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Achieving the sustainable development goals of the United Nations requires innovations in agriculture and development of climate-smart and economically feasible approaches for smallholder farmers in developing countries. Historical climate data of Nepal, which include 116 yr since 1901, has shown an increasing trend for average temperature by 0.016 ˚C yr–1 whereas precipitation has shown a decreasing trend by 0.137 mm yr–1. Such weather trends could enhance glacier melt associated flooding, and delayed monsoon rainfalls negatively impacting the agricultural production. The Nepalese government is promoting conservation agriculture (CA) through development of low-cost technologies that can be used effectively in difficult terrains. Such techniques include crop diversification, crop rotation, cover crops, and minimum tillage; all of which can reduce soil degradation. In addition, increasing crop residue retention can result in greater C sequestration and crop yield and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. However, there is still lack of consensus on the merits of CA in the context of smallholder farming systems in Nepal. This paper reviews existing literature and provides an overview of farming practices in Nepal, highlights near-term challenges associated with climate change and food security, and discusses the role of CA as a climate-smart strategy to minimize soil degradation and improve food security.

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Agronomy Journal

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Wiley on behalf of the American Society of Agronomy


Copyright © 2021 The Authors.