Global Warming Impact on Nepal


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Global Warming Impact on Nepal

  1. 1. FOOD SECURITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION FRAMEWORK: ISSUES AND CHALLENGES1 Hari Dahal,2 Ph D and Doj Raj Khanal,3 Ph DPoverty and Food SecurityPoverty and food security are closely linked concepts that overlaps to a large extent. It is thought thathunger is the result of poverty but hunger can also be a cause of poverty. Globally more than one billionpeople – one sixth of the world population live on less than US $ 1 a day and they are the ones to suffermost from chronic hunger and malnutrition (RAP, 2006; WSFP, 2009). South Asia has about 423 millionthe highest number of people living in absolute poverty that makes up about 40% of world’s hungry people.The region holds about 23 percent of world population but hardly commands 2 percent of global incomesuggesting the highest concentration of poverty and food insecurity in the world (FAO/SAARC, 2008).South Asia primarily is an agricultural region having around 52% population dependent on agriculture thataccounts for an average of 22 percent share to gross domestic production (GDP) in the region. One of themajor reasons underlying poverty and food insecurity in the region is low agricultural productivity theimplication of which is poor food availability and lack of purchasing power of people to buy adequate food.One most important way to ensure food security therefore is to boost up agricultural productivityincreasing food supply, enhancing income and overall access to adequate food (ARD, 2003).Poverty has been the most serious challenge in Nepal as well. Various development efforts were made toreduce poverty in the past but no substantial achievements were attained. Poverty reduction therefore hasbeen a prime development agenda since the Eight Plan (1991-1997) through the Tenth Plan (2002-2007).The Tenth Plan was specifically formulated as Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) to mainstream andorient overall development efforts in order to break the poverty trap and economic stagnation for achievingthe goal of poverty reduction in Nepal. The poverty head count that was 41.8 percent in 1995-1996 wasfound to be 30.9% in 2003-2004 as of second National Living Standard Survey (NLSS, 2004) which was asignificant achievement in reducing poverty in a short period of time (Annex Table A 1).The major reason behind the jump in poverty reduction is attributed to increasing remittances, rapidurbanization, and increased agricultural wages and off farm employment. At the end of the Three YearInterim Plan (2007/08-2009/10) there is an early indication that the goal of reducing poverty level from30.9 percent to 24 percent will be met. A progress report on Millennium Development Goal (MDG) recentlymade available by the National Planning Commission says the poverty level brought down to 25 percent in2008 and hunger population to 22.5 in 2010 from 39.9 in 2005 (TKP, 2010). Despite all the success so farone fourth of the total population still lives in poverty most of which are concentrated in rural areas and inthe hill and mountain districts of far and mid western development regions of the country.Food Security SituationThe World Food Summit in 1996 has defined food security as “the situation when all people at all timeshave access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for anactive and healthy life.” Since then several definitions have been put forward by different organizations but                                                            1  Presented in the Second Stakeholders Workshop on NAPA in Agriculture Sector held on 23rd Feb, 2010, Kathmandu 2  Joint Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Government of Nepal, Singh Durbar, Kathmandu 3  Senior Scientist, Animal Health Research Division, Nepal Agriculture Research Council, Kathmandu  1 | P a g e   
  2. 2. common to most definitions of food security are the elements of availability, access (physical andeconomic), utilization and stability or sustainability.Food AvailabilityFood availability is generally equated to domestic food production but in fact it is a function of foodproduction, domestic carry-over of stocks, commercial food imports and food aid. It is said that foodavailability is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for achieving food security. Availability usually refersto food supplies at the national or regional levels and indicates little to household level food availability.Food security therefore at any one level does not guarantee food security at any other level. Theoverwhelming weight age however to food availability at any level is domestic food production which is thekey factor in achieving food security in a country.Food availability in Nepal is mainly a function of agriculture performance. Although the contribution ofagriculture to gross domestic product (GDP) has been declining over time it is still the largest economicsector employing 65 percent of economically active population and sharing 32.4 percent in the GDP (ES,2009). Nepal was food secured and was a net food exporter until the early 1980s. From 1990s thepopulation growth outstripped cereals production growth and the country over the past two decades hasbeen experiencing sporadic food shortage at the national level. The contributory factors in food deficit aresevere weather conditions like drought, flood, landslides, hailstorm etc., but