Agricultural Land Use Intensity and Determinants in Different Agroecological Regions in Central Nepal Himalaya

  • Shanta Paudel Khatiwada
  • Jifei Zhang
  • Yi Su
  • Bikash Paudel
  • Wei Deng
Chapter
Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)

Abstract

Intensification of agricultural land use is the only viable option to achieve food security in countries possessing very limited arable lands such as Nepal. Since sustainable intensification has been policy targets in recent years, understanding agricultural land use intensity and its determinants would provide important support to policy formation toward sustainable agricultural development. However, the status and determinants of agricultural land use intensity in Nepal have been seldom investigated. Based on questionnaire surveys of 453 households, 12 key informant surveys and three focus group discussions, this study assesses cropping frequency, as an indicator of agricultural land use intensity (ALUI), in three agroecological regions in central Nepal. The results show that average cropping frequency in Khet land is 2.9, 2.6 and 1.6 in low-land Terai, mid-hill and high-hill area, respectively, while in Bari land is 2.4, 2.3 and 2.1, respectively. In addition, Terai region has significantly higher ALUI in both Khet and Bari lands than mid- and high-hill areas. Among a total of 18 investigated impacting factors, age and education of household heads, land quality and use of improved seed positively influence ALUI in Khet land, while distances from home to land and vehicle passable roads have negative effects. For the Bari lands, land quality, irrigation facility, tractor availability and improved seeds are positively associated with ALUI, but education of household heads, distances from home to land, home to market center and home to vehicle passable road are negatively influencing factors. This study provides an empirical evidence that agricultural modernization and access to infrastructural facilities are the major pathways to promote agriculture intensification in mid and high hills. Intensification of agricultural land use might be a preferable option to reduce poverty and food shortage in Nepal; however, there is a need of effective land management and agricultural policy, along with incentive programs to attract young generations engage in agriculture. More than that, education, training and awareness programs about the importance of maintaining soil fertility under intensified farming are greatly needed in order to achieve a sustainable agricultural in Nepal.

Keywords

Agricultural land use intensity Cropping frequency Agroecology Analysis of covariance Central Nepal 

