Journal of Forest and Livelihood 2024-05-17T10:42:30+00:00 Rahul Karki Open Journal Systems <p>The English journal of ForestAction Nepal. Journal of Forest and Livelihood (JFL) is a peer-reviewed journal, targeted for professionals, policy makers and academicians in the field of forestry and natural resource management. JFL is an open access journal and is published biannually.</p> A Rising Foreign Labour Migration and Implications for Farming and Food Security in Nepal 2024-05-10T06:41:23+00:00 Ramesh K. Sunam <p>Escalating the import of food and diminishing domestic production signal a profound challenge for Nepal on its path to achieving food security. This challenge not only relates to the question of land and farming but also mirrors recent socio-economic changes mainly triggered by foreign labour migration. In this article, I examine foreign labour migration in relation to its effects on an agrarian economy, exploring socio-economic contours of food security shaped by land and labour relations. In doing so, this paper draws on fresh insights gained from case studies carried out in two villages representing the Tarai and hill geography of Nepal. These findings show that while foreign labour migration has benefited both migrant and non-migrant households through the inflow of remittances and creation of rural employment, commodification of land and subsequent dispossession have posed critical threats to food security of the poor as well as the nation. This article suggests that any discourses and policies that concern land, farming and food need to factor migration and the associated socio-economic processes and patterns of changes.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2014 ForestAction Nepal Transforming Land and Livelihood: Analysis of Agricultural Land Abandonment in the Mid Hills of Nepal 2024-05-10T06:59:34+00:00 Krishna P. Paudel Sujata Tamang Krishna Kumar Shrestha <p>Land grabbing is often seen as a way, among many ways, to intensify agriculture for food security around the world today. However, in Nepal, a quite opposite phenomenon is taking place. Fertile agricultural lands are being abandoned at an unprecedented degree in recent years. A critical question that then arises is: How and why productive lands are being abandoned by farmers who otherwise had cultivated them for so many generations? The question is much more relevant for a country like Nepal that faces severe food insecurity. The aim of this paper is to investigate the drivers of agricultural land abandonment in the mid hills of Nepal. This study employs a mixed method approach to data collection, using household survey and key informant interview, in four mid hill districts of Nepal. The results indicate three key drivers: first, sociopolitical instability, which forced people to move out; second, reduced agricultural production, concomitant with availability of more attractive alternative opportunities; third, farming ceasing to be a viable occupation for many farmers to maintain sustainable household economy and being seen as an occupation for those who cannot do much else. Land abandonment has serious social, economic and ecological implications, particularly for the poorest of the poor. The paper concludes by highlighting some ways to address the land abandonment issue.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2014 ForestAction Nepal Feminization of Agriculture and its Implications for Food Security in Rural Nepal 2024-05-10T07:04:41+00:00 Sujata Tamang Krishna Prasad Paudel Krishna Kumar Shrestha <p>The rural Nepal is going through unprecedented demographic, socioeconomic and environmental changes. There is a growing pattern of outmigration of male population from villages to urban areas and overseas in search of better opportunities. This is mainly due to the poor economic development processes that could not generate adequate income and employment opportunities at home, political and economic changes, and globalization, concomitant with attractive employment opportunities offered outside the country. Simultaneously, rural communities are facing the disincentives of worsening security in villages, employment opportunities, and subsistence farming becoming less and less rewarding and unable in meeting their basic needs. This has led to a situation where women, in addition to looking after children and the elderly, have to take additional responsibilities in farming within the traditionally male-dominant farming practices. This is not only inappropriate and unfriendly to women, but also has lowered the use and productivity of land; hence perpetuating, if not exacerbating, food insecurity. Women are increasingly adopting less intensive farming practices as well as abandoning agricultural lands. As a result, there is reduction in food production. Therefore, there is need for revisiting the agro-ecological practices to explore the possibility of reintroducing low input and less labour-intensive agro-forestry practices which can substantively reduce the workload of women, as well as ensure food security at local level.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2014 ForestAction Nepal Seed Sovereignty: Analysing the Debate on Hybrid Seeds and GMOs and Bringing About Sustainability in Agricultural Development 2024-05-10T07:09:17+00:00 Jagannath Adhikari <p>The paper further contributes to the debate on the use of hybrid and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in Nepal by bringing in the concept of seed sovereignty for sustainable agriculture and food security. Moreover, it argues that this debate needs to be looked at from the food system as a whole and at the corporate sector’s interest to control the whole food system. The way the concept of ‘food sovereignty’ was developed to counter the control of the corporate sector on local agricultural production, the concept of ‘seed sovereignty’ can equally be deployed to save the local genotype, maintain agro-biodiversity and agro-ecology and produce healthy food in an ecologically and climate change-adaptive ways. As the seed is basic to the whole food system, the corporate agricultural sector is precisely hitting at the seed sovereignty of farmers so that they become dependent on them, eventually leading to their monopolistic control over the food system. Therefore, the paper argues that the major concern should be focused on farmers’ seed sovereignty as the first step towards sustainable agriculture.