Supporting smallholder farmers to better combat drought
- Impact Area
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United States of America
Researchers from the Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) project have been exploring the drivers of smallholder farmers’ underuse of groundwater wells to combat in-season drought during the monsoon rice season in Nepal’s breadbasket — the Terai region.
Their study, published in Water International, finds that several barriers inhibit full use of groundwater irrigation infrastructure.
Inconsistent rainfall has repeatedly damaged paddy crops in Nepal over the last years, even though most agricultural lands are equipped with groundwater wells. This has contributed to missed national policy targets of food self-sufficiency and slow growth in cereal productivity.