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Tearfund highlights farming crises in Nepal

30 September 2022

TEARFUND

Jaman works on his land in Nepal

Jaman works on his land in Nepal

FAMILIES are being forced off land farmed by their ancestors for generations owing to the climate crisis in Nepal, the Christian charity Tearfund says.

Lack of rain has destroyed the living of the country’s subsistence farmers, and many have been forced to give up their land and move to cities to try to find work to provide an income for their families.

Almost 80 per cent of Nepal’s population live in rural areas, but many men have had to leave their families to try to earn money elsewhere.

Tearfund is appealing for support this harvest season for farmers in Nepal to help them to adapt to changing farming conditions. It seeks to provide training on how to protect crops from the increasing numbers of insects.

Ruth Tormey, from Tearfund, said: “Communities are being pushed into extreme poverty because of climate change. However, with funds from Tearfund supporters, we can help more families adapt and grow despite their circumstances. They can have hope that they will be able to adapt to the changing climate and provide enough food for themselves.”

She referred to the case of Jaman, a farmer from mid-western Nepal, whose family had survived for generations by raising buffalo. But as the drought worsened, and his livestock died, he struggled to feed his family. He tried to move into planting vegetables instead, but the crops withered from the drought.

He said: “I became destitute, poor. . . amidst that I felt lost. I found no way forward.” But Tearfund came to his village and offered training for farmers on what to plant to cope with the changing weather.

Jaman said: “I learned new skills: what vegetables to plant in the winter and the rainy season; how many days to sprout the seeds, and how long they should be covered.”

Nepal is highly vulnerable to climate change, with drought, flash floods and landslides reported in recent years. It is estimated that, because of climate change, it faces losing 2.2 per cent of its annual GDP by 2050.

Tearfund works with local partners in Nepal to explore new market opportunities and train people to farm sustainably to create greater food security.

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