Impact of community-based organizations on climate change adaptation in agriculture: empirical evidence from Nepal

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of community-based organizations (CBOs) on the adoption of agricultural adaptations to climate change impacts. To this end, we first analyze farmers’ perceptions on changes in local climatic condition, its impact and adaptations on agriculture based on information collected through a questionnaire survey of 720 farming households in six districts of Nepal. The findings reveal a widespread feeling of weather getting warmer, decreasing precipitation, and increasing weather unpredictability. It is found that climate change has adversely affected agriculture in Nepal, and farmers have adopted various adaptation practices to minimize the impacts. Second, we employ propensity score matching technique to examine the impact of CBOs on climate change adaptation. About 62% of the sampled farming households were associated with CBOs, and several socioeconomic factors influence such association. This study provides evidence supporting the argument that CBOs play important role in reducing the negative impacts of climate change by enhancing the adoption of adaptation strategies. It is also evident from the study the need of further strengthening and institutionalizing the informal farmers’ groups and institutions for the successful adaptation.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    In Nepal, agriculture is a dominant sector, contributing about 35% of total gross domestic product and employing 70% of the population in the country.

  2. 2.

    Other matching algorithms include Epanechnikov kernel matching, caliper and radius matching, stratification and interval matching (Khandker et al. 2009).

  3. 3.

    A VDC is an administrative unit in Nepal similar to a municipality which is further divided into nine wards. Each ward constitutes one to several villages.

  4. 4.

    These questions were also included in the household survey questionnaire.

  5. 5.

    These indicators were identified from FGDs with farmers in the study area before the household survey.

  6. 6.

    In this study, we define registered CBOs as the CBOs that are registered and affiliated with the local government organizations such as District Agriculture Development Office, District Development Committees, and District Soil Conservation Office.

References

  1. Abebaw, D., & Haile, M. G. (2013). The impact of cooperatives on agricultural technology adoption: Empirical evidence from Ethiopia. Food Policy, 38, 82–91.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Adger, W. N., Huq, S., Brown, K., Conway, D., & Hulme, M. (2003). Adaptation to climate change in the developing world. Progress in Development Studies, 3(3), 179–195.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Adhikari, K. P., & Goldey, P. (2010). Social capital and its “downside”: The impact on sustainability of induced community-based organizations in Nepal. World Development, 38(2), 184–194.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Alam, M., & Regmi, B. R. (2004). Adverse impacts of climate change on development of Nepal: Integrating adaptation into policies and activities. Capacity strengthening in the least developed countries for adaptation to climate change. Working paper no. 3.

  5. Amare, M., Asfaw, S., & Shiferaw, B. (2012). Welfare impacts of maize–pigeonpea intensification in Tanzania. Agricultural Economics, 43(1), 27–43.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Ayers, J., & Forsyth, T. (2009). Community-based adaptation to climate change. Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 51(4), 22–31.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Bandara, J. S., & Cai, Y. (2014). The impact of climate change on food crop productivity, food prices and food security in South Asia. Economic Analysis and Policy, 44(4), 451–465.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Becerril, J., & Abdulai, A. (2010). The impact of improved maize varieties on poverty in Mexico: A propensity score-matching approach. World Development, 38(7), 1024–1035.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Becker, S. O., & Ichino, A. (2002). Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores. The Stata Journal, 2(4), 358–377.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Below, T. B., Mutabazi, K. D., Kirschke, D., Franke, C., Sieber, S., Siebert, R., et al. (2012). Can farmers’ adaptation to climate change be explained by socio-economic household-level variables? Global Environmental Change, 22(1), 223–235.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Bravo-Ureta, B. E., Almeida, A. N., Solís, D., & Inestroza, A. (2011). The economic impact of MARENA’s investments on sustainable agricultural systems in Honduras. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 62(2), 429–448.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Bryan, E., Deressa, T. T., Gbetibouo, G. A., & Ringler, C. (2009). Adaptation to climate change in Ethiopia and South Africa: Options and constraints. Environmental Science & Policy, 12(4), 413–426.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Caliendo, M., & Kopeinig, S. (2008). Some practical guidance for the implementation of propensity score matching. Journal of Economic Surveys, 22(1), 31–72.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Cameron, A. C., & Trivedi, P. K. (2005). Microeconometrics: Methods and applications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Chaudhary, P., & Bawa, K. S. (2011). Local perceptions of climate change validated by scientific evidence in the Himalayas. Biology Letters, rsbl20110269.

