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Saturday Jun 3, 2023

Impact of climate change: Increasing costs

2022 Apr 23, 8:45, Mahottari

Bindeshwor Yadav of Bardibas Municipality-7, Manaharipur, who is over 70 years of age, is involved in vegetable farming.

 Yadav, who has been cultivating vegetables for the last 20 years to earn cash, has not given up even though he has been suffering from inclement weather from time to time. Yadav, who has been cultivating vegetables in three out of seven bighas, now has brinjals, chilis and climbers and creepers (pumpkins, gourds, sponge gourds, bitter gourds, beans, etc.) as his main vegetable crops. Yadav has the experience of cultivating rice, maize, millet and other crops, including tobacco and sugarcane.

Yadav is worried about what to do now as the cost of vegetable farming has been increasing for the last few years and the returns have not been good. Yadav said that the pest infestation in vegetable crops has been increasing for the last few years. "Look at the brinjal plant there. Nany kinds of pesticides have been sprayed there, nothing has changed," said Yadav, pointing to the brinjal plants where some of the leaves have been withering away.

 He said that non-seasonal vegetable crops are more prone to pests and diseases than seasonal vegetables. "I grew up here. 15-20 years ago, there were no such diseases in crops. Now they are plagued by a host of pests and diseases." 

 Yadav is also worried that the drinking water wells are drying up due to lack of favorable rains for the last 15-20 years. Although he did not know the exact reason for this, he estimates that this may have been due to the increasing number of settlements, the deforestation, the increase in factories and the use of large machines to extract sand and stones from rivers everywhere.

Like Yadav, all farmers who are over 50 years of age, have the same worries. Satyanarayan Yadav, 60, Ramji Yadav, 57, Chandeshwar Rai Danuwar, 54, and Raghu Mahara, 67, of neighboring Bhangaha Municipality-4 also say that they have had to change their farming plans every year due to inclement weather.

 Experts say that these problems faced by the farmers of the district are a global problem. Nagdev Yadav, chairman of the Community Development and Advocacy Forum Nepal, who has a vast experience from working in the forest environment sector, says that the weather forecasting, which used to be done on the basis of months and constellations, has now stopped. According to Yadav, the impact of the global climate change on rainfall, heat, floods, landslides and different types of vegetation and wildlife has increased in different parts of the country. He says there is no immediate alternative but to adjust to the effects of the weather.

 "Climate change has a global impact, and our poor settlements are affected by the lack of resources," he said. He said that there should be no delay in returning the farmers to organic farming system by discouraging the growing dependence of chemical fertilizers on crops and increasing use of pesticides.


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