Climate Change and Agriculture

The Nepalese economy is largely based on agriculture which accounts for around 35% of GDP. About 65% of the total population is engaged in Agriculture. Nepalese farming system is predominantly small-scale farming, around half of which is dependent on natural rainfall. Rainfall and other climatic factors are critical to crop yields because only 46.5% of overall cultivated area is irrigable of which 69.5% is irrigated. Empirical studies in recent years indicate that 70% of the performance of crop production can be explained by the climatic variability linked with the temporal weather conditions. Agriculture sector has been affected by floods, droughts, and erratic rainfall. Climate change is expected to lead to increasing dryness in drought-prone areas and to wetter conditions in wet areas and there have already been alarming signs of sharp and sustained decline in food security in Nepal.

We have five major focus areas in Climate Change and Agriculture sector:

  • Assessing the socio-economic vulnerability of the rural people to climate change
  • Documenting the potential impacts of climate change on natural resources
  • Identifying the trends of climate change and farmer’s perception of these changes
  • Evaluating the impact of climate change on agricultural production
  • Identifying choices for adaptation measures that farmer are using to mitigate potential impacts of climate change on agriculture.

Organic Agriculture

Organic farming is the leading form of agriculture, leading to healthy and resilient people, ecosystems and economies

Eco-Reach Foundation aims to build the vital infrastructure that supports the success of organic farmers. Our main areas of focus are: POLICY, where we stimulate government agencies; EDUCATION, where we work to integrate organic farming programs into our awareness campaign and social mobilization programme; and building COMMUNITY to cultivate a broader and deeper connection among organic supporters. 

Please join us.

ER Foundation Mission: To foster the widespread adoption and improvement of organic farming systems.

Sustainability in agriculture

Background

Sustainability in agriculture sector needs some radical changes because modern agriculture has severely impacted different aspects of agro-ecosystem. In Nepal, people are still practicing traditional agricultural practices, but they are very subsistence and need commercialization. Hence, using traditional skills of Nepalese farming system with modern sustainable agriculture techniques Nepalese framing system can be prosper. This way the livelihood of smallholder’s farmers can be improved.

GOAL

Develop and institutionalize the concept of organic agriculture, agro-tourism, Eco-friendly energy solution and climate smart agriculture in Nepal by mobilizing and empowering local community in rural income generating enterprises.

VISION

Eco-friendly agriculture and energy sector of Nepal leading to improvement of overall life quality of people.

MISSION

Widen improved, sustainable livelihood options for poor and disadvantaged communities in a gender-sensitive and environment-friendly manner.

OBJECTIVES

Research, publication, and mobilization in the field of Nature Conservation.

  • Documentation and conservation of biodiversity
  • Promotion of alternative energy
  • Promotion of agro-forestry, biochar, and ecological methods for carbon sequestration
  • Promotion of organic farming
  • Mitigation of climate change impacts in farming level
  • Promotion of volunteering in the nature conservation
  • Promotion on development of Eco-tourism and green village
  • Conservation of land and water resources and it’s biodiversity

TARGET BENIFICARIES

Primary beneficiaries include local smallholder farmers. The secondary beneficiaries consist of private sector organizations and business communities engaged in organic agriculture and value chain; and local NGOs, CBOs, cooperatives, and other types of community groups that can serve as conduits for development service delivery at the local level.

PROGRAM STATEGY

Eco Reach Foundation would use three main strategies to reach its goals. (i) social mobilization (ii) capacity development, and (iii) local institution building.

THEMATIC AREAS

  1. Socio-Economic Vulnerability and Poverty

In Nepal 82.5% of the population are living below the poverty line. Their mainstay of livelihoods is agriculture, which depends largely on weather and climate change sensitive factors like forest resources and water resources. Livelihoods of forest-based people are projected to be seriously challenged due to climate change resulting in loss of land and land productivity. Events such as forest fires, floods, landslides, and drought are prominent risks. Forest is very much attached with the ago-ecosystem of Nepal. Hence, overall Socio-Economic vulnerability and poverty of Nepalese smallholders’ farmers can be wiped out if the wise management of these resources are done. Eco-Reach Foundation has therefore recognized Socio-Economic Vulnerability and Poverty of People as an important thematic area for the proper management of natural resources and livelihood improvement.