References

  1. Adikwu JO (2014) Household size and agricultural land-use pattern in Obagaji area of the Guinea Savanna region. Niger J Agric Ext Rural Dev 6:48–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alauddin M, Quiggin J (2008) Agricultural intensification, irrigation and the environment in South Asia: issues and policy options. Ecol Econ 65:111–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. APP (1995) Agricultural perspective plan (final report). National Planning Commission. Agricultural Projects Service Centre, Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  4. Aryal JP, Holden ST (2011) Caste, investment and intensity of production. In: 18th Annual conference of the European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists (EAERE)Google Scholar
  5. Boserup E (1965) The conditions of agricultural growth: the economics of agrarian change under population pressure. George Allen and Unwind, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown S, Kennedy G (2005) A case study of cash cropping in Nepal: poverty alleviation or inequity? Agric Hum Values 22:105–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown S, Shrestha B (2000) Market-driven land-use dynamics in the middle mountains of Nepal. J Environ Manage 59:217–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cassman KG, Pingali PL (1995) Intensification of irrigated rice systems: learning from the past to meet future challenges. GeoJournal 35:299–305CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. CBS (2006) Agriculture monograph. Government of Nepal, Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  10. CBS (2011) Agriculture census 2011. Government of Nepal, Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  11. CBS (2013) Agriculture census, 2013. Central Bureau of Statistics Government of Nepal, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  12. Chaudhary RP (2000) Forest conservation and environmental management in Nepal: a review. Biodivers Conserv 9:1235–1260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chhetri NB (2011) Climate sensitive measure of agricultural intensity: case of Nepal. Appl Geogr 31:808–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dahal BM, Sitaula BK, Bajracharya RM (2008) Sustainable agricultural intensification for livelihood and food security in Nepal. Asian J Water Environ Pollut 5:1–12Google Scholar
  15. Dahal BM, Nyborg I, Sitaula BK, Bajracharya RM (2009) Agricultural intensification: food insecurity to income security in a mid-hill watershed of Nepal. Int J Agric Sustain 7:249–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Desbiez A, Matthews R, Tripathi B, Ellis-Jones J (2004) Perceptions and assessment of soil fertility by farmers in the mid-hills of Nepal. Agric Ecosyst Environ 103:191–206CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dhakal K, Regmi P, Dhakal I, Khanal B, Bhatta U (2013) Livelihood vulnerability to climate change based on agro ecological regions of Nepal. Glob J Sci Front Res 13Google Scholar
  18. Döös BR (2002) Population growth and loss of arable land. Glob Environ Change 12:303–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fischer G, Van Velthuizen H, Shah M, Nachtergaele FO (2002) Global agroecological assessment for agriculture in the 21st century: methodology and results. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Laxenburg, Austria and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, ItalyGoogle Scholar
  20. Gobin A, Campling P, Feyen J (2002) Logistic modelling to derive agricultural land use determinants: a case study from Southeastern Nigeria. Agric Ecosyst Environ 89:213–228CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Haiguang H, Xiubin L (2011) Agricultural land use intensity and its determinants in ecologically-vulnerable areas in North China: a case study of Taipusi County, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. J Resour Ecol 2:117–125Google Scholar
  22. Hati KM, Swarup A, Dwivedi A, Misra A, Bandyopadhyay K (2007) Changes in soil physical properties and organic carbon status at the topsoil horizon of a vertisol of central India after 28 years of continuous cropping, fertilization and manuring. Agric Ecosyst Environ 119:127–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Havlin JL, Kissel D, Maddux L, Claassen M, Long J (1990) Crop rotation and tillage effects on soil organic carbon and nitrogen. Soil Sci Soc Am J 54:448–452CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jiang L, Deng X, Seto KC (2013) The impact of urban expansion on agricultural land use intensity in China. Land Use Policy 35:33–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kastner T, Rivas MJI, Koch W, Nonhebel S (2012) Global changes in diets and the consequences for land requirements for food. Proc Natl Acad Sci 109:6868–6872CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kehoe L, Kuemmerle T, Meyer C, Levers C, Václavík T, Kreft H (2015) Global patterns of agricultural land-use intensity and vertebrate diversity. Divers Distrib 21:1308–1318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Khatiwada J, Ghimire BC (2009) Conservation status of Varanus flavescens in Chitwan, Nepal. Biawak 3:100–105Google Scholar
  28. Lambin EF, Rounsevell M, Geist H (2000) Are agricultural land-use models able to predict changes in land-use intensity? Agric Ecosyst Environ 82:321–331CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lu X, Huang X, Zhong T, Zhao X, Chen Y, Guo S (2012) Comparative analysis of influence factors on arable land use intensity at farm household level: a case study comparing Suyu District of Suqian City and Taixing City, Jiangsu Province, China. Chin Geogr Sci 22:556–567CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Maskey RB, Binod P, Sharma S, Joshi M (2003) Human dimensions in sustainable land use management in degraded land areas of Nepal. In: The open meeting of the global environmental change research communityGoogle Scholar
  31. Miller GA, Chapman JP (2001) Misunderstanding analysis of covariance. J Abnorm Psychol 110:40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. MOAD (2015) Agriculture development strategy (ADS). Ministry of Agricultural Development, Government of Nepal, Kathmandu, NepalGoogle Scholar
