Characterization of Cropping Systems in the Western Mid Hills of Nepal: Constraints and Opportunities

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Research areas:
Year:
2014
Type of Publication:
Article
Keywords:
Toposequence, Abiotic, Erosion, Marginal, Intercropped
Authors:
B. B. Adhikari; S. M. Haefele
Journal:
IJRIES
Volume:
1
Number:
1
Pages:
20-26
Month:
Sep.- Oct.
ISSN:
2394-1375
BibTex:
Abstract:
The cropping system characterization study was carried out in three Village Development Committees (VDCs) such as Sundarbazar of Lamjung district and Purkot and Bhanu of Tanahun districts in the western mid hills of Nepal during 2010. The representative 45 households from different ecosystems were randomly selected from these three villages on the basis of their acreages under rice cultivation and the toposequence position of their fields. Peoples’ knowledge was gathered through focus group discussions (FGD) and household surveys in the study area. The study villages lie in the sub-tropical climatic belt in river basin areas of Marshyangdi River. The area has sub-humid type of weather condition with cold winter, hot summer and distinct rainy season. The dominant features of farming in the study areas were small land holdings, sloping marginal land, and rainfall-dependent farming. In the study villages, a variety of crops like cereals, fruits, vegetables, and flowers were grown. The major cropping systems were maize-rice-fallow, ricewheat- fallow, intercropped with pulses in maize and mustards in wheat crop. Nutrient-poor soils (micro-nutrient deficiencies, low pH, low CEC), farmers' poor access to inorganic fertilizers, soil-depleting cropping patterns, lack of technical knowledge on crop management appear to contribute to increased soil erosion and soil degradation. Lack of quality seed, insect pest and diseases were major biotic constraints while lack of irrigation, drought and lack of technical support were the major abiotic constraints of rice production. There is huge potential for increased productivity of rice in the hills but this needs concerted effort in capacity building, technical support through effective channel, improving the land tenure system, use of quality inputs in time and place for the emerging farming community.

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