Climatic Change

, Volume 148, Issue 4, pp 575–590 | Cite as

Climate change adaptation strategies and food productivity in Nepal: a counterfactual analysis

  • Uttam KhanalEmail author
  • Clevo Wilson
  • Boon L. Lee
  • Viet-Ngu Hoang


It is widely accepted that climate change is having significant effects on global agriculture. However, the precise impacts depend to a large degree on the nature of adaptations which take place. But, little is known about whether adaptation practices adopted by farmers in less-developed countries support farm productivity. To this end, this study first identifies the actual adaptation practices adopted by farming households. This is done by linking farmers’ perception of changes in local climatic conditions, its impact on agricultural production, and the adjustments they have made in response to climate change impacts. Simultaneous equation models are then employed together with the endogenous switching regression methodology to examine the factors that influence farmers’ decisions to adopt different climate change adaptation strategies. How the adoption of these strategies impact food productivity is also examined. Based on a survey of 720 farming households in Nepal, our results show that adoption of adaptation strategies has significantly increased food productivity. Among the adaptation strategies, soil and water management are shown to have the largest impact on food productivity followed by adjustments to the timing of farm operations and crop and varietal adjustment. Factors influencing adoption of adaptation strategies include age and education of the household head (the decision-maker of adaptation strategies), family size, households’ distance to market, farmers’ association with agricultural-related institutions, number of farm plots under cultivation, past climate change experience, access to climate information, belief in climate change, and attitudes towards adaptation. The findings of this study provide insights into designing agricultural adaptation strategies and integrating them in climate change programs and policies.


Adaptation strategies Agriculture Climate change Endogenous switching Nepal 



We thank the editor and the referees of this journal for their useful suggestions. We gratefully acknowledge the financial support provided by the Australia Endeavour Postgraduate Scholarship, and the QUT Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Australia. We are also immensely thankful to the farmers who shared their knowledge and information.

Supplementary material

10584_2018_2214_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 (DOCX 12 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uttam Khanal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Clevo Wilson
    • 1
  • Boon L. Lee
    • 1
  • Viet-Ngu Hoang
    • 1
  1. 1.Queensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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