Transcript slides

Environmental Resources And Prospective
Agriculture In Madhesh Region
For Nation Building
Shree Govind Shah
Environment Planning and Policy Analyst
Conference on the Role of NGOs/INGOs in Developing
Madhesh
Organized by Non-Resident Madheshis Association
14-15 November 2011
Kathmandu, Nepal
Presentation

1. Physical Setting
 2. Biological Resources
 3. Land and Human Resources
 4. Water Resources
 5. Environmental Concerns
 6. Climate Change context
 7. Agriculture
 8. Development Partners & INGOs/NGOs
 9. The Way Forward
1. Physical Setting

The correspondence between king Jay Prakash Malla
and Prithivi Narayan Shah in 1757 stated Madhesh
region as resourceful and rich
 Madhesh Region, if denotes Gangetic Plain, is a well
defined ecological region
 In 1963, 20 Tarai districts were restructured
Land Area: 34,100 sq km (23.1% of country’s landmass)
Mid mountain 1,361 sq km (4.0%, up to 2,058 m in Dang)
Siwalik 9,671sq km (28.3%)
Tarai Plain23,068 sq km (67.7%, 61-244 m)
Ecologically heterogeneous districts
Physical Setting- Cont

Tarai districts could be stratified into 4 strata
o
o
o
o
o
Siwalik and mid mountain
East-West Highway Section
Middle part of a district
Southern part adjoining the Indian border
There is variation on physical features, biological
resources, water resources, ethnicity composition,
accessibility, socio-economic infrastructures and
facilities, transport and marketing, drainage etc
o The 1st strata is ecologically sensitive and vulnerable
o The 4th strata is vulnerable to inundation; increasing water
logging condition due to the construction of elevated EastWest Highways, embankment, dykes, barrage etc – e.g.
Mahalisagar, Marchawar embankments, Baigania Road Bund,
Lotan-Rasiawal-Khurd Bund, Laxmanpur Barrage etc
Administrative Map of Nepal
Satellite map of Nepal - physical
Physiographic regions
TARAI DISTRICTS
Districts
Nawal Parasi
Dang
Chitwan
Banke
Bardia
Kailali
Parsa
Saptari
Siraha
Dhanusha
Morang
Kapilbast u
Mahotari
Rupandehi
Sarlahi
Bara
Kanchanpur
Sunsari
Rauthat
Mountain/Siwalik Madheshi Population (2001)
77.5 %
42.3 %
65.2%
33.4 %
51.5 %
15.3 %
51.8 %
61.3 %
31.2 %
61.3 %
40.6 %
43.2 %
34.9%
87.7 %
23.3 %
93.5 %
22.6 %
89.8 %
26.1 %
91.0 %
19.2 %
47.5 %
16.2 %
62.4 %
15.8 %
87.2 %
15.1 %
58.7 %
13.9 %
77.5 %
13.5 %
84.0 %
11.9 %
31.7 %
8.9 %
58.7 %
7.5 %
88.4 %
2. Biological Resources

Much of the Madhesh Region were forested with intact
wildlife habitat till the 1st quarter of 20th century
 Deforestation and wildlife habitat loss initiated and
increased on large scale:
o Intensified forest logging and clear felling from late 19th
century to 1940s for timber supply to India
o Large-scale population shift from hills and mountains in
1950s-1970s, voluntarily and non-voluntarily, destroyed much
of the forests
o Tarai districts lost 25% of its forests compared to 4% in hills
between 1964 and 1978; lost 99,400 ha between 1978 and 1990
o Charkoshe Jhadi in Madhesh virtually disappeared
Biological Resources - Cont

In 1990, forest area in Tarai districts 1.41 M ha
o Protected area covered 316,000 ha (22.5%)
o Buffer Zone of PA 207,900 ha (14.8%)
o Government of community managed forests covered 881,700
ha (62.7%)
The 2010 estimates indicate 652,400 ha forests in Tarai
districts of which about 322,100 ha is in Madhesh plain
o There appears to be a strong correlation between
political change/unrest/bad governance and deforestation
o Quality of government managed forests in terms of
timber and useful products is very poor
o
Biological Resources - Cont

