Effect of Climate Change on Horticultural Crops

I.R. Pandey1*, S.Karki2, A.K. Acharya3, S. Dhimal4

1President at Nepal Horticulture Society
2Joint Secretary, MoALD, Government of Nepal
2MoAD, Government of Nepal
4Horticulture Development Officer, MoALD, Government of Nepal
Corresponding email: pandeyindraraj1947@gmail.com


Nepalese horticulture is at risk of changing climate as Nepal ranks the 14th most vulnerable country to the climate change in the world. Higher dependency on weather, fluctuating temperature ranges, changing rainfall pattern, increasing disease pest infestation, changing flowering and fruiting seasons of different fruit crops, drying up of water resources etc. are already being experienced by farmers. Alteration in temperature and precipitation has direct impacts on crop yield, food, and nutrition security. International Panel for climate Change (IPCC) states that smallholder and subsistence farmers in developing countries have been affected the most from climate change impacts. This holds true for traditional farmers with small landholding and limited adaptive capacity. The impacts of climate change on the small landholder are localized and differ as per the region and specific climatic zone. Besides the physical factor, the social factor also contributes to farmer's vulnerability. When it comes to climate change related issues, the high dependence of small farmers on monsoon has increased their vulnerability to rainfall variation. The higher surface temperatures have led to the emergence of new weeds and pests posing new challenges to the entire farming system by increasing farm expenses and pollutants. Climate change is a big threat in producing quality and quantity fresh vegetables, vegetable seeds, fruits, cereal crops, and legumes as per the cropping calendar. The decrease in winter rainfall is causing prolonged drought between the months of October to May hindering the production of seasonal horticultural crops. The early flowering of especially the forest species as Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.), Palash (Butea monosperma), Simal (Bombax mori) etc. are the proxy indicators of climate change. The temperate fruit plantation has shifted up from normal altitude. Nevertheless, farmers are gradually adopting alternative practices to cope with the abnormal climatic condition. They grow short duration summer crops so that harvesting can be done in October or early November and immediately sow winter crops while the soil still has the monsoon moisture. Farmers are also harvesting monsoon rainfall and using water-saving technologies such as drip irrigation. Documentation of these local knowledge and adaptation practices has been felt necessary to benefit farmers, develop climate-related policies, adopt climate resilient agriculture technologies and fight against climate change collectively. Campaign plantation of horticultural crops like fruits, plantation crops, ornamental plants and spices in degraded forest, abandoned marginal lands, road corridors and terraces of hills will avail mitigate climate change vulnerability and also prevent further environmental degradation.  

Keywords: Climate change, fruits, dormancy, mitigates, vegetables, vulnerability.

Published Year

Proceeding Volume 10