Farmers' perception on agro-ecological implications of climate change in the Middle-Mountains of Nepal: a case of Lumle Village, Kaski.
This study investigates the implications of climate change on agricultural ecology of Lumle Village as a representative example of the Middle-Mountains of Nepal. Primary data were collected through face-to-face interviews taken in 141 households. Supplementary data of public domain were collected from 9 Focus Group Discussions, 3 Historical Timeline Calendars, 20 Key Informant Interviews and sketches of 2 Crop Calendars. The findings suggest that traditional agro-livestock-based livelihood of the farming households of Lumle is ruined because of farmland abandonment and shift of agro-livestock activities to others options. A sharp decline in contribution of agro-livestock-based activities in household livelihoods in the last decade justifies this statement. Many factors might have been interplaying in abandoning agro-livestock activities. However, as the impacts of climate change are complex because of their spiral effects in existing poverty and marginality of households, it is contributing to agro-ecology through the effects of changes in weather pattern, increased invasive species and crop-livestock pest, as well as labour migration abroad caused by reduced farm output. The damage in agricultural ecology of mountain area in general and of Lumle in particular, however, has not yet been addressed by contemporary development policies of Nepal. Considering the importance of agricultural ecology for social-ecological sustainability and meeting the Sustainable Development Goal of eliminating hunger by 2030, Nepali agricultural policies should urgently recognise the need of agro-ecological restoration policy. It is expected that the integration of migration and climate change adaptation policies with agriculture and landuse policies to restrict farmland abandonment as well as provision of incentives for agricultural restoration would benefit in this regard.