Farmers in Nepal are shifting from rice to vegetable cultivation because of lack of water, leaving communities vulnerable to malnutrition

With weather becoming more erratic every year as a result of climate change, Nepali farmers are turning vast areas of rice paddies into small-scale vegetable farming.

In this video story, Saleem Sheikh interviews farmers in Panityanki village in the Kathamandu valley and experts on food security.

Vegetables are more resilient as they can be hand watered in case of drought. Farmers say that with rains that used to come in April now shifting as late as mid-June, vegetables that can be sown at the time the rains finally fall are now a better investment.

But large parts of their fields now remain uncultivated due to lack of water.

The situation raises concern among experts, who warn that a shift from rice to vegetable cultivation may harm food security. They also say that without adequate support from the government farmers’ livelihood could be at risk.

Researchers argue there is now a need for crop insurance schemes, public subsidies and improved early-warning systems to forecast extreme weather.

This video story was first published on SciDev.net

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