the magnitude of food deficitusually is small less than one percent of the total food requirement but in some years it was higher thanone percent (Table 1). (a) Food Grain ProductionThe major food grains in Nepal are Paddy, Maize, Wheat, Millet and Barley together accounting for 77 percent of cultivated area coverage in 2008/09. Among the cereals paddy covers about 46 percent of the totalcultivated area producing around 56 percent of total cereal outputs followed by Maize (24%), Wheat (17%),Millet (3.61%), and Barley (0.29%). Food grain production of the past ten years (1999/2000—2008/09)shows a continuous positive growth trend except in two years (2005/06 to 2006/07). The growth trendhowever is slow and nearly stagnated except a strong jump in the following years reaching to a record levelof cereal production of 8114131 mt in 2008-09 (Annex Table A 2). Looking at the food availability againstthe food requirement based on the per capita calorie intake for the past ten years the country seems to befairly food surplus in seven out of ten years (Table 1).Table 1: Edible Cereal Production and Balance (MT) Year Total Edible Total Requirement Balance Balance % Production 1999/00 4451939 4383443 68496 1.56 2000/01 4513179 4424192 88987 2.01 2001/02 4543049 4463027 80022 1.79 2002/03 4653385 4619962 33423 0.72 2003/04 4884371 4671344 213027 4.56 2004/05 4942553 4779710 162843 3.60 2005/06 4869440 4890993 -21553 -0.44 2006/07 4815284 4995194 -179910 -3.60 2007/08 5195211 5172844 22367 0.43 2008/09 5160400 5293316 -132916 -2.51Source: Food Balance Sheet, MOAC, 2009The three year’s food shortage (from 0.44 to 3.6 percent of the total requirement) is mainly attributed tothe vagaries of weather conditions as year by year climatic variability is one of the major causes of non- 2 | P a g e   
  3. 3. stability of crop yields and food production in the country. In 2008-09 the total food grain deficit was132916 mt affecting 695895 people across the country. The food availability situation varies greatly acrossthe regions and districts. On regional basis the most deficit is mountain region (19%) followed by Hill (14%)whereas Terai is surplus by 11 percent (Table 2).Table 2: Estimated Food Availability (MT) Situation (2008/09)Ecological Net Edible Requirement Balance Balance % SSR (%) PCEA (kg)Region ProductionMountain 296510 365701 -69191 -18.92% 81 155Hill 2080755 2426366 -345611 -14% 86 172Terai 2783135 2501249 281888 11.26% 111 201Nepal 5160400 5293316 -132914 -2.51% 97 186Source: SINA, MOAC, 2009; SSR= Self Sufficiency Ratio (Percent), PCEA= Per Capita Edible Availability(b) District Cereals BalanceThe most food surplus district being Syangja, a mid hill district having 182 percent self sufficient ratio and366 kilograms of per capita edible grain availability followed by Jhapa with 177 food self sufficiency ratioand 320 kg of per capita edible availability. Other important surplus hill districts are Dhankuta (SSR 176),Lamjung (SSR 154), Khotang (SSR 154) and all three districts of eastern mountains- Sankhuwashava (SSR141), Solukhumbu (SSR 136), and Taplejung (SSR 125). Most of the Terai districts are food surplus districtbut Sunsari (SSR 80), Siraha (SSR 93), Dhanusha (SSR 99), Mahottari (SSR 72), Sarlahi (SSR 75),Rautahat (SSR 77) and Kailali (SSR 94) were food deficit in the fiscal year 2008-09.Most food insecured districts are those of hill and mountain districts of mid western and far westerndevelopment regions. Humla of Karnali zone is the most serious and chronic food deficit district with theleast of self sufficiency ratio (SSR 17) and just 32 kg of per capita edible food grain availability throughlocal production. Other food deficit districts in the regions in ascending order of self sufficiency are Bajura(SSR 32), Achham (SSR 37), Baitadi (SSR 37), Kalikot (SSR 37), Bajhang (SSR 40), Mugu (SSR 42), Doti(SSR 44), Rolpa (SSR 55), Darchula (SSR 57), Dadeldhura (SSR 61), Pyuthan (SSR 64), Jumla (SSR 66)and Dolpa (SSR 71). As the self sufficiency ratio (SSR) is just an indicative of food grain production inrelation to population in the district it does not give much idea on food security. Food security is also afunction of income level, transport connectivity and market access the low level of SSR not necessarily tellsthe poor situation of food security in the districts. That is why food deficit districts of Terai, hills andKathmandu valley having low level of SSR are not food insecured. Although there are 40 districts includingKathmandu, Bhaktapur and Lalitpur that are considered to be food deficit only those in far and midwestern hill and mountain districts (around 17 districts) are food insecure. Among hill and mountaindistricts more insecured are those having no road connectivity and market access. As a whole the country’sSSR is 97 percent suggesting 5 kg per capita short fall of grain for the fiscal year 2008/09 (Table 2).(c) Food Surplus with PotatoIn food security balance sheet five food crops namely rice, maize, wheat, millet and barley are included.Other important crops and commodities like livestock products, poultry, fish, vegetables, fruits, buckwheat,beans, oat, tubers (yam, taro, sweet potato etc), and potato are not included in the food balance sheet.These crops and commodities have been increasingly contributing to food and nutrition security as theyare supplying calorie, nutrients and cash income to people but they are not counted in food securitycalculations. Potato for example is mostly used as vegetable in Terai and urban areas but it is consumed asstaple food in the hill and mountain districts. In 2008-2009 the total production of potato in the country 3 | P a g e   
