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Adopting a Climate Smart Approach in Home Gardens

Updated: May 16, 2021

“I used to walk 45 minutes down to fetch drinking water. It was impossible to grow any vegetable with the water we carried up spending up to 1.5 hours. We are six members in a family and utilized almost three buckets a day. Growing vegetables in this dry village was impossible during dry season. And in the rainy season we could grow just a few plants of squash, bottle gourd etc. With the use of wastewater, we are now growing vegetables up to nine months per year and using our own urine for fertilisation,” says Mr Tirbire Sarki from Nayabasti, Bajhang.

“Nowadays my whole family will focus on preserving even a single drop of water. We have wastewater collection ponds on each yard. We have chili, cauliflower, eggplant, and many other varieties growing up in the garden. Drinking water is coming soon in the village and we do hope that we will have drastic change in our lives,” states Mrs Nannu Giri from Matela, Bajhang.

“Our neighbours called us foolish and laughed at me seeing me collecting my own urine. But after a couple of weeks, they asked about our healthy chilli plants,” laughs Mr Ser Bahadur Khadka from Thalara, Bahjang. “Now we have competition of using human urine in the home garden in the whole community”.

RVWRMP has been supporting rural communities which are practicing subsistence based and rain fed agriculture with low productivity and have only small landholdings or lack of access to modern farming technologies and skills. These communities are also often unfamiliar about the impact of climate change, adaptation, and mitigation strategies.

The project pays much attention on climate change related issues by building knowledge on basic climate aspects, and adaptation and mitigation strategies for home gardens. The home garden trainings train farmers on climate smart crops and technologies. To make the farmers adoptive, it has been focusing more on vegetables like potato, colocassia, cowpea, pigeon pea and mushroom cultivation. It gives training on vegetable production in plastic house and on different technologies and methods such as intercropping, nutrient management, mulching, drip and pond irrigation, use of human and animal urine for fertilisation, waste and overflow water use, water conservation, multipurpose nurseries, and tree plantation. Most importantly the project promotes multi-use systems of water.

The project gives trainings to farmers, with 20-30 people (at least 50% female) in each group. They are also taught on climate change impact mitigation strategies like crop rotation and diversification, integrated pest management, liquid manure/pesticides, development of conservation and fodder plants, and improved home gardening systems and productive use of water. In addition to these, the project promotes points of service promotions like cooperatives, agrovets, collection centres and marketing together with government line agencies.

Early results show that the approach has improved food security and nutrition status among resource poor farmers, and it has lessened dependency on external input by productive use of locally available resources and knowledge management on climate aspects.

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