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Bishwakarma B.K.,Sustainable Soil Management Programme | Dahal N.R.,Kathmandu University | Allen R.,Sustainable Soil Management Programme | Rajbhandari N.P.,Sustainable Soil Management Programme | And 4 more authors.
Climate and Development | Year: 2014

Simple and widely adopted sustainable soil management (SSM) practices, especially improvements in the management and quality of farmyard manure (FYM), have enabled many thousands of small-scale farmers in the Middle Hills of Nepal to increase organic matter in their soils. This has been achieved without increases in livestock numbers or in the quantity of manure available. The organic matter contents have increased in all of five time series of on-farm topsoil monitoring over periods of one to three years, at rates varying from 2% to 27%. Overall, the increase from 3.3% organic matter to almost 3.8% was highly significant. Systematic full-profile comparisons of forest soils against arable soils with and without SSM showed that the benefits are not confined to the topsoils, and that there were some lesser increases in the subsoils. Sustainable land management and improved FYM quality significantly improved total nitrogen levels. The effects on available P and K were inconsistent and only occasionally significant, with some indication of K decline in topsoils. The enhanced organic matter status of the soils was also reported to improve structure, workability, and moisture characteristics. The increase in soil organic matter can partially offset some of the substantial losses of carbon storage incurred when the forests were originally cleared, and contributes to the sequestration of atmospheric CO2. © 2014 Taylor & Francis

Biggs E.M.,University of Southampton | Tompkins E.L.,University of Southampton | Allen J.,University of Southampton | Moon C.,University of Southampton | Allen R.,Sustainable Soil Management Programme
Climate and Development | Year: 2013

This paper provides empirical evidence of agricultural adaptation strategies being adopted in the Mid-Hills regions of Nepal in response to climate change. Farmers were interviewed across four districts and climate change observations were reported, most notably those of increased temperatures and unpredictable precipitation. Agricultural adaptation strategies adopted in response to climate change were varied, with agroforestry and organic farming being the most popular practices. Most adaptation strategies were thought to be development-facing actions to reduce vulnerability, rather than specifically addressing climate change. From this research it is evident that indigenous knowledge, financial support and increased accessibility all play a pivotal role for successful climate change adaptation in the Mid-Hills. This case study provides valuable evidence-based research of autonomous adaptation techniques in a highly climate-vulnerable location of Nepal. Recommendations are made for donors to learn from best-practice and adopt local knowledge when investing in climate change adaptation strategies to most effectively reduce the vulnerability of some of the world's poorest communities. © 2013 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

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