  4. 4. was 2083283 mt which if included in food balance sheet, the average food availability per capita per yearwould be 248 kg which is much higher than the national requirement of 191 kg. With the addition ofpotato alone the country would be surplus by 1594040 mt and there is no sign of food shortage in thecountry at least at the national level. The food availability surprisingly seems highest in the mountains with312 kilogram per capita per year (Table A 3).(d) Food Trade and AidGiven the long and porous border between Nepal and India there has always been formal and informaltrade of agricultural goods including food grains across the border. There are cases of food grain importfrom India mostly milled rice during period of food grain shortages. The documented statistics shows thatthere have been annual imports of rice from India but the quantity is not significant (Table 3). Table 3: Milled Rice Import from India Fiscal Year Import (NRs 000) Quantity (MT)* 1999/00 2705500 103066 2002/03 710200 29628 2003/04 515900 20003 2004/05 412700 16416 2005/06 2157000 66451 2006/07 1505000 47717 2007/08 1614200 47323 Source: SINA 2008/09, MOAC *Money value calculation to quantity based on yearly average market prices.Apart from the trade, the government of Japan has been providing food aid to Nepal through the NepalFood Corporation in various amounts over time. The quantity of this aid for the fiscal year 2009/10 is setat 9600 MT of rice under K2R program. The World Food Program (WFP) has also been makingcontribution to food grain availability through its safety net programs in various quantities.Access to FoodFood access is ensured when households and all individuals within those households have adequateresources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet. Access to adequate food depends upon incomeavailable to household and food prices. It also depends on land holding patterns, income distribution andemployment opportunities. Access to food may also depend on infrastructures, transport, connectivity andfood policy adopted by the government. It is therefore said that food insecurity is more of distribution issuethan a production problem. Food insecurity has its root to poverty that leads to poor health, lowproductivity, low income, food shortage and hunger. Although the per capita gross domestic production hasbeen increased to US $ 470 in 2007-08 from US $ 390 a year ago the poor and vulnerable sections ofsociety have difficulty to access adequate food in both remote districts as well as urban centers (ES,2007/08).As the private sector’s involvement in food grain supply is limited to accessible areas and urban centers,Nepal Food Corporation under the Ministry of Commerce and Supply has been taking responsibility tosupply food grain to the food deficit remote districts. But the capacity of NFC to supply food grain to theremote districts is limited by high transportation costs, inadequate fund to purchase food grains andlengthy procurement rules. The annual supply of food grains of NFC has declined in general from its peakof 72747 MT in 1993-94 to as low as 14022 MT in 2004-05 (CPP, 2007). The food demand however hasbeen getting high in remote districts in the recent years probably due to low food grain production locally, 4 | P a g e   
  5. 5. food habit change to rice and increasing income levels from remittances. NFC’s target of food distributionfor the fiscal year 2010/11 is set at 28800 MT while it has a buffer stock of 15000 MT and 4000 MT in itsSAARC Food Bank. Apart from the distributory mechanism, in order to enhance the poor and vulnerablegroup’s access to food government has set a policy of giving employment for each household in foodinsecure districts for a period of 100 days in a year (TYIP, 2007).Food UtilizationFood utilization is commonly understood as the nutritional status of an individual. It is also the properbiological use of food with sufficient energy and nutrient intake by individuals having good feedingpractices, food preparation and dietary diversity. Effective food utilization also takes into account of theknowledge of food processing, storage, safety and health care. This aspect of food security is given lessimportance since adequacy of food as calorie intake is taken guarantee of both food and nutrition security.The gap also exist because of that food utilization is having less to do with agriculture and food productionin most developing countries.Table 4: Food & Nutrition Indicators Food Items (kg) Target Achievement Food availability (per person/yr) 286 280 Vegetables 79 80 Fruits 17.89 21.63 Milk (Liter) 50.85 51 Meat 9.94 8.6 Fish 1.87 1.87 Sugar 9.0 9.44Source: TYIP, 2007In Nepal average food supply in terms of calorie per person per day was 2430 Kcal and the proportion ofundernourished population was 16 percent during 2004-2006 (FAO, 2009). The mean food grainsavailability including potato at the end of the Tenth Plan (2002-2007) was 280 kg per capita per year. Theper capita availability of some of the food items as of the Tenth Plan is given in Table 4.Except food grains and meat production all other targets were achieved but due to widespread poverty theincidence of malnutrition especially among the children is still high. Ecologically, stunting is more commonin the hills and mountains while underweight and