  33. MoF (2013) Foreign aid in Nepal, FY 2011–12. International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division, Government of Nepal, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  34. Mottet A, Ladet S, Coqué N, Gibon A (2006) Agricultural land-use change and its drivers in mountain landscapes: a case study in the Pyrenees. Agric Ecosyst Environ 114:296–310CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Nepal R, Thapa GB (2009) Determinants of agricultural commercialization and mechanization in the hinterland of a city in Nepal. Appl Geogr 29:377–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Pan WK, Walsh SJ, Bilsborrow RE, Frizzelle BG, Erlien CM, Baquero F (2004) Farm-level models of spatial patterns of land use and land cover dynamics in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Agric Ecosyst Environ 101:117–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Panthi J et al (2015) Spatial and temporal variability of rainfall in the Gandaki River Basin of Nepal Himalaya. Climate 3:210–226CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Paudel GS, Thapa GB (2004) Impact of social, institutional and ecological factors on land management practices in mountain watersheds of Nepal. Appl Geogr 24:35–55CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Poudel S, Shaw R (2016) The relationships between climate variability and crop yield in a mountainous environment: a case study in Lamjung District, Nepal. Climate 4:13CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pretty JN, Williams S, Toulmin C (2012) Sustainable intensification: increasing productivity in African food and agricultural systems, vol 9, 1. RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  41. Pyakuryal K (2012) Land and agriculture in 2030: low performance amidst high potentials. In: Sharma SR, Upreti BR, Pyakuryal K (eds) Nepal 2030: a vision for peaceful and prosperous nation. South Asia Regional Coordination Office of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR North-South) and Department of Development Studies, Kathmandu University, Kathmandu, Nepal, pp 127–140Google Scholar
  42. Rana RB, Garforth C, Sthapit B, Jarvis D (2007) Influence of socio-economic and cultural factors in rice varietal diversity management on-farm in Nepal. Agric Hum Values 24:461–472CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Raut N, Sitaula BK, Bajracharya RM (2010) Agricultural intensification: linking with livelihood improvement and environmental degradation in mid-hills of Nepal. J Agric Environ 11:83–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Raut N, Sitaula BK, Vatn A, Paudel GS (2011) Determinants of adoption and extent of agricultural intensification in the central mid-hills of Nepal. J Sustain Dev 4:47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Reidsma P, Tekelenburg T, Van den Berg M, Alkemade R (2006) Impacts of land-use change on biodiversity: an assessment of agricultural biodiversity in the European Union. Agric Ecosyst Environ 114:86–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Saka JO, Okoruwa VO, Oni OA, Oyekale AS (2011) The structure and determinants of land-use intensity among food crop farmers in Southwestern Nigeria. J Agric Sci 3:194Google Scholar
  47. Schreier H, Shah P, Lavkulich L, Brown S (1994) Maintaining soil fertility under increasing land use pressure in the Middle Mountains of Nepal. Soil Use Manage 10:137–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Shrestha AB, Aryal R (2011) Climate change in Nepal and its impact on Himalayan glaciers. Reg Environ Change 11:65–77. doi:10.1007/s10113-010-0174-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shrestha MK (2007) Smallholders, mountain agriculture and land change in Lamjung District. The University of Georgia, NepalGoogle Scholar
  50. Shrestha RL, Dhakal DD, Gautum DM, Paudyal KP, Shrestha S (2012) Variation of physiochemical components of acid lime (Citrus aurantifolia swingle) fruits at different sides of the tree in Nepal. Am J Plant Sci 1688–1692Google Scholar
  51. Shriar A (2000) Agricultural intensity and its measurement in frontier regions. Agrofor Syst 49:301–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Smith RG, McSwiney CP, Grandy AS, Suwanwaree P, Snider RM, Robertson GP (2008) Diversity and abundance of earthworms across an agricultural land-use intensity gradient. Soil Tillage Res 100:83–88CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Thapa GB (1996) Land use, land management and environment in a subsistence mountain economy in Nepal. Agric Ecosyst Environ 57:57–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Thapa GB, Niroula GS (2008) Alternative options of land consolidation in the mountains of Nepal: an analysis based on stakeholders’ opinions. Land Use Policy 25:338–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tilman D et al (2001) Forecasting agriculturally driven global environmental change. Science 292:281–284. doi:10.1126/science.1057544 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tiwari KR, Nyborg IL, Sitaula BK, Paudel GS (2008a) Analysis of the sustainability of upland farming systems in the Middle Mountains region of Nepal. Int J Agric Sustain 6:289–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tiwari KR, Sitaula BK, Nyborg IL, Paudel GS (2008b) Determinants of farmers’ adoption of improved soil conservation technology in a middle mountain watershed of central Nepal. Environ Manage 42:210–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Tranter RB, Swinbank A, Wooldridge M, Costa L, Knapp T, Little GJ, Sottomayor ML (2007) Implications for food production, land use and rural development of the European Union’s single farm payment: indications from a survey of farmers’ intentions in Germany, Portugal and the UK. Food Policy 32:656–671CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Tscharntke T et al (2012) Global food security, biodiversity conservation and the future of agricultural intensification. Biol Conserv 151:53–59CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Turner BL, Doolittle WE (1978) The concept and measure of agricultural intensity. The Professional Geographer 30:297–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Vaidya AK, Floyd CN (1997) From recommendation domain to providing basis for research prioritization and locating representative sites for technology generation and verification in the hills of Nepal, vol 97/3. Lumle Agricultural Research Centre, Pokhara, Kaski, NepalGoogle Scholar
  62. van Meijl H, Van Rheenen T, Tabeau A, Eickhout B (2006) The impact of different policy environments on agricultural land use in Europe. Agric Ecosyst Environ 114:21–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Westarp Sv, Sandra Brown HS, Shah P (2004) Agricultural intensification and the impacts on soil fertility in the Middle Mountains of Nepal. Can J Soil Sci 84:323–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. World Bank (2016) World Bank. Arable Land (hectare per person). World Bank Group. http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/AG.LND.ARBL.HA.PC/countries?display=default. Accessed 21 June 2016
  65. Yu Y, Xue L, Yang L (2014) Winter legumes in rice crop rotations reduces nitrogen loss, and improves rice yield and soil nitrogen supply. Agron Sustain Dev 34:633–640CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shanta Paudel Khatiwada
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jifei Zhang
    • 1
  • Yi Su
    • 1
  • Bikash Paudel
    • 3
  • Wei Deng
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for Mountain Development, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD)PokharaNepal

Personalised recommendations