Rainwater Harvesting and Rural Livelihoods in Nepal ,Working Paper No. 102-15

Working Papers » Rainwater Harvesting and Rural Livelihoods in Nepal

By : Rishi Ram Kattel

In this paper we examine the adoption of rainwater harvesting (RWH), a technology that has relatively recently been introduced to farmers in Nepal. Using data from 282 farmers in four districts, the study employs a treatment-effects model to identify factors that influence the adoption of RWH and the impact of adoption on farm income. We find that the adoption of rain water harvesting is mostly driven by farmer training. Further, adoption of this technology more than doubles household
agricultural and livestock income. With incremental annual benefits of NRs. 69,456 (USD 700), this technology is viable from a household perspective. Adopters benefit from an increased supply of irrigation water, which allows them to diversify their crops from cereal production to high-value vegetable crops. Our analyses suggests that if 10 percent of households (7000 households) in an average rainfed district receive
farmer training, the net benefits from training in the district would be approximately NRs. 134,907,710 (USD 1.3 million) per year from adoption of RWH technology. Given the many weather-related uncertainties faced by rainfed farmers in Nepal, rain water harvesting is potentially a very useful climate adaptation strategy.

Keywords :Rainwater harvesting, Rainfed agriculture, Technology adoption, Nepal

JEL Classification :C31, C36, D61, O13, Q16

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