wasting are more common in Terai.Stability and VulnerabilityStability refers to the temporal dimension of food security. As the economy of Nepal is predominated byagriculture the performances of which in turn dependent on weather and climate factors. Climate inducedinstability in agricultural production is considered to be the main source of food insecurity althoughpolitical upheavals have also affected food production and distribution significantly during the last one halfdecade. The major determinant of agricultural growth is rainfall which fluctuates year to year andaccording to which the growth rate of agricultural gross domestic production (AGDP) has also beenaffected.Natural disasters are also the major causes of instability in agriculture in which substantial land area, crops,livestock and human losses are incurred every year. The most vulnerable crops that are affected by flood,landslide and drought is paddy, maize and millet of which paddy crop is affected the most. In 2008-09, thetotal cropped area affected by natural disasters was 93700 hectares in which paddy area was 92000 ha- 5 | P a g e   
  6. 6. about 6 percent of total paddy area (ABPSD, 2009). The economic implication of such losses has beenreflected in the reduced levels of agricultural production, low income and high vulnerability of food supply(Dahal, 2005). Climate change impact, deforestation, and degradation and soil fertility decline are alsocausing instability in agricultural production and productivity at various magnitudes (CPP, 2007).Vulnerable to food insecurity are those who are poor, marginalized, tribal, ethnic group and lower castegroups. They are least able to cope with natural disasters and have little knowledge, information and skillsto reduce their risks (Oxfam, 2009). By tradition, within households it is women who are vulnerable to foodand nutrition insecurity. Women’s role in food production is very high but they are the ones to eat last andthe least amount of food where as their nutritional requirement is higher due to productive andreproductive roles (ARD, 2003). The implications of food insecure and malnourished women are highmaternal and infant mortality and low birth weight new born.Issues and Challenges1. Low Productivity and Limitation to Arable LandLow and stagnant productivity of agricultural crops especially that of cereal is a major concern for foodsecurity in Nepal. Poor agricultural growth is attributed to low inputs use per unit area, poor access to loanand irrigation facility, poor extension and research services, inadequate infrastructure and lack of effectivepolicy support. There is no scope of expanding cultivable land which has even been declining in the face ofbooming urbanization, industrialization and high population growth. The ever growing population hasbeen exerting tremendous pressure on land leading to fragmentation, ecological degradation and decliningland productivity.There has been a trend to substitute cereal crops with high value cash crops leading to loss of area to foodcrops, the diversion to non food crops are mainly due to changing consumption pattern. There has alsobeen a shift in national priorities from food self sufficiency to food self reliance through increased income(ICIMOD, 2008). While this has contributed to food security the low level of food stock in the internationalmarket and export ban on food imposed by food exporting countries results into a loss of overall foodsecurity in the country. It is therefore necessary to pursue a two pronged approach- self sufficiency in foodby producing more food locally in the best way possible and improving purchasing capacity of people byenhancing income through employment, business and growing high value cash crops as self reliancemeasure.2. Food Distribution and Increased DependencyIn Nepal, government’s food safety net has been taken care by the Nepal Food Corporation which isresponsible for the supply of food grains to the food deficit districts. Its main objectives are to provide foodto consumers at fair prices, to intervene the food grain market to stabilize prices, manage food aid fromdonor agencies and hold food stock for emergency. The number of districts NFC supplying food grainswere 38 previously but it is 23 now and NFC has plan to cut down the number of districts gradually as itsrole gets smaller when remote inaccessible districts are linked with road networks. The quantity of fooddistribution made by Nepal Food Corporation for the last five years has been growing steadily by about 20per cent each year (Table 5). 6 | P a g e   
  7. 7. Table 5: Food Grain Distribution by Nepal Food Corporation Fiscal Year Allocated Ceiling (MT) Sale Quantity (MT) 2005/2006 6520 5882.14 2006/2007 8032 7337 2007/2008 9700 9240.8 2008/2009 11896 12141.83 2009/2010 18500 15296.92 Source: Nepal Food Corporation, 2010Although NFC has been playing a key role in maintaining food security in remote hill and mountaindistricts, the food distribution is not well targeted. It appears that most food grains distribution by NFCwent to the government employees and well off consumers in the districts headquarters includingKathmandu Valley. The heavily subsidized food grain distribution has also depressed grain market pricesfor the local farmers and acted as disincentive for higher food production. Another implication of fooddistribution is creating increasingly dependency on rice which has limited production in the country. In therecent years food is equated to