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1. Participatory Problem Diagnosis in Nepal: What Matters MostPoverty or Climate Change? D. Layne Coppock1, Nirmala Pandey2 and Dale Davis2 1Dept. Envir. & Society, USU, Logan, UT USA 2Helen Keller Intl., Chakupat, Lalitpur, Nepal 2. 2 Road Map Introduction to the issues Research objectives Study area and research methods Research results Discussion Development Interventions Conclusions 3. 3 Introduction Extensive poverty in far western Nepal Evidence of climate change Challenges of adaptation by the rural poor 4. 4 Research Objectives Identify local pathways to improve human welfare, mitigate poverty, and promote climate change adaptation Combine bottom-up with top-down perspectives to identify priority problems and solutions Clarify extent that poverty or climate change drives priority problems 5. 5 Study Area: Bajura District Intervention VDCs u Budhiganga Atichaur Jugada Dahakot Manakot Pandusain Baddhu Control VDCs 6. 6 Study Area: Sampled VDCs Human population from 4,042 to 6,751 Vulnerability to climate change = high Natural resource base = moderate Food insecurity = moderate Physical isolation = high 7. 7 Research Methods: PRA A bottom-up, community-driven approach that requires delivery on solutions to build trust Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) used to: Better understand the farming systems Rank community problems Identify problems and solutions 8. 8 Research Methods: PRA Toolkit Problem-ranking matrix Historical timelines Labor calendars Institutional analyses Others 9. 9 Research Methods: Special Modifications to PRA Community members grouped in different ways to spur participation Mixed Gender Men Only Women Only Dalits Only 10. 10 Results: Cultivation Subsystem --Crops grown on rain- fed terraces include cereal grains, potatoes.. --Crops grown in sub- irrigated valleys also include cereal grains 11. 11 Results: Animal Subsystems Goats raised for meat and grazed on common land as well as cut and carry A few bovines used for ploughing fields or milk production, and fed via grazing, cut-and-carry 12. 12 Results: Household Subsystem Typical household has husband and wife and 5 to 6 dependents Typical income levels vary: 5,000 to 36,000 Rs per year Most labor devoted to farming; off-site migration is common (18% migrate) 13. 13 Results: PRA Priority Problems Rank Top 7 Problems and Opportunities Jugada Pandusen Dahakot Budhiganga 1 Shortage of drinking water Shortage of drinking water Shortage of drinking water Lack of irrigation facility 2 Health and Sanitation Lack of green vegetables Declining agricultural production Unemployment/ lack of income sources 3 Declining agricultural production Unemployment/ lack of income sources Traditional animal husbandry Declining agricultural production 4 Unemployment/ lack of income sources Declining agricultural production Unemployment/ lack of income sources Shortage of drinking water 5 Education Landslides Education Traditional animal husbandry 6 Traditional animal husbandry Declining Apple production Health and sanitation Poor condition of trails 7 Lack of skills and capacity Traditional animal husbandry Lack of electricity /MHP Lack of trail bridge 14. 14 Results Detail #1: Shortage of Drinking Water Decrepit infrastructure had not been maintained nor kept pace with population growth Negligible water storage tanks Women haul water long distances for home use and livestock consumption 15. 15 Results Detail #2: Declining Crop Yields on the Terraces Perceived declines in grain yields due to erratic, low precipitation Irrigation development infeasible Crop systems founded on traditional seeds and practices 16. 16 Results Detail #3: Need for Off-Farm Employment Outmigration common but undesirable Prefer local employment Skill development options nominated by communities included apiculture, processing of plant and animal products, masonry, carpentry, horticulture 17. 17 Results Detail #4: Need to Generate More On-Farm Income- Commercialize Animal Production Main option is to increase numbers of meat goats Constraints include labor, feeds, market information, inadequate housing 18. 18 Discussion: What Matters Most in Shaping ProblemsPoverty or Climate Change? Problem Poverty? Climate Change? Shortage of Drinking Water YES --- Declines in Crop Yields --- YES Need for Off-Farm Employment YES --- Need to Commercialize Goat Production YES --- 19. 19 Discussion: Lack of Innovation Warming and drying of the climate requires innovation in the types of crops grown and how terraces are managed Out of 320 households surveyed in a parallel study, only a few exhibit any innovative tendencies Why? Most likely due to physical isolation of VDCs from outside world 20. 20 Discussion: Constraints for Problem Solutions Problem Constraints Shortage of Drinking Water High cost of infrastructure Declines in Crop Yields Lack of management innovation; inability to irrigate Need for Off-Farm Employment Lack of local opportunities, including skill development Need to Commercialize Goat Production Can an expanded market be sustained? 21. 21 Development Interventions: Rainwater Catchment Systems Roof rain water harvest solves the problem for animal and human consumption Farmers were happy to construct and provided a 15% cost share as well as unskilled labor and local materials The intervention can last more than 30 years 22. 22 Development Interventions: Terrace Cropping Management Need for drought-tolerant crop varieties Need for new methods for tillage and soil fertility and conservation management to better conserve soil moisture 23. 23 Development Interventions: Off-Farm Employment Training in production of stinging nettle powder Training in nursery production of forage, vegetables, and tree saplings 24. 24 Development Interventions: Livestock Commercialization Improved animal housing to promote health and productivity Training on goat marketing Organizing goat marketing groups 25. 25 Development Interventions: Social Outcomes of Participation Community mobilization following PRA sessions Enhanced savings and credit activity Climate change education spurs action 26. 26 Conclusions High value of the PRA approach, both for research and community empowerment Lessons learned: Contrast of bottom-up versus project-driven philosophy Both poverty and climate change shape priority problems, but poverty is dominant 27. 27 Acknowledgements HKI PRA team (M. Shrestha, A. Basnet, D. Duwal, and others) Community members of the four VDCs Local government authorities Work made possible from support of USAID BEAT, grant no. EEM-A-00-10-00001 28. Any Questions? 28 29. 29