Vegetable Farming and Farmers’ Livelihood: Insights from Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Central Department of Geography, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu 44613, Nepal
Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
CAS Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Kathmandu Center for Research and Education, Chinese Academy of Sciences – Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu 44613, Nepal
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 889; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030889
Received: 12 January 2019 / Revised: 30 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 February 2019 / Published: 9 February 2019
Agriculture is the main economic activity in Nepal, and vegetable farming is one of the major agricultural practices of peri-urban farmers in Kathmandu Valley (KV). In this study, it was hypothesized that vegetable farming contributes significantly to the livelihood of farmers by generating cash and providing employment opportunities. The relationship between livelihood and vegetable farming based on the practices, views, and perceptions of vegetable farmers at four different sites in the outskirts of KV was studied. A purposive sample of 140 farm households was surveyed, and key informant interviews were conducted to collect comprehensive data. Binary logistic regression was used to identify the relationships between farmer livelihood and numerous variables related to vegetable farming. It was found that the most of the surveyed farmers are migrants who have spread to different corners of KV at different times. The surveyed farmers cultivate an average area of 2551.5 m2 for vegetable farming. The major vegetable products in the study area are tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), carrot (Daucus carota), and green leafy vegetables. The model results indicate a significant positive relationship between vegetable farming and livelihood. The survey results also reveal many constraints (e.g., poor market management and lack of irrigation facilities) and challenges (e.g., haphazard urban growth, price fluctuation, and vegetable diseases). Since vegetable farming has become a major source of livelihood for farmers in the peripheral areas of KV, further interventions should be implemented to strengthen the vegetable sector and sustain this source of livelihood for peri-urban farmers.