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2014 ForestAction Nepal Sustainable Local Livelihoods through Enhancing Agroforestry Systems in Nepal 2024-05-10T07:15:15+00:00 Bishnu Hari Pandit Krishna Kumar Shrestha Suman S. Bhattarai <p>Agroforestry has been recognized as one of the important systems for supporting the livelihoods of a large number of rural farmers in the Nepalese hills. However, its conservation and socio-economic values have received little attention. There is no solid information that tells us precisely how the agroforestry system has changed over time and what its drivers are in terms of biodiversity conservation and livelihood improvement. This paper aims to investigate the changing impacts and drivers of the agroforestry system to improve people’s livelihoods and deliver the outcomes of biodiversity conservation. This research analyses a case study of two Village Development Committees, viz Mahadevsthan and Mithinkot, in Kavrepalanchok district in Nepal. The mixed method approach was employed to collect data. The results indicate that the agroforestry system has changed considerably over time. As a result, the number of agroforestry species has increased in private lands. A total of 145 different species were recorded, of which 56 species were medicinal plants, followed by fodder trees, grasses and fruit trees. The study further found that species richness has increased, mostly in upland terraces. This resulted in increased livelihood benefits to local people. Production of goat meat and buffalo milk has increased considerably. The high economic benefits are mainly associated with the introduction of various fodder trees and grasses in private farmlands. It is concluded that the various drivers of the agroforestry system need to be carefully attended so as to improve both positive conservation and livelihood outcomes. Enabling policy and practices are needed to initiate and support farming cooperatives in the commercialization of agroforestry products and market the conservation values in a changing climate.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2014 ForestAction Nepal Accessing Water Resources: A Case Study of Ways to Improve Access of Marginalized Communities to Underutilized Lakes for Fish Farming in Rukum and Kapilbastu Districts, Nepal 2024-05-10T07:52:44+00:00 Manoj Kaphle Keshab Kumar Dahal <p>This paper aims to examine the possibility of reducing poverty among marginalized communities by improving their access to hitherto underutilized natural lakes. Towards this aim, this paper first analyses the extent and root causes of poverty and food insecurity among the marginalized communities living by the Buddi and Syarpu Lakes in Kapilbastu and Rukum districts respectively. Second, it explores the ways these marginalized communities benefit from the lakes by discussing the practical experiment done to achieve this objective. The paper then demonstrates that fish farming in natural lakes not only introduced an alternative means of livelihood in the study area but also access of marginalized communities to water bodies can significantly reduce poverty and replace the practise of subsistence farming. The findings presented in this paper can be strong evidence of new possibility to increase income, improve food sufficiency level and generate employment opportunities in marginalized communities through an activity which was not perceived before. It recommends that the government should facilitate, with strong policy measures, marginalized communities to operate economic activities using underutilized water resources.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2014 ForestAction System of Rice Intensification (SRI): A Potential Approach to Enhance Rice Productivity and Food Security 2024-05-10T08:14:13+00:00 Khem Raj Dahal <p>Rice is one of the prominent staple cereal crops of Nepal. However, the productivity of rice is low as a result the condition of food security is worsening. Therefore, transformation of conventional rice cultivation practice is an urgent need to address the issue of food security. In this context, System of Rice Intensification (SRI) can be a potential innovative rice farming practice to substantially increase the productivity with less agronomical inputs. SRI is based on three principles: i) Early and quick establishment of healthy plants ii) Reduced plant density: iii) Reduced and controlled water applications. This paper attempts to succinctly review the present situation of SRI in Nepal and its benefits, along with its limitations and criticisms. Several studies have shown that SRI practices have numerous benefits such as increasing productivity; curbing water requirement; reducing the cost of cultivation; offering the crop resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses; improving soil condition; and lowering greenhouse gas emission. However, the practice has some limitations and criticisms, hindering its wider adoptability. Therefore, extensive research and extension programs should be launched to promote SRI among the rice farmers. In addition, government should formulate appropriate policies and regulations to widely establish this system in Nepal.</p> 2024-05-10T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2014 ForestAction