Accessibility of forests to local community in strata III
& IV is negligible or practically non-existent
 Protected areas cover riverine floodplains, Siwaliks
with tropical vegetation and savannah grasslands; a
good habitat for ungulates, rhino, Bengal tiger, crocs,
birds and other herpetofauna; good biodiversity; but
urgently requires vegetation enhancement
Forest degradation brings about a chain of
environmental negatives in agriculture in hills as
well as in Tarai
3. Land and Human Resources
o Tarai districts cover 23.1% (34,100 sq km) of
country’s landmass of which about 68% is plain area
o 51.5% (1.41 M ha) of country’s net cultivated land
(2.64 M ha) lies in Tarai districts
o 45.1% of country’s net cultivated land is in Madhesh plain
area
o In 1971, 36.7% of country’s population lived in Tarai
districts which increased to 48.4% in 2001; the
current estimate in 2011 is 50.2%
o Population density increased from 124.4 persons/sq
km in 1971 to 392 persons/sq km in 2011
Increasing pressure on land, forest and water
reduces ecosystem services and affects average
agriculture productivity and production
Table 1 Area and population in Tarai districts
Tarai districts
(plain, hills)
Plain Area
Landmass (M ha)
3.41
2.31
14.75
23.1
Net cultivated land
(M ha)
1.36
1.19*
2.64
51.5
Population (M)
1952/54
2.39
2.25**
8.26
28.9
1981
6.56
3.76**
15.02
43.7
1991
8.71
5.26**
18.49
47.1
2001
11.21
7.09**
23.15
48.4
2011
13.36
NA
26.62
50.2
* Estimated; ** Madheshi population
Nepal
Tarai
% of Nepal
4. Water Resource
Tarai districts
Nepal
Net cultivated land (M ha)
1.360
2.641
Irrigable land (M ha)
1.337
1.766
Irrigation infrastructure (000 ha)
1997
830*
1,041**
2001/02
895#
1,115#
2007/08
976#
1,209#
•*643,300 ha surface irrigation and 186,500 ha groundwater irrigation
•**853,100 ha surface irrigation and 187,500 ha groundwater irrigation
• # The increment from 1997 includes rehabilitation of old irrigation systems
and some additional irrigation area. Department of Irrigation has not given
separate data.
Water Resources - Cont
Irrigation Infrastructure in Tarai districts
o Irrigation infrastructures developed till 2008 have the
command area of 970,350 ha (72% of irrigable land)
during wet season
o Between 1997 and 2008, annually about 12,000 ha old
irrigation facilities were rehabilitated and some new
facilities were developed
o In the last 15 years, no major new irrigation projects
have been implemented; NPC had the target of
developing 249,400 ha irrigation facility in the country
during the 9th Plan (1997-2002) and the achievement was
only 42.6%, which also included rehabilitation of old
irrigation systems.
Water Resources - Cont
Most of the surface irrigation facilities use
southern rivers originating in mid mountains and
Siwaliks which have negligible discharge between
November and mid June
o Irrigation projects on snow-fed rivers (Koshi,
Narayani and Mahakali) cover 111,000 ha, but
they are not fully operational
o
o The planned net area of five large projects (Sunsari-
Morang, Western Koshi, Narayani, Kamala and
Bagmati) was 199,400 ha while the area irrigated was
108,400 in wet season and 44, 775 ha in winter season
in 1997. It is in bad shape now requiring major
maintenance and rehabilitation
o
A large number of irrigation systems now require
rehabilitation; budget allocation is negligible
Water Resources - Cont
Irrigation Efficiency
 The national Policies and Plans state government
commitment to farmer controlled year round irrigation
for enhanced agriculture production???
 However, almost all surface water irrigation facilities
are designed to provide supplementary irrigation for the
main crop in monsoon
 In 2000, surface irrigation system provided irrigation to
78% of its command area in monsoon, 28% in winter
and less than 2% in spring
o
Water Resources - Cont

