Agriculture intensification in Nepal : changes in socio-economic conditions and intensification indicators in Anshi Khola watershed
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This study deals with the changes in socio-economic conditions, intensification indicators and its impact on the agricultural income of farmers in a decade time in Ansikhola watershed of Nepal. Both quantitative and qualitative methods have been used for examining these changes. This study takes the reference of wealth categories of households (A, B and C) before ten years to compare it with the two-different present socio-economic categories (A, B and C) based on the Net Yearly Agricultural Income (NYAI) and status of socio-economic indicators at the current situation. The study has shown that middle-income families have been largely increased in the watershed. Though intensification is viable mainly to category A households, major benefiters are the C category households. They are benefitting mainly because of getting engaged in wage labor, using lesser inputs and having relatively very lower agricultural expenses than category B and A households. Though, male-headed households specifically cultivating paddy and two vegetables had higher agricultural income, but the substantial dropping of category A households suggested that this increased income has not been enough for them to remain in the former socio-economic standard. The study recognizes that decreased manpower, increased agricultural inputs use and subsequent costs, water scarcity, unfair urban markets and excessive reliance on chemical fertilizers are limiting the benefits of agricultural intensification in the watershed. Hence, it recommends for the need of necessary policy and institutional reforms for enhancing the benefits of intensification in the watershed.