Session 5.6 Transforming land & livelihoods: Agriculture land abandonment in the mid hills of Nepal

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Krishna P. Paudel, Forestaction, Nepal
Sujata Tamang, Forestaction Nepal
Krishna K. Shrestha, UNSW, Australia
Racchya Shah, IUCN Nepal

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Session 5.6 Transforming land & livelihoods: Agriculture land abandonment in the mid hills of Nepal

  1. 1. Transforming land & livelihoods: Agriculture land abandonment in the mid hills of Nepal Krishna P. Paudel, Forestaction, Nepal Sujata Tamang, Forestaction Nepal Krishna K. Shrestha, UNSW, Australia Racchya Shah, IUCN Nepal World Congress on Agroforesrty 10 – 13 Feb, 2014, New Delhi, India Trees for Life: Accelerating the impact of Agroforestry
  2. 2. Outline … • • • • Context Aims & methods Key findings Some preliminary Insights
  3. 3. Context … NEPAL IS EXPERIENCING UNPRECEDENTED CHANGES … • • • • • Economic globalisation & market enforcement - socio-economics changes Society – more urbanised, monitised & commercialised ‘Green revolution’ based agriculture- inappropriate in mountain terrain Farm labour - male out-migration, increased responsibility for women in agriculture Changing agro-based living Land under-utilisation & abandonment in Nepal
  4. 4. Aims • To identify the state and status of abandoned or underutilized agricultural land in the middle hills region of Nepal • To analyze the causes and consequences of land under-utilisation • To generate some insights to improve policy & practice
  5. 5. Methods • Using qualitative & quantitative methods of inquiry – – – – – – Case study of 5 mid-hill districts Literature review Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), Interviews Small group interactions Household survey
  6. 6. Key findings … Abandoned agriculture land and migration abanded land Migration trends 33.3 26.8 22.7 • Increasing trends of land abandonment and underutilisation • Proportional relationship between land abandonment and out-migration • Serious shortage of productive labour and feminization leading to under-utilisation of mostly productive land 17.9 28.3 Kabhre Lamjung (Nalma) (Chaubas,Daraune pokhari) 36.8 14.3 18.8 Parbat (Aarthar) Pyuthan (Khalanga and Maranthana)
  7. 7. Trends & extent of land abandonment 50 Percentage 40 30 Trends 20 Alarming trends– reaching up to 40% 10 0 1992 Up land 44% 2002 2007 low land 33% Mid land 23% 2012 All ecological belts of Nepalese mid-hills
  8. 8. Land abandonment by wealth category Wealth category % Rich 17.7 Middle 16 Poor 49 Very poor 17.03 Poor: mainly share cropper abandoning the agriculture land: The issue is why so?
  9. 9. Socio-economic - Out-migration (urban and aboard mainly Male) - Decreased household income from agriculture Bio-physical Distant/ scattered , inaccessible marginal land wildlife damage CAUSES of land abandonment Technology - Low return of investment - Low productivity - Inappropriate agriculture technology Culture - Changing food habit - Agriculture perceived as low profession
  10. 10. SERIOUS SOCIAL & ENVIONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES … SOCIAL:  Loss of agro-based livelihoods: food, income, employment etc.  Loss of social connection to land  Loss of community cohesion through outmigration  Reduced local food production  Increased food insecurity and malnutrition in rural areas, etc. ENVIRONMENTAL: • • Disruption in the active management of mountain ecosystem, leading to increased environmental vulnerability Reduced agro-biodiversity etc.
  11. 11. Some key insights … • We have ‘a paradox’ for scholars, policy makers and practitioners as to why productive land is left unutilised/ underutilised in a country that has rampant poverty • Of course it’s a major problem, but it offers some opportunities: – Loss of productivity of mountain agriculture system, but this can be seen as an opportunity to transform subsistence based practices to entrepreneurial agriculture in the rural hills which has strong potential to contribute to poverty alleviation outcomes – Fresh opportunity for re-imagining a land tenurial system that can lead to a more equitable land distribution mechanisms that have real impacts on food security • It’s a NEW problem - a key challenge is how to develop a credible science that can have impacts on land use planning & policies of Nepal that is undergoing a rapid and complex socio-political transition
  12. 12. Thank you

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