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Perception of farmers on climate change and its impacts on agriculture across various altitudinal zones of Bhutan Himalayas

Publication Date - 2020-02-08 00:00:00

Publication Title : Perception of farmers on climate change and its impacts on agriculture across various altitudinal zones of Bhutan Himalayas

Publicationed By : Prof Dr Md Kamrul Hasan

Publication Publication Date : 2020-02-08 00:00:00

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Publication Description :

Climate change is real and is considered to be impacting agricultural development in Bhutan. To authenticate this claim, a survey was conducted in six districts of Bhutan, representing low- , mid- and high-altitude regions of the country from March to May, 2019. Based on the current research, we present farmers’ perceptions of climate change and its impacts on agricultural production, including the different coping strategies prevalent in rural communities. The study found that the farmers were well aware of climate change, although perceptions varied among the respondents. For most of the farmers, climate change meant unpredictable weather (79%), less or no rain (70%) and drying of irrigation sources (55%). Some farmers referred to climate change as the emergence of diseases and pests (45%), high-intensity rains (30%), less or no snow (24%) and shorter winter (11%). These climate change impacts were assessed to be responsible for 10–20% crop damages, resulting in crop losses to the tune of 8079–16,159 t and 7202–14,405 t for rice and maize, respectively. This is likely to affect the already low domestic food production of the country. Additionally, the study has successfully captured information on climate change adaptation strategies applied by the farmers. The most commonly observed ones were: the use of plant protection chemicals, improved varieties, increasing frequency of irrigation, land fallowing, off-farm works and improved management practices. Findings such as these are important towards the identification and formulation of an integrated sustainable and climate-proof farming support system.

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