FILM: ‘Farmers of the Future’ – New film shows Nepal’s women farmers leading on climate-smart agriculture
CDKN has released the latest of its series of CDKN Shorts films, which celebrate climate compatible development leadership in developing countries. The films – all ten minutes or less – show how low-carbon, climate-resilient approaches to development improve (and save) lives and livelihoods. They share lessons to inspire others. Other films in the series include Plan CC – Tackling climate change in Peru and Cities Footprint Project – Urban impact.
“It rains without any pattern. Either it rains or it’s completely dry, which causes drought. Earlier we survived on whatever we grew in our village. Now the children insist on studying in the cities. Men have to migrate to cities and other countries,” said Indira Kumari Gurung, a Nepali farmer.
Ms Gurung voices the viewpoint of many women farmers left to toil in the fields and deal with the impacts of climate change, while trying to secure food for the family’s use and for taking to market. According to a new CDKN-commissioned film by TERI, entitled ‘Farmers of the Future’, 300 women farmers from the high mountains, mid hills and Terai plains of Nepal are now being mentored in climate-smart agriculture thanks to the CDKN-supported project.
“Climate-smart agriculture is really important for Nepal because it helps us to reconcile the two goals: food security and adaptation to climate change,” said Bikash Paudel, the project manager at LI-BIRD.
The project sought to close the ‘adaptation deficit’ created by climate change impacts such as higher temperatures and erratic rainfall. It has improved Nepali women’s knowledge of techniques such as rainwater collection to help them become more climate-resilient. New drip irrigation systems have cut water use by 30 percent, helping to conserve precious water. Solar-powered pumps have revitalised irrigation systems and made fields far more productive, while also doing away with the need for polluting diesel pumps. The introduction of biofertilisers and bio-pest control has increased the yields, in some fields, by 15 to 20 percent.
In the mid-altitude hills of Nepal, where hailstones have a tendency to ruin crops, the project has helped women farmers construct simple plastic tunnels to protect their crops.
The project has also fostered a new group of female entrepreneurs. Among other tools, it has introduced an SMS messaging service to help women sell their farm produce in local markets.
If you enjoy this film, please also read our ‘Inside Story on Climate Compatible Development’ which describes the projects accomplishments, including how it has nurtured uptake of more sustainable behaviours among diverse social groups. The story explores the lessons that other climate-smart agriculture projects could adopt from this Nepali experience.