing the atmospheric temperature, rainfall pattern, soil moisture, and direct field survey. The impact and status of crop production systems are emphasized. Primary data on crop production system were collected through household surveys and adaptation practices in crop production were collected through focus group discussions, key informants’ interviews, and direct observations. Time series data on key climatic variables and productivity of major crops were collected from the government sources. Mann–Kendall trend analysis and Sen’s Slope methods were used for the analysis and quantification of temperature and rainfall trends. Spearman’s rank correlation analysis was performed to find the relation of seasonal rainfall with the crop yields. The study showed that the annual average rainfall was decreasing at the rate of 10.21 mm/year and the annual mean temperature had increased at a rate of 0.02 °C/year over the last 30 years, but their variations were found to be statistically insignificant. Seasonal rainfall also increased, except for the post-monsoon rain. Estimation of Soil Moisture Index through remote sensing technique indicates that it has been reduced considerably over the past 15 years at the beginning of the monsoon. It was observed that farmers have been using different adaptation measures like the use of high-yielding varieties of crops, enhanced irrigation system, switching to hybrid seed, and increased access to pesticides. As a result, the yields of major crops including rice, maize, wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, and pulses all showed increasing trends during 1999 to 2014. However, the total costs of production of all crops have increased many fold as a consequence of the cost associated with the arrangements for such adaptation measures and shifts towards market-based commodities. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; trend analysis; correlation; soil moisture; crop yield; adaptation climate change; trend analysis; correlation; soil moisture; crop yield; adaptation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dhakal, S.; Sedhain, G.K.; Dhakal, S.C. Climate Change Impact and Adaptation Practices in Agriculture: A Case Study of Rautahat District, Nepal. Climate 2016, 4, 63.

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