Explore historical and projected climate data, climate data by sector, impacts, key vulnerabilities and what adaptation measures are being taken. Explore the overview for a general context of how climate change is affecting Nepal.

Impacts Agriculture

Agriculture provides much needed sustenance to the country’s predominantly rural population, and climate changes are projected to have significant impacts on these farming systems. Reduced water availability during dry periods could exacerbate agricultural water needs, as an estimated 64% of the country’s farmers rely on water from rains of the monsoons. Planting and harvesting seasons have been slowly changing in Nepal, due to the shifting monsoon, and these shifts are likely to become more erratic under a changing climate. Crop yields of major cereals in Nepal are projected to decrease substantially. Over 80% of Nepal’s managed water is used for irrigation and 38% of the country’s agricultural land is irrigated. Even high-input, irrigated wheat, maize, and sorghum yields show significant decreases in northwest Nepal under a changing climate in the 2020's, -51.24%, -30.7%, and -25.93%, respectively. Projected rainfall decreases during the winter could impact winter and spring yields, while projected temperature increases are likely to reduce maize and wheat yields. Natural disasters, such as floods and droughts, have the potential to reduce yields or destroy crops altogether. In 2006/7 alone, grain storage in the country fell to critical levels due to floods. In some cases these impacts are immediate, but can also wreak havoc on the longer term by increasing topsoil erosion. Some estimates suggest a loss of 1.7 mm of productive soil annually, reducing the available productive agricultural land. This, in turn, aggravates issues of food security, including malnutrition, which increases people’s vulnerability. Moreover, heat stress and projected increased intensity of the dry season could adversely affect crop production in Nepal. Increased sediment loads, such as those witnessed in the Jegedi watershed region in the Chitwan district, are also beginning to alter the course of rivers, and the resulting poorer water quality has increased the incidence of liver diseases in cattle.

This section provides insights into the climate change impacts on agricultural productivity indicators and the trends in agriculture related socio-economic indicators.

% change of crop yield projections
< -60% > 80%
« Click on the map to view site-specific crop data.