Agriculture is a major economic driver in the country of Nepal. Approximately 75% of the country’s employment and 25% of its gross domestic product comes from the agriculture sector. Farming is also vulnerable to extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, erosion, and hot and cold waves that are becoming more common with climate change. Adding to the country’s challenges, Nepal has recently undergone a political transition that resulted in men leaving rural regions for increased economic opportunity in cities. Women, the elderly, and lower-caste groups have taken on increased responsibilities and ownership of farms. This has made intervention programs more difficult because these groups often do not have access to information on best practices of farming and are discriminated against.
To reduce the vulnerability of the agricultural sector to climate change and inequality climate-smart agriculture programs were created. Climate-smart agriculture consists of three dimensions to support sustainable agriculture: economic social, and environmental. The ongoing Nepal program has been successful in meeting its program goals. Program participants have identified best-practices and lessons learned that enabled the project’s success. These lessons learned include:
The program also was successful in creating sustainable projects among diverse stakeholders that would continue after international funding was no longer available.