rice as all national and international food distributing agencies have beendistributing mainly milled rice. As subsidized rice is cheaper than other local foods, consumers in theremote districts where paddy is not produced are getting habit of increased rice consumption. It has threeimplications, Firstly it erodes the concept of crop diversification and multiple cropping which is the key toclimate change adaptation and stability in food production and supply. Secondly, people tend to avoid thecultivation of local land races, secondary crops and tubers thus having negative effects on local agriculturalbiodiversity. The loss of agro biodiversity means grave threat to long term food security in the remote hilland mountain districts. This also means total abandonment of crop cultivation in rainfed and dry areas.Lastly but not the least, the increased consumption of only rice means making already bad situation worsein nutritional intake as food and dietary diversity is the main source of reducing malnutrition andundernourishment.Having no effective government institutional mechanism to monitor food distribution it is not known iffood is received by the hungry and vulnerable groups and targeted population in the regions. Even less isknown about the quality of food distributed and also the proportion of food grain used to local alcoholproduction and feeding poultry and livestock.3. Declining Investment on AgriculturePublic expenditure on agriculture has been gradually declined since 1990 when the government startedpursuing liberal economic system in the country. Following the structural adjustment program, in 1995/96the government discontinued subsidies in fertilizers and irrigation (particularly in deep tube well andshallow tube well) as of the condition laid down by the Second Agriculture Program Loan (SAPL) from theAsian Development Bank. The consequences of which are reduced use of chemical fertilizers and almostnon expansion of deep and shallow tube well acreage in Terai thus negatively affecting food productionand productivity.Agriculture remained no longer a priority sector. The national budget allocation to the Ministry ofAgriculture and Cooperatives went down to one of the lowest levels, 2.45 percent in 2006/07 and 2.47percent in 2007/08. The implication of which are poor service delivery of agricultural extension and severeconstraints in research and technology generation. Between research and extension, research sufferedmore than extension as it is included under second priority in medium term expenditure framework.Compared to national outlay in 2003/04 the NARC’s budget allocation was 0.30 percent which is grosslyinsufficient to produce any significant research and development outputs. 7 | P a g e   
  8. 8. The declining trend of global funding on agriculture and rural development has also been reflected incountry program. In 1980, the official development assistance (ODA) for agriculture was 17 percent whichwent down to 3.8 percent in 2006 (WSFS, 2009). This trend should be reversed in the wake of global foodcrisis and in situation when global food production is needed to be 70 percent higher than today by theyear 2050.4. Trade and Market AccessAfter trade liberalization under WTO and other regional agreements in South Asia the impact ofagricultural trade on food security has received increasing attention. Apart from filling the gap betweendomestic production and consumption needs trade can also reduce supply variability induced from naturaldisasters and climate change factors (FAO/SAARC, 2008). Trade policy however was not considered anexplicit instrument in achieving food security in the past in Nepal (CPP, 2007). Agricultural trade wouldhave greater role to play in future in food security particularly in a situation of food production not keepingpace to high population growth (2.25%), low productivity and increased threat of climate change impactson agriculture.Nepal is considered one of the most open trade regimes in South Asia with lowest tariff rate and noexplicit export subsidies and no quantitative restrictions. The overall agricultural tariff structure is wellbelow the WTO’s bound rate under agreement on agriculture (Mittal & Sethi, 2009). India is the majortrading partner, nearly one third of export takes place to India. But due to landlocked position and porousborder with India, Nepal’s capacity to pursue an independent trade policy has always been constrained(Pandey, 2009). Nepal was also a member of regional trade agreements like South Asian Preferential TradeAgreement (SAPTA), and now South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA), and Bay of Bengal Initiatives forMulti-Sectoral Technical & Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC). Apart from these, Nepal has made bilateraltrade agreements with 17 countries & trade transactions with more than 150 countries (CPP, 2007). Theobjectives of these trade agreements are to promote trade and reducing trade imbalance through strongeconomic cooperation and integration.Looking at the volume of trade with India and in SAARC region, Nepal should strive for harmonization ofquality standards for food, animals and plant products and recognition of each other’s sanitary andphytosanitary certification (Mittal & Sethi, 2009). Nepal should also take initiative to get its laboratoryaccreditation, and removal of non-tariff barriers including lifting of ban on import-export of foodcommodities that may have direct implication to the regional