  1. Climate Change mitigation/Adaptation

Climate variability and risks have always been a part of agriculture, due to which farmers have developed many ways of managing risks.  Climate change introduces a new dimension to the problem. The continued availability and use of agro-biodiversity in Nepalese farming, particularly by smallholder farmers, is likely to play an important role in adaptation to climate change. Communities maintain rich species and intra-specific crop diversity both to help manage climatic adversity and meet their other needs. Forest, home gardens, agroforestry (with richness of fodder trees) and productive fields all embed diversity rich maintenance and use practices that increase adaptability and reduce vulnerability. Traditional farming system management practices and farmers’ innovations are clearly a key element in local adaptation to climate change. While scientists and policymakers work to find solutions, local farmers have already amassed considerable experience of how to cope, based on their observation and experimentation in the field. So, it is very important to document the adaptation practices that have been evolved in the farmers’ fields. Eco-Reach Foundation will help farmers to identify coping strategies using their own skills and resources. It will also promote the traditional farming system with modern technology and skills. So that subsistence type of farming system would change in commercial farming.

  1. Natural Resources Management

Nepalese traditional agro-ecosystem is very much attached with its natural Eco-system. All the inputs in Nepalese farm are directly derived from its natural Eco-system. So, it is very important to balance the existing relation of natural Eco-system. It is very important to manage natural resources which have direct impact on farming system. For an instance forest and river are very important aspect of Nepalese farming system. If these could not be managed farming system will be collapsed. So, Eco-Reach Foundation is always concerned with the conservation of watersheds, rivers, rivulets, forests, and forest based agro-ecosystem.

 

  1. Research and Policy/Plan

Eco-Reach Foundation has its aim to prioritize Action/Policy Research on conservation agriculture and climate change mitigation/adaptation of Agriculture sector. It will make policy recommendations to development partners such as government organizations and donors’ agencies after its research in conservation agriculture. It will also work with local communities and motivate and mobilize them in more conservative and organic farming system which would be more sustainable. Besides, it will also publish research articles and policy briefs in natural resources conservation and sustainable farming system particularly concerned with smallholders’ farmers of Nepal.

Conservation of land, water resources and biodiversity: -

The act of being diverse in plants and animal life in a particular habitat (or in the world as a whole) is termed as biodiversity. Biodiversity refers to the diversity between species, within species and the diversity of ecosystems. The biodiversity we see today is the result of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and by the influence of humans. It has formed the chain of life in which we, animals and vegetation play very vital role. We are responsible for keeping the chain in order.

There is a deep relation between human beings and environment and by saying environment; it means all the factors that affects the environment. We have unfathomable intimate inter-relationship between these one of the components of major elements comprising earth. These factors when disturbed or sense to a threat of imbalance can create very great havoc. We are threatening the Mother Nature in many ways. We are exploiting the environment in a very rapid manner. We are very responsible for the loss in biodiversity because we are over exploiting the natural resources. Consequently, the extinction of rare animals, global warming, endangering of species, greenhouse effects and many more arises. And we are the ones who are going to face the calamities. So, we should be the ones responsible for deteriorating the environment and start acting for the conservation of the planet.

The different aspects of biodiversity all have a very strong impact on each other as we are interdependent with each other. We have only just started to understand the relationships between living things and their environments since few years ago. For instance, let’s us imagine our ecosystem as a woolen blanket. When the blanket is new, we need not to worry but when it gets old the woolen threads start to fall and still if we do not worry and keep of using it, the blanket starts to tear up. Since the whole blanket is made up of uniting the wools in such interlinked chain that if it not sewn or woven in time, you will be left alone with wools only. I hope we are all familiar with the old proverb; a stitch in time saves nine.

Earth is our home and when our home is ruined, we’ll have nowhere to go. We must preserve and conserve all the animals and vegetations with which the earth is build up. We must use the resources sustainably. As I have mentioned earlier, our ecosystem is like chain when one is affected the others are affected too. The warming of earth has triggered climate change. Climate change affects air, ocean (the rise in temperature of the polar region), and change in seasons, sea levels, the pattern of ocean and wind currents, levels of precipitation, as well as other things. These changes adversely affect the habitats and behavior of many different species. Those animals which do not cope up or adapt with the change in climate are likely to get extinct from the earth. The dinosaurs are the well-known examples.

Protecting biodiversity should be in our self-interest. Biological resources (water, wood, metal, fire etc) are the pillars of our civilizations and I think mankind is forgetting that. Nature’s products support such diverse industries as agriculture, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, pulp and paper, horticulture, construction, and waste treatment. The loss of biodiversity threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines, and energy. We are all responsible for the natural calamities we bring. Since no one particularly is to be blamed, we all are responsible for the degrading environmental conditions. Let us preserve our home and the contents that are in.