Monthly Archives: January 2015
Climate Change impacts and adaptation: Story from my village

Agriculture has always been the art of managing uncertainties and adopting to changing scenarios especially on the small holder farms of mid hill of Nepal. Syangja, where I was born is mountainous district characterized by steep slopes, deeply dissected by rivers and streams. Farming communities comprise a high percentage of low income household solely reliant on natural resources and agriculture for livelihood.

I belong to an agrarian family where farming had been followed by many of my ancestors and is still major source of income. I have to go to my village to help my parents with cultivating and harvesting rice and other field crops. Beside field crops my district is famous for citrus, Coffee and ginger production. I am currently pursuing my graduation in Agriculture. When I started my Bachelor’s level study I became more aware about climate change issues, it became vivid that there are lots of changes that have created by climate change in an agriculture sector. When I ask my grandparents about time of cultivating rice during their childhood, they replied me that the timing of planting crop

Youth and Climate change

Mountainous landscape of Nepal.

s are shifting with onset of rainfall. Whenever I go to village and have discussion with the villagers about agriculture practices I feel different scenarios of climate change and its impacts in agriculture. Farmers begin to substitute rice crop in khet land (irrigated) with crop which are less water demanding such as finger millets and wheat. Oranges are ripening few months earlier in October in comparison with December in previous years. Mustard was successfully sown in late September but now it needs to be planted in early to mid September to produce the same yield. There is decreasing frequency but increasing intensity of rainfall during summer while delays or complete absence of winter rain. Farming in very difficult condition, often with small fragmented land holdings and no proper irrigation made farmers to be dependent on rainfall and precipitation for agriculture practices.
When I was studying my primary school at my village there were lots of villagers being engaged in farming but the scenario is quite different now. Only woman, children, aged people and few youth are left where rest left the village for seeking opportunities in cities and foreign land. This even changed the landscape of my village, where I find agriculture land being turned into barren and forest area. Its obvious that mountainous region suffers from high exposure of natural disasters such as floods and landslides, erratic rainfall patterns, prolonged drought and hailstorms.
Number of adaptations is being made by local farmers to increase productivity of crops and mitigate against the climate change impacts. Mixing cropping system is being introduced to reduce the risk of complete crop failure due to drought or untimely heavy rainfall. For ex:Maize with beans, coffee and citrus, grass and cardamom being planted at the edge of terrace field to stabilize the soil and reduce risk of soil erosion and land slips. Youth clubs, Women’s group, Community groups along with District Development Committee has been working for mitigation and adaptation of climate change impacts through awareness program, Local seed saving program, Community forest program and Women empowerment programs.
Farmers of mid hills must take the lead. They are on the front line, they made everyday observation and the lives and livelihood of their families are wholly dependent on farming. There are plenty of challenges ahead. To cope with climate change impacts a concrete plan of action is felt necessary. Women are more vulnerable for climate change impacts; plan of action should focus for mitigation and adaptation measures building their capacity to combat climate change impacts.

 

Call for Abstracts for Poster Presentation on Neglected and Underutilized Species

Abstract

Although more than 3,000 plant species have been identified as edible, only 10 cereal grains, legumes and oilseeds dominate 80% of the world’s cropland. Wheat, Rice and Maize by themselves account for two-thirds of the world’s arable lands. This is starkly reflected in the diets we consume, where 90% of our plant-based calories can be traced back to only 30 or so crops. Consequently, about 60% of the world’s population is currently malnourished, either due to lack of enough calories or due to too much of the wrong kind of calories.

In the context of changing climate, over reliance on a handful of crops also puts our food security at great risk. Furthermore, over reliance on a handful of commodity crops also exposes people to the risks of rampant speculation in food prices resulting in food crises and riots seen in 2008. As the poor and vulnerable try to cope with food and economic crises, they further reduce consumption of diverse diet and their investment in education and healthcare services. Poor nutrition in early childhood can have dire repercussions for their future adulthood as well due to significantly compromised cognitive and social development.

Taking this into consideration, it is important to broaden our research on neglected and underutilized species (NUS)1, so called from the perspective of mainstream agricultural research. From 2011, with support from the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), the European Commission and Bioversity International, LI-BIRD has been implementing a project on NUS. The goal of this project is “to facilitate more effective and sustainable use, management and conservation of local agricultural biodiversity by communities and stakeholders, particularly in the context of food security, nutrition, income generation potential and adaptation to climate change.”

