Irrigation protects crops from weather and pests

Climate-smart farming in Nepal helps farmers make a living

Ram Bahadur Rayamajhi worked in a furniture shop in India for nearly 15 years but returned to his home village in western Nepal's Pyuthan district several years ago, after suffering from a nerve problem.

With his son unable to find a good job, Rayamajhi had to provide for his household of eight people and took up farming as his main profession.

"Sometimes a heavy downpour and hailstones would destroy my field crops, and at other times [they] would fail due to water scarcity," he said. He also struggled with pests and diseases. As a result of these multiple problems, he ended up farming only half of his land, leaving the rest barren.

That was until two years ago, when the provincial government launched a "smart agriculture" program in his village of Darbhan.

Rayamajhi now irrigates his land from a 75,000-litre tank constructed under the program, filled with water pumped from a borehole using a motor-driven by hydroelectric power. "Due to the continuous supply of water, the crop yield has increased," he added, noting his mustard harvest had almost doubled this season.

Read the complete article on www.globalcitizen.org.


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