Groundwater irrigation started in mid 1970s with the
grant assistance of USAID, World Bank, UNDP and
JICA. ADBN and IDE were involved in shallow tube
wells and treadle pumps; subsidy was provided
o Groundwater facilities developed by 2000 had a command
area of 220,750 ha of which 82.4% was shallow tube well
and 17.6% deep tube well
o Groundwater irrigation system provides irrigation to 60% of
its command area in wet season, 63% in winter and 22% in
spring
Water Resources - Cont
Groundwater Potential in Madhesh Region
o An estimated 10,500 million cubic meter of
groundwater recharge is spread over Tarai region
o The potential command area of 1.53 M ha shallow tube
well and 0.35 M ha deep tube well
o On safe side groundwater could provide irrigation to 0.941.32 M ha; the total net cultivated land is 1.34 M ha
Sustainability of the irrigation system has been a big
challenge. Most of the surface irrigation systems need
rehabilitation. Increasing sediment load on arable land
through irrigation canals is a big environmental
problem. Salinity problem might emerge in
groundwater irrigation system – Deep Tube Well
5. Environment Concerns
The weakening condition of agricultural resource base
(land, water, forest, manpower) and shifting/changing
climatic attributes (temperature, precipitation) adversely
affect farming operation and farm production.
o Degradation of farmland is occurring in Tarai plains
mostly due to:
o Unsuitable crop farming on slopes in Siwaliks and mid
mountain
o Declining soil fertility; reduction in soil organic matter and
decline in biomass carbon
o Intensive farming causing nutrient depletion; excessive and
unwise application of agrochemicals destroy soil microorganism resulting loss of soil fertility
Environment Concerns -Cont
Water related Concerns
o
o
o
o
o
Flooding, river shifting, riverbank cutting, water
logging, formation of river damaged area
The bed level of rivers in Tarai is rising 35-45 cm
annually
LRMP in 1986 estimated rivers damaging more than
40,000 ha agricultural land in Nepal
The conservative estimate of the area affected by flood
in Tarai plain is 8,900 sq km (26% of total area)
Water logging in strata IV and other areas during
monsoon is estimated to be 290 sq km
6. Climate Change Context
Climate change and agriculture are inter-related process,
affecting each other, if unwisely managed
o The major climatic concerns are
o Higher temperature increments in late winter and early spring;
o
o
o
o
o
Sharply increasing temperatures in spring; hot waves in late
spring and summer
Heavy sky overcast and drooping temperatures in winter;
dense fog; intense cold waves
Shift in precipitation pattern by about 3-4 weeks; traditional
rainfalls of mid June to mid July have been shifted to mid
July and mid August. Affect paddy cultivation
Increase in rainfall intensity; erratic rainfall pattern; decrease
in winter rainfall; Decreased water availability
Extreme events of draught and floods
New or changed insect pest evidence
Climate Change Context -Cont
o
Climate change vulnerability is high to very high in Saptari,
Siraha, Mahotari, Dhanusha, Parsa and Chitwan
o
Affects agriculture
o Increasing temperature and moisture stress affect wheat and
similar crop; low quality grain, low yield
o Dense fog, cold waves, heavy overcast damage winter
vegetable crops, pulses and oil seeds; estimated crop loss of
28-38% annually in 1987-1997
o Decreased water availability at early stage and flooding in late
stage affects paddy cultivation; land left fallow due to
moisture deficit
o Increased CO2 concentration would reduce water use and
plant uptake of nitrogen
High risks to food security, livelihoods and social
development
7. Agriculture
o
Historically, Madhesh region was considered as ‘bread
basket’ for the country, exporting food grains and other
farm products till the late 1970s.
o Since early 1980s, Nepal including Tarai districts became a
consistent net importer of cereals
o Nepal consistently import cereals, vegetables, fruits, milk
products and meat, that imbalances and burdens national
economy; overall food trade deficit reached 31% in 2007
o Tarai districts were self sufficient in cereal grain production
till the early 2000s; since 2007 seven districts (35% of total)
Sunsari, Saptari, Siraha, Dhanusha, Mahotari, Sarlahi and
Rauthat are listed as food deficit districts; 15 districts in hills
and mountains (27.3% of total) are food deficit
Agriculture - Cont
The agriculture sector in Nepal: constitute more than 34%
of GDP and employ nearly 75% of Nepal’s labour force
o Paddy and wheat are mainly produced in the Tarai
districts, with area shares of 71% and 58% respectively,
and production shares of 74% and 71% respectively.
o
o Production growth rates of both paddy and wheat show a
significant decline in the period 2000/01–2008/09 compared to
the 1990s
o The productivity level of cereals is low, and growth has been
sluggish; paddy 3.0mt/ha, wheat 2.4mt/ha; maize 2.3mt/ha
o The supply of improved seeds, irrigation, fertiliser and other
inputs is very low
Agriculture - Cont
o Public expenditure on agriculture has gradually declined since
o
o
o
o
1990 when the government implemented liberal economic
system in the country
In 1995/96 government discontinued subsidies in fertilizers
and irrigation (particularly in deep tube well and shallow tube
well) as of the condition laid down by the Second Agriculture
Program Loan (SAPL), ADB
Erratic subsidy policy, not matching with bordering India;
high cost of cultivation encourages import
Cultivable land has even been declining in the face of
booming urbanization, and industrial establishment
Unscientific land reform policy and land fragmentation
discourages inputs application and mechanization
Agriculture - Cont