food security.5. Policy Framework on Food SecurityIn 1995, the government of Nepal approved a 20 years Agriculture Perspective Plan that was implementedthrough the Ninth Plan Period (1997-2002) to put agricultural sector into a fast growth track that wouldbring rural prosperity and rapid decline in poverty (APP, 1995). The APP’s broad strategy was to achieveeconomic growth and poverty reduction objective through accelerated agricultural growth but APP wasnever really implemented (FAO/SARRC, 2008). A study report concluded that the suboptimal performanceof APP as the result of inadequate investment, problem in concept and design and due to organizationalweakness (APPSR, 2007). Nepal’s agricultural policy nevertheless has been heavily guided by APP though itneeds reviewing and fine-tuning.The APP has insufficient mention of food security which does not address the complexity of its variousdimensions as they have appeared in recent times. In the Tenth Plan (2002-2007) there is a mention ofsupporting food nutrition security through raising agricultural production and productivity, and increasing 8 | P a g e   
  9. 9. incomes and reducing poverty. But there was no specific strategy and program to address food andnutrition security which is primarily equated to food production and making food available. The NationalAgricultural Policy (2004) added various provisions for marginal and vulnerable groups having less thanhalf hectare of land in a way to improve food security. It has also made stipulation of making food storageand mobilization network in local participatory basis and developing food and nutrition safety nets for poorand marginal farmers.The interim constitution (2006-2007) has recognized food sovereignty as the fundamental human rightwhich is consequently reflected in the Three Years Interim Plan (2007-2010) as food security for allcitizens. This is the first time any periodic plan has dedicated a separate section on the issue of foodsecurity. Under TYIP various aspects of food and nutritional security are to be strengthened through properconservation and management of natural resources together with sustainable agricultural production,equitable distribution, increased employment opportunities, increased quality of food products and reducedvulnerability of disadvantaged population. Of late, the government has established the National FoodSecurity Steering Committee under the National Planning Commission and a Food Security WorkingGroup (FSWG) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. This is not enough and there is still a needto take more steps by the government in creating legal and institutional framework to realize food securityand people’s right to food in the country.6. Climate Change Impacts and AdaptationsNepal is known to be highly disaster prone and sensitive to the consequences of climate change. Althoughno discernible long term change in climate has been observed, a study by the Department of Hydrologyand Meteorology revealed that the average temperature in Nepal is increasing at a rate of approximately0.06 degree centigrade per year (Shrestha et al, 1999; CCNP, 2009). The temperature differences are mostpronounced during winter season and least after the summer monsoon begins (Shrestha et al, 2000).Consistent with the global trend, the temperature is increasing at a faster rate in the higher elevationscompared to the lower elevations. Notably the rate of warming is greater in the western half of the countrycompared to the eastern half. Unlike temperature trends no evidence of change in aggregate precipitationhas been noted though studies have shown an increased variability and intensity of rainfall in some regionsof the country. Significantly glacial retreat as well as aerial expansion of glacial lakes in the high mountainregion has also been documented in recent decades and there is a higher likelihood that such change isrelated to rising temperature (Agrawal et al, 2003). Glacial retreat not only contributes to the variability inriver and stream flows but also can be an additional source of risk to agriculture.Purdue University has shown that global warming could delay the start of the summer monsoon by five tofifteen days within the next century and substantially reduce rainfall in South Asia. Global warming is likelyto lead an eastward shift of monsoon circulation which could lead more rainfall over Bangladesh, IndianOcean and Myanmar and less over Pakistan, India and Nepal. Temperature rise will negatively impact riceand wheat yields in Terai and tropical part where these crops are already being grown close to theirtemperature tolerance threshold. Indirect impact of rise in temperature will be in water availability, changein soil moisture and the incidence of pest and disease outbreak. It is clear that Nepal’s struggle for foodsecurity would further intensified with climate change. Unless new measures are taken to help farmersadapt to changing climate the situation will be even more severe. Understanding the potential impact ofclimate change on agriculture in Nepal is critical for two reasons. First, the existing system of foodproduction is highly climate sensitive because of its low level of capital and technology. Second, agricultureis the main source of livelihood for majority of the population. If agricultural production is adverselyaffected by climate change the livelihoods of even greater number of people will be at risk. 9 | P a g e   
