Fifty-nine percent of farmers in Nepal report decrease in crop production over past decade due to changes in seasons, unpredictable rainfall, droughts and floods

KATHMANDU, Nepal , September 30, 2013 () – The majority of people living in Nepal 's districts vulnerable to climate change have felt the impact of changing weather and rainfall patterns, most visible in the agriculture sector with a decline in crop production over the past decade, according to the findings of a new study conducted by the BBC Media Action in Nepal .

Of the total 2,354 respondents from across the country, 59 percent experienced a decrease in crop production due to changes in the seasons, unpredictable rainfall, droughts and floods over a decade period, according to the findings of the Climate Asia Project released on Tuesday.

The Climate Asia Project, the BBC Media Action Initiative, is reportedly the largest ever study of people's experiences of climate change in Asia.

It was conducted in seven countries, including Nepal . The report further stated that a decrease in available fuel resources (57 percent of respondents) was the second most visible impact due to changes in the climate and environment, followed by a decrease in energy supplies, including electricity (41 percent) and water shortage (38 percent).

According to Sabina Pradhan, one of the researchers involved in the survey, the findings were based on people's experiences and impacts felt in four main areas: water shortage and availability, food security and availability, energy and fuel availability, and preparing for extreme weather events. The study was carried out in Nepal from May 2012 to March 2013 and covered all ecological and developmental regions.

It is interesting to note that, of the total 33,500 people surveyed for the research project in seven countries (also including Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Nepal , Pakistan and Vietnam), Nepal is are the most concerned about the future impacts of changes in climate and environment. 82 percent of the respondents in the country recognise that changes to livelihoods are necessary.

The poorest people in Nepal feel the least informed and unable to cope, particularly women and children, who are most vulnerable to climatic changes, said Sonia Whitehead,

senior research manager at the BBC Media Action.

"A large majority still feel that the government should support them, through financial resources, to make changes in improving the agricultural production, availability of resources and deal with disasters to survive," she said.

According to her, of the total responses collected in Nepal , around 70 percent were coming from those who live on less than US $ 2 dollars ( approx. Rs 200) a day. Published by HT Syndication with permission from EKantipur.com. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at htsyndication@hindustantimes.com

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