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Article

Consequences of Climate Change Impacts and Incidences of Extreme Weather Events in Relation to Crop Production in Bhutan

1
School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England, Armidale NSW 2351, Australia
2
Agriculture Research and Development Centre, Bajo, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Wangdue Phodrang 14001, Bhutan
3
National Potato Program, Agriculture Research and Development Centre, Yusipang, Department of Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Thimphu 11001, Bhutan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4319; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104319
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 18 May 2020 / Accepted: 20 May 2020 / Published: 25 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainability of Coastal Agriculture under Climate Change)
Being a country in the Himalayas, Bhutan is highly prone to the vagaries of weather events that affect agricultural production and the subsequent livelihood of the people. To identify the main issues that affect crop production and the decisions of farmers, a survey was conducted in three different agro-ecosystems in Bhutan. Our key findings indicate that farming and the decisions of farmers were largely affected by different climatic and non-climatic factors. These were in descending order of importance: irrigation availability > farm labour > crop seasonality > crop damage (climatic) > land holding > crop damage (wildlife) > crop damage (diseases and pests). The most important consequences of climate change impacts were the drying of irrigation sources (4.35) and crop losses due to weather events (4.10), whereas land fallowing, the occurrence of flood and soil erosion, weed pressure and changes in cropping pattern (with mean ratings of 2.53–3.03) experienced lesser consequences. The extreme weather events, such as untimely rains, drought and windstorms, were rated as the ‘most common’ to ‘common’ occurrences, thus inflicting a crop loss of 1–19%. These confirm our hearsay knowledge that extreme weather events have major consequences on irrigation water, which is said to be either drying or getting smaller in comparison to the past. Therefore, Bhutan must step up its on-ground farmer-support system towards improving the country’s food production, whilst embracing climate smart farm technologies for adapting to the impacts of change. View Full-Text
Keywords: agro-ecosystem; crop damage; environment; farming; livelihood; sustainability; weather events agro-ecosystem; crop damage; environment; farming; livelihood; sustainability; weather events
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chhogyel, N.; Kumar, L.; Bajgai, Y. Consequences of Climate Change Impacts and Incidences of Extreme Weather Events in Relation to Crop Production in Bhutan. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4319. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104319

AMA Style

Chhogyel N, Kumar L, Bajgai Y. Consequences of Climate Change Impacts and Incidences of Extreme Weather Events in Relation to Crop Production in Bhutan. Sustainability. 2020; 12(10):4319. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104319

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chhogyel, Ngawang, Lalit Kumar, and Yadunath Bajgai. 2020. "Consequences of Climate Change Impacts and Incidences of Extreme Weather Events in Relation to Crop Production in Bhutan" Sustainability 12, no. 10: 4319. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104319

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