Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 743–756 | Cite as

Assessing suitability of apple cultivation under climate change in mountainous regions of western Nepal

  • Sujata Manandhar
  • Vishnu Prasad Pandey
  • Futaba Kazama
Original Article

Abstract

Mustang, a mountainous region in the Kali Gandaki River Basin in western Nepal, has been increasingly experiencing climatic changes (e.g., higher temperatures). Rising temperatures lead to ecological shifts, which, in turn, can lead to the expansion of the lower limit for the cultivation of apple trees in this area. Apple cultivation can provide opportunities for adaptations under climate change through vulnerability reduction, income source diversification, livelihood improvement, and capacity building for farmers. As there is a lack of a strong basis to justify the expansion of apple cultivation in Mustang, this study examines the biophysical and socioeconomic suitability of apple cultivation in the area. Necessary data and information were collected from both primary and secondary sources. Findings of biophysical suitability using variable and equal weights to the indicators showed that 5.2 and 4.1 % of the areas are highly suitable for apple cultivation, respectively. However, not all potential farming areas are currently in use. Thus, there is the possibility to expand apple cultivation into unplanted areas and to integrate apple crops with other crops on cultivated lands. Increasing temperature may increase the suitable areas for the cultivation of apples in the coming years. High, benefit–cost ratio for land use confirmed the economic suitability of apple farming when compared to other land uses. The social suitability assessment showed no social discords, conflicts, or disagreements with apple cultivation, which is a positive indicator for the expansion of apple cultivation in western Nepal.

Keywords

Apple Climate change Kali Gandaki River Basin Mountain Mustang Nepal 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sujata Manandhar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vishnu Prasad Pandey
    • 3
  • Futaba Kazama
    • 1
  1. 1.International Research Center for River Basin Environment (ICRE)University of YamanashiKofuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Civil Engineering, Graduate School of EngineeringTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  3. 3.Asian Institute of Technology and Management (AITM)LalitpurNepal

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