  10. 10. Adaptation FrameworkAdaptation refers to the adjustments in human and natural systems to respond to actual or expectedclimate change impacts. It is also policies, practices and strategies to moderate damage or realizingopportunities associated with climate change variability and extremes (FAO, internet 2009; EC, 2008). Twomajor kinds of adaptation are autonomous and planned adaptation. Autonomous adaptation is anautomatic and gradual inbuilt capacity to adjust to climate change whereas planned adaptations areintended and conscious policy and strategic responses aimed at altering the adaptive capacity of the systemor facilitating specific adaptations. There are ranges of adaptive measure – technological, managerial andpolicy or political measures. Any adaptive measures aim to ensure people’s livelihoods and economy thatare resilient to the climate change. It is a process and not a one-shot activity. Adaptation framework mustinclude some key elements of process like assessment of climate risks, identifying adaptation options andprioritizing specific adaptation responses, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation to see thatchanges are occurring and actions taken are effective.In view of the diverse climate conditions and associated impacts on agriculture, adaptation planningcannot be done on the basis of global knowledge alone (EC, 2008). It is therefore important to conductlocal research to generate knowledge of climate change risks and identifying cost-effective mitigation andadaptation options. Agricultural research and development has to play a key role in developing adaptivetechnology and diffusion of innovations under climate change context. Extension services are also expectedto be more effective in promoting farmers adaptation practices, knowledge and capacity building to be ableto sustain agriculture and food security at household and regional levels. Apart from research the range ofmeasures that are used to address the climate change adaptations are diverse that may include policy,technological and management responses. The following are some of the examples of adaptation measuresthat can be applicable to Nepalese agricultural sector.Table 6: Climate Change Adaptation Framework for Food Security Sector/ Subsector Strategy Adaptation Measures A. Food AvailabilityCrop Production Management Food Self Sufficiency • Develop & select tolerant crop varieties and cultivars through adaptive research for drought, heat and flood situation • Use more disease and pest tolerant varieties • Promote local and indigenous crop cultivars • Develop early maturing varieties • Adjust sowing dates based on rainfall patterns • Alter the use of fertilizer/pesticide • Invest on resource centers • Ensure good quality seeds and planting materials • Implement food production & self reliance program in food deficit remote districtsAgricultural Infrastructure Improved Efficiency • Develop Agricultural Road • Improve & rehabilitate existing irrigation facility • Promote rainwater harvest and micro irrigation systems in hill and mountain districts • Develop market structure, collection centers and information system • Encourage gravity rope way to reduce transport cost • Improve post harvest technology to reduce lossesRedesign Cropping System Enhancing • Encourage secondary, indigenous crops, tubers and Sustainability beans in the upland and dry areas 10 | P a g e   
  11. 11. • Encourage horticultural crops, agro forestry, herbs and NTFP • Encourage nitrogen fixing and legume crops • Promote the use of organic fertilizer, manure bio pesticide • Implement resource conservation technology • Crop diversification, multiple cropping and catch crops • Practice crop rotation and conserve agro- biodiversity • Integrated nutrient management and soil fertility improvementLivestock Production and Improve Production • Improve feeding practicesManagement • Breed livestock for greater tolerance and productivity • Plant, suitable fodder and grass species • Improve pasture and grazing management • Provide better management and veterinary services • Better surveillance and control of trans-boundary pest and diseases • Livestock product diversificationB.Food Access (Physical & Enhance local food • Invest on high value crops and commoditiesEconomic Access to Food) production and • Establish community seed and food bank income • Develop market networks • Remove market and trade barriers • Create local employments for food unsecured households • Price control and subsidized food for poor and vulnerable • Implement cash for work program • Food for food production program • Targeted food distribution as emergency aid • Implement food preparation and dietary diversity program • Include varieties in food distribution and consumption • Encourage kitchen gardening and vegetable intakeC. Food Utilization Achieving Nutritional • Create awareness on balance and nutritious food, Security sanitation practices and health careD. Stability and Sustainability Promoting stability in • Establish and strengthened early warning system food production, • Launch crop and livestock insurance supply and livelihood • Incorporate disaster risk management program and recovery emergency preparedness in agriculture • Establish and enlarge agriculture disaster relief and recovery fund within the ministry (MOAC) • Improve the capacity of Nepal Food Corporation • Establish DRM unit in MOAC • Assess vulnerability and produce mapsE. Policy Support on Food Building environment • Develop a comprehensive National Food SecuritySecurity for achieving food Plan security • Establish Food Security Division and Climate Change Unit in the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives • Improve NARC’s capacity to generate knowledge and 11 | P a g e   
