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Evaluating Conservation Agriculture Production Systems for Smallholder Subsistence Farmers in the Hill Region of Nepal

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Item Summary

Title: Evaluating Conservation Agriculture Production Systems for Smallholder Subsistence Farmers in the Hill Region of Nepal
Authors: Paudel, Bikash
Issue Date: May 2015
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2015]
Abstract: Conservation agriculture (CA) represents a set of three farming principles: reducing soil disturbance, permanent soil cover, and crop rotation. CA has been promoted as a sustainable intensification technology to increase and sustain productivity and conserve natural resource and environment. Farmers in the hill region of Nepal face concurrent needs for increasing productivity and reducing soil degradation, hence CA appears a possible solution. Therefore, this study aimed to evaluate the economic potential and technology transfer challenges of CA for smallholder Chapang farmers in the hill region of Nepal.
There were 3 main findings from this study. Firstly, comparisons of 3 CA systems, i.e. CA1 (full tillage maize/millet), CA2 (full tillage maize/legume) and, CA3 (strip tillage maize/millet and legume intercropping) with the traditional system (full tillage maize/millet) in on-farm trials (2011-2014) showed that most of the CA systems enhanced system yield (i.e. maize equivalent yield), gross receipts and soil quality after 4 year. Yet, the profits from CA2 and CA3 were comparable to traditional system. Secondly, a multiobjective linear programming model was applied to assess the economic potential of CA under resource and production constraints of representative farms. The economic gains from switching to CA systems for a 20-year period varied greatly by village, ranging from 36.1–233% higher than traditional at 3% discount rate; and 27.4–183% higher than traditional at 10% discount rate. Thirdly, the study evaluated the information network of CA using social network analysis technique. The results showed that the CA information network was lacking collaboration of market and government stakeholders. Additionally, women farmers had limited access to CA information than men while farmers with prior training and group membership had greater access to CA information. In conclusion, CA showed potential for enhancing food security and improving soil quality. Yet, adoption of CA by smallholder farmers was challenging due to insufficient short-term gains and limited access to information. Therefore, policy recommendations were made for increasing short-term incentives and improving CA information network to encourage adaption and adoption of CA by smallholder farmers for sustainable intensification of agriculture and sustained food security in the region.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Natural Resources and Environmental Management

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