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Assessing links between crop diversity and food self-sufficiency in three agroecological regions of Nepal

Assessing links between crop diversity and food self-sufficiency in three agroecological regions of Nepal

KC, Krishna Bahadur, Pant, Laxmi Prasad, Fraser, Evan D. G., Shrestha, Pratap Kumar, Shrestha, Dinesh and Lama, Anga (2015) Assessing links between crop diversity and food self-sufficiency in three agroecological regions of Nepal. Regional Environmental Change, 16 (5). pp. 1239-1251. ISSN 1436-3798 (Print), 1436-378X (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10113-015-0851-9)

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Abstract

Increasing on-farm crop diversity is one agroecological approach to enhancing food self-sufficiency that helps small-scale farmers keep their food systems stable by reducing risks associated with stressors, such as a pest outbreaks or droughts. But understanding how crop diversity and food self-sufficiency are related is unknown. To explore this complex relation, this study presents household data (n = 1664) from Nepal to test the hypothesis that families with high crop diversity enjoy greater household food self-sufficiency. Data are presented for three districts that are representative of three distinct agroecological regions of the country: (1) Sarlahi, which is affluent, market-oriented, and on the plains; (2) Makwanpur District in the hills, which has well-developed integrated farm production; and (3) the mountainous District of Humla, which has the poorest quality environment and is the most remote. Results show that in the Humla District, families with greater crop diversity were more self-sufficient. In contrast, farmers in Makwanpur, who have already established a high degree of crop diversity based on vegetable production, do not benefit from additional crop diversity in terms of their ability to provide for themselves. Finally, data from Sarlahi show that families’ food self-sufficiency benefits from crop diversification. We conclude that boosting crop diversity is a viable strategy for maintaining stability in food systems, but this varies depending on the accessibility of a farm and, in particular, access to markets.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: agriculture, agrobiodiversity, food security, development, Nepal
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2020 16:28
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/26582

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