Human and animal labour is the dominant source of
farm power; a large majority of farm households
lacking even basic modern farm implements
o In 2001, 26% farm households used iron plough, 8.2% used
tractors, 7.5% used a thresher, and 6.3% used a pumping set
in Nepal. Most of these are used in Tarai
o Farm operations (planting, weeding, harvesting etc) are done
by labour; labour shortage due to outmigration
o Educated people avoid farming and adopt other profession
o
Lack of rural electrification and power supply constrain
use of on-farm and off-farm agricultural equipment such as
electrical pumps, modern threshers, milling plants, and so
on.
8. Development Partners & INGOs/NGOs

Development Partners and Bilateral
o World Bank, ADB, UNDP, USAID, UNCDF, India and Saudi
have been involved in irrigation development
o USAID, FAO, World Bank, ADB and JICA are involved in
agriculture development
o ADB and World Bank assisted agriculture commercialization
projects mostly cover hill districts; very few Tarai districts
o
INGOs
o International Development Enterprises/Nepal (IDE/Nepal) has
been involved in Treadle pumps and low-cost drip irrigation
o The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), The
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
(CIMMYT) are involved in agriculture research
Development Partners &.. - Cont

NGOs/CBOs
o There are very few NGOs/CBOs involved in
irrigation, agriculture, environment, climate change
and forestry sector; scant information is available
o Most of them work in social sector, governance
system and human rights, health/sanitation and
drinking water sector
9. The Way Forward
Tarai districts have comparative advantage in cereals,
oilseeds, pulses, sugarcane, tropical fruits, vegetables, and
pond fisheries.
o Tarai districts share 74% paddy, 71% wheat,74% pulses,76%
oil seeds, 99% sugarcane, 57% vegetables, 72% tropical fruits,
39% milk and 42% meat production in the country
o Without substantially developing agriculture in Tarai, Nepal
can not solve food security problem and overcome food trade
deficit in the country
o
There is an urgent need to develop, approve and sensibly
implement appropriate policies, strategies and action plans
in agriculture sector
o Mainstream current national development policies and
programmes (GON + Donor assisted) in Tarai districts
The Way Forward -Cont

Irrigation
o Rehabilitation and expansion of FMIS focusing
o
o
o
o
improvement in head-water infrastructures and
revitalizing AMIS canal system
Construction of small to large surface irrigation projects
Implementation of river basin transfer and multipurpose
storage projects for increasing water availability in
winter and spring
Maximize groundwater development in the private
sector with the provision of subsidy, power supply and
physical & biological enhancement in Siwaliks
Irrigation and agriculture agencies should work together
for managing irrigation water and its efficiency
The Way Forward -Cont
o
Agriculture
o
Develop and implement appropriate policy for land
consolidation and increasing farm size for input application
and mechanization
o Robust cereal production programme: substantial yield
improvement through irrigation and other farm inputs
o Identify best cash crop including vegetables opportunities for
private and public sector investment
o Support market-led cash crop and vegetable development
adopting value-chain approach
o Encourage educated and trained persons in agriculture sector
with financial support; Promote commercial farming and
expand agriculture commercialization programme in Tarai
The Way Forward -Cont
o Provision of technical assistance to improved seed producers
o
o
o
o
o
with subsidy
Promote agro-processing industries at local level with
incentives and subsidy
Encourage agro-based industries with incentives
Promote high value tropical fruit cultivation on commercial
basis which could also be linked to environmental programme
Develop local level milk collection, chilling, storage and
semi-processing facilities in Strata III and IV areas with
technical assistance and incentives
Upgrade and develop wholesale agriculture market
infrastructures
The Way Forward -Cont
o
Invest on age-old Hulaki Sadak to increase all-the-yearround connectivity from east to west in Strata III and IV
areas.
Establishment of fertilizer factory

Environment and Climate Change
o
– Develop and implement land rehabilitation, riverbank
erosion control, embankment and soil fertility enhancement
programme – a long-term programme requiring appropriate
participatory planning and a large investment
– Revisit GON /Development partners/INGOs climate change
adaptation framework and programme; develop appropriate
activities for implementation; including research and
extension on crop species adapted to moisture stress,
temperature stress and floods.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH
FOR YOUR TIME