  16. Conley, T. G., & Udry, C. R. (2010). Learning about a new technology: Pineapple in Ghana. The American Economic Review, 100(1), 35–69.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Deressa, T. T., Hassan, R. M., Ringler, C., Alemu, T., & Yesuf, M. (2009). Determinants of farmers’ choice of adaptation methods to climate change in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. Global Environmental Change, 19(2), 248–255.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Di Falco, S., Veronesi, M., & Yesuf, M. (2011). Does adaptation to climate change provide food security? A micro-perspective from Ethiopia. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 93(3), 829–846.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Easterling, W., Aggarwal, P., Batima, P., Brander, K., Bruinsma, J., Erda, L., . . . Baethgen, W. (2007). Food, Fibre, and Forest Products. In M. L. Parry, O. F. Canziani, J. P. Palutikof, P. J. van der Linden & C. E. Hanson (Eds.), Climate change 2007: Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability. contribution of working group II to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change (pp. 273–313). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  20. Faltermeier, L., & Abdulai, A. (2009). The impact of water conservation and intensification technologies: Empirical evidence for rice farmers in Ghana. Agricultural Economics, 40(3), 365–379.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Feder, G., Anderson, J. R., Birner, R., & Deininger, K. (2010). Promises and realities of community-based agricultural extension community, market and state in development (pp. 187–208). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Finger, R., Hediger, W., & Schmid, S. (2011). Irrigation as adaptation strategy to climate change—a biophysical and economic appraisal for Swiss maize production. Climatic Change, 105(3–4), 509–528.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Fischer, E., & Qaim, M. (2012). Linking smallholders to markets: Determinants and impacts of farmer collective action in Kenya. World Development, 40(6), 1255–1268.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Fischer, E., & Qaim, M. (2014). Smallholder Farmers and Collective Action: What Determines the Intensity of Participation? Journal of Agricultural Economics, 65(3), 683–702.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Forsyth, T. (2013). Community-based adaptation: A review of past and future challenges. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 4(5), 439–446.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Fünfgeld, H. (2015). Facilitating local climate change adaptation through transnational municipal networks. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 12, 67–73.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Harmer, N., & Rahman, S. (2014). Climate change response at the farm level: A review of farmers’ awareness and adaptation strategies in developing countries. Geography Compass, 8(11), 808–822.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Huang, J., Wang, Y., & Wang, J. (2015). Farmers’ adaptation to extreme weather events through farm management and its impacts on the mean and risk of rice yield in China. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 97(2), 602–617.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Huq, S., Reid, H., Konate, M., Rahman, A., Sokona, Y., & Crick, F. (2004). Mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in least developed countries (LDCs). Climate Policy, 4(1), 25–43.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. IPCC. (2001). Climate change 2001: impacts, adaptation, and vulnerability: Contribution of working group II to the third assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change. Cambridge University Press.

  31. Kassie, M., Jaleta, M., Shiferaw, B., Mmbando, F., & Mekuria, M. (2013). Adoption of interrelated sustainable agricultural practices in smallholder systems: Evidence from rural Tanzania. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 80(3), 525–540.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Khanal, U., Wilson, C., Hoang, V. N., & Lee, B. (2018). Farmers’ adaptation to climate change, its determinants and impacts on rice yield in Nepal. Ecological Economics, 144, 139–147.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Khandker, S. R., Koolwal, G. B., & Samad, H. A. (2009). Handbook on impact evaluation: Quantitative methods and practices. World Bank Publications.

  34. Khatri-Chhetri, A., Joshi, N. M., & Maharjan, K. L. (2007). Intervention on livelihood management through community-based organizations: Evidence from rural Nepal. Journal of International Development and Cooperation, 13(1), 187.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Korten, D. C. (1980). Community organization and rural development: A learning process approach. Public Administration Review, 40, 480–511.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Leuven, E., & Sianesi, B. (2015). PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing. Chestnut Hill: Statistical Software Components, Boston College Department of Economics.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Malla, G. (2009). Climate change and its impact on Nepalese agriculture. Journal of Agriculture and Environment, 9, 62–71.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Mendelsohn, R., Dinar, A., & Williams, L. (2006). The distributional impact of climate change on rich and poor countries. Environment and Development Economics, 11(02), 159–178.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. MoE. (2010). National adaptation programme of action to climate change. Kathmandu: Ministry of Environment.

    Google Scholar 

  40. MoE. (2011). Climate change policy, 2011. Kathmandu: Ministry of Environment.

    Google Scholar 

  41. Morton, J. F. (2007). The impact of climate change on smallholder and subsistence agriculture. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(50), 19680–19685.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Nelson, G. C., Rosegrant, M. W., Koo, J., Robertson, R., Sulser, T., Zhu, T., et al. (2009). Climate change: Impact on agriculture and costs of adaptation (Vol. 21). Washington: International Food Policy Research Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Nyangena, W. (2008). Social determinants of soil and water conservation in rural Kenya. Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10(6), 745–767.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Pokhrel, D. M., & Thapa, G. B. (2007). Are marketing intermediaries exploiting mountain farmers in Nepal? A study based on market price, marketing margin and income distribution analyses. Agricultural Systems, 94(2), 151–164.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Pufahl, A., & Weiss, C. R. (2009). Evaluating the effects of farm programmes: Results from propensity score matching. European Review of Agricultural Economics, 36(1), 79–101.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Rejesus, R. M., Palis, F. G., Rodriguez, D. G. P., Lampayan, R. M., & Bouman, B. A. (2011). Impact of the alternate wetting and drying (AWD) water-saving irrigation technique: Evidence from rice producers in the Philippines. Food Policy, 36(2), 280–288.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Sarker, M. A. R., Alam, K., & Gow, J. (2014). Assessing the effects of climate change on rice yields: An econometric investigation using Bangladeshi panel data. Economic Analysis and Policy, 44(4), 405–416.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  48. Shrestha, A. B., Wake, C. P., Mayewski, P. A., & Dibb, J. E. (1999). Maximum temperature trends in the Himalaya and its vicinity: An analysis based on temperature records from Nepal for the period 1971-94. Journal of Climate, 12(9), 2775–2786.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Wossen, T., Berger, T., Mequaninte, T., & Alamirew, B. (2013). Social network effects on the adoption of sustainable natural resource management practices in Ethiopia. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 20(6), 477–483.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Yila, J. O., & Resurreccion, B. P. (2013). Determinants of smallholder farmers’ adaptation strategies to climate change in the semi arid Nguru Local Government Area, Northeastern Nigeria. Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, 24(3), 341–364.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Uttam Khanal.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Khanal, U., Wilson, C., Hoang, V. et al. Impact of community-based organizations on climate change adaptation in agriculture: empirical evidence from Nepal. Environ Dev Sustain 21, 621–635 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10668-017-0050-6

Download citation

Keywords

  • Farmers’ organization
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Impact evaluation
  • Nepal