In three years of implementation, the project has developed research findings that are relevant to food security of the nation. On 12 February 2015, we are organizing a one-day workshop to share the findings of research and methodologies from the project for promoting and mainstreaming NUS crops in Nepal. The workshop will also feature a poster presentation session, where we are inviting other researchers and organizations to share their work related to NUS. This is a forum that hope will spark ideas and open up avenues for future collaboration in NUS crops.

Thus, if you have interest experiences related to NUS within the following themes, please send the abstract for your poster no later than 5pm (NST) 23 January 2015. We will cover the participation cost for the posters selected for presentation.

Themes for the abstract:

1. On farm and/or on station research on NUS crops
2. Processing technology on NUS crops
3. Folk History, tradition, indigenous knowledge and culture of NUS
4. Markets, marketing and promotion of NUS
5. Gender perspective on NUS
6. NUS for environmental and climate change resilience
7. Policy perspectives on NUS

Guidelines for the abstract:

It is encouraged to submit all abstract in English but in case of history, traditions and culture abstract in Nepali will also be accepted.
Abstracts are limited to 350 words excluding the titles.
Use limited references (e.g. Neupane 1999), only if necessary.
Complete abstract should have following things
– Title of the Abstract
– Author(s) with their affiliation (e.g, Indra Paudel, Technical Officer, Local
Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development, P O Box 324, Pokhara,
Nepal)
– E-mail of the lead author
– Abstract
– Keywords (max 5)

Multiple abstract from the same individual will also be accepted.
Please send your abstracts with short biography of lead author (max 50 words) to [email protected] mentioning Abstract for NUS Sharing Workshop as subject. Received abstracts will be reviewed by the team of experts and authors of selected abstracts will be notified via e-mail by 30 January, 2015.

Post Source: Read the full announcement on Li-Bird Website

ICT tools for Agri-Entrepreneurs : #NYFAED15 session

YPARD Nepal, MCRC and NFYN kicks off National Youth Forum on Agro-based Entrepreneurship Development #NYFAED15 on Lalitpur, Nepal. This blog article is a  summary of panel discussion of participants with panels comprising of Mr. Anish Shrestha  from KrishiGhar and Mr. Rabin Adhikari from Agricare Pvt. Ltd, Yagyapuri, Chitwan.

Krishi_Ghar and Agricare

Mr.Anish Shrestha from KrishiGhar on #NYFAED15

Mr. Anish Shrestha from KrishiGhar

Initially started as a college project by few students of Bsc,CsIT of St.Xaviers college, KrishiGhar is now viewed as potentially capable project helping many farmers and students nationwide.

This group project has been a boon for farmers who are geographically inaccessible however have the passion of cellphones. The innovative “Hath Hath ma Suchana”(Information in hand) provides farmers with agriculture related tips and information through SMSes. It has connected people with the right information in real time basis. The initiative of skype video conferencing with farmers group and expert has been uploaded to educate and impart knowledge about farming and agriculture .

Recently they have launched android application that directly provides information about specific methodologies and brings the people in field nearer to the elite and expert members.  In one month, this app has been downloaded in 800+ devices of android with 13,000+  actively engaging Facebook members.

Though this group project cannot engulf every farming members, however it has been total relief and effective companion for innovative farmers, students and agriculture personnels.

 

Mr. Rabin Adhikari from AgriCare

Kishan_Call_Centre

Mr.Rabin Adhikari from AgriCare- Panel discussion on #NYFAED15

Kishan call centre is an organization that tends to address the queries of farmers in need of a bit of expert advice.

At the beginning the lack of personnel was a constraint to call centre which saw many farmers disappointing due to lack of informations.

Through systematic management of database and rich information the centre has now made it possible for them to tackle the problems of farmers. Now it aims to collaborate with Tamil Nadu and Virginia University to further extend their information horizon and expertly handle any situation.

Kishan  Call Centre Toll Free Number >> 16605652999

Download KrishiGhar Android Application from google playstore.

For further details on KRISHI GHAR mail to [email protected]