  12. 12. technology under climate change • Promulgate National Food Security Act and Land Use Act • Bring out food policy and biotechnology policy in relation to bio-security, LMO and GMO food • Implement and Enforce Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security (Adopted by the 127th Session of FAO Council, 2004) ReferencesABPSD, 2009: Bimonthly Crop and Livestock Poultry Situation Report, Agri – business promotion and Statistics Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Gov of Nepal, Kathmandu. 12 | P a g e   
  13. 13. Agrawala S, V Raksakulthi, M Van Aalst, P Larsen, J Smith, J Reynolds, 2003: Development and Climate Change in Nepal: Focus in Water Resource and Hydropower. COM/ENV/EPOC/DCD/DAC1/FINAL, OECD Paris.APP, 1995: Agriculture Perspective Plan, Main document, APROSC and John Mellor Associate Inc., Kathmandu.APPSR, 2007: Agriculture Perspective Plan Status Report, APP support program, MOAC, KathmanduARD, 2003: Human Development in South Asia 2002, Agriculture and Rural Development, Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Center, Oxford University Press, Karachi, Pakistan.CCNP, 2009: Climate Change National Policy (Draft), Ministry of Environment, Government of Nepal, Kathmandu.CPP, 2007: Special Program on Regional Food Security, Country Position Paper, National TechnicalDahal H, 2005: Risks in Agriculture and their Management Strategies in Nepal. In Risk in Agriculture and their Coping Strategies in SAARC countries. SAIC, Dhaka, Bangladesh.EC, 2008: Fact Sheet, Climate Change: The Challenges for Agriculture. European Commission Agriculture and Rural Development, Brussels.ES, 2007/08: Economic Survey, Ministry of Finance, Government of Nepal, Singh Durbar, Kathmandu.FAO, 2009: The State of Food Insecurity in the World, technical Annex, Table 1, FAO Rome.FAO, internet resource, 2009 (, 2008: Final Report – Regional Strategies and Program for Food Security in SAARC Member States. FAO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific Bangkok, SAARC Secretariat, Kathmandu.ICIMOD, 2008: Food Security in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region, ICIMOD Position paper, Kathmandu.Mittal S and D Sethi, 2009: Food Security in South Asia: Issues and Opportunities, working paper no 240. Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (Internet Source).MOAC, 2009: Estimated Food Balance Sheet, Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperatives, Kathmandu.Oxfam, 2009: Climate Change, Poverty and Adaptation in Nepal, Country Program Office, Jawalakhel, Lalitpur.Pandey P R, 2009: Trade Policy as an Instrument to Ensure Food Security: A case of Nepal, ESCAP, Bangkok (Internet Source).RAP, 2006: Roles of Agriculture Project, Poverty Alleviation and Food Security, FAO (Internet Source) 13 | P a g e   
  14. 14. Shrestha A B, CP Wake, P A Mayewski & J E Dibb; 1999: Maximum temperature trends in the Himalaya and its Vicinity: An analysis based on the temperature record from Nepal for the period 1971-1994. Journal of climate, 12: 2775-2789.Shrestha M L, 2000: International Variation of Summer Monsoon Rainfall over Nepal and its relation to Southern Oscillation Index. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physic, 75:21-28SINA, 2009: Statistical Information on Nepalese Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Singh Durbar, KathmanduTKP, 2010: The Kathmandu Post daily, February 15, 2010, Kantipur Publication, Kathmandu.TYIP, 2007: Three Years Interim Plan, National Planning Commission, GON, Kathmandu.WSFS, 2009: World Summit on Food Security, Feeding the World, Eradicating Hunger, November 16-18, 2009, Rome (WSFS 2009/INF/2). 14 | P a g e   
  15. 15. Annex Table A 1: Poverty Situation in Nepal Region 1995/96 (%) 2003/04 (%) Urban 21.6 9.6 Rural 43.3 34.6 Nepal 41.8 30.9 Mountain 57.0 32.6 Hills 40.7 34.5 Terai 40.3 27.6 Source: NLSS I & II, CBS, 2004 Table A 2: Cereal Grains Production Fiscal Year Paddy Maize Wheat Millet Barley Total 1999/2000 4030100 1445150 1183530 295380 30817 6985277 2000/2001 4216465 1484112 1157865 282852 30488 7171782 2001/2002 4164687 1510770 1258045 282570 30790 7246862 2002/2003 4132500 1569140 1344192 282860 31711 7360403 2003/2004 4455722 1590097 1387191 283378 28151 7744539 2004/2005 4289827 1716042 1442442 289838 29341 7767490 2005/2006 4209279 1734417 1394126 290936 27786 7656544 2006/2007 3680838 1819925 1515139 284813 28293 7329008 2007/2008 4299246 1878648 1572065 291098 28082 8069139 2008/2009 4523693 1930669 1343862 292683 23224 8114131 (55.67) (23.79) (16.56) (3.61) (0.29) (100) Source: MOAC, 2009; Figures in parentheses are percentage Table A 3: Estimated Food Security Situation (MT) with the addition of PotatoRegion Proj Popn Rice Maize Millet Wheat Barley Potato Net Requirem Balance SSR Edible Edible ent (%) (Kg) ProdMountain 1914652 69546 141210 46302 36726 2730 300866 597378 365701 231677 163 312Hill 12071464 580694 1041146 185178 270379 3360 642591 2723346 2426366 296980 112 226Terai 13819051 1810964 201291 8550 762062 269 783495 3566631 2501249 1065383 143 258Nepal 27805166 2461204 1383647 240030 1069167 6358 1726951 6887357 5293316 1594040 130 248 Source: Agribusiness promotion and Statistics Division, MOAC, 2008/09 15 | P a g e