The government investment to help farmers adapting with the impacts of climate change is bearing fruits, recent studies have reported.
Such investment has positive impact on the income level of the climate change vulnerable farmers, concluded the study jointly conducted by the Ministry of Agricultural Development, National Disaster Risk Reduction Center(NDRC), Freedom Forum and UNDP.
Two study reports – “Collaborative Research on Impact of Climate Change Finance on the Climate vulnerable poor population” and “Public Expenditure Tracking Survey of Cooperative Farming, Small Irrigation and Transportation of Seeds and fertilizers” – have shown that climate related programmes launched in agricultural sector increased income of farmers and helped them improve soil quality and manage water sources.
The collaborative research reviewed outcome of climate related government expenditure on the agriculture sector and compared their socio-economic benefits among farmers in Bardiya and Myagdi districts.
According to the report, with the increase in climate finance investment, household incomes increased by 20 percent especially among the poorest, while some farmers reported five-fold increase in income over a three-year period.
Farmers also started crop diversification which improved food security and livelihood options for farmers.
“Undertaking research that helps to improve policies and improve investment decisions is one way to better understand what investments have worked, and where improvements are needed,” said Kewal Prasad Bhandari, joint secretary at Ministry of Finance, during the report launch in the Capital on Sunday.
Madhu Sudan Gautam of NDRC said it was essential to measure the impact of investment done in agricultural sector, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of total employment and contributes nearly one-third of Nepal’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Another report, “Public Expenditure Tracking Survey (PETs),” carried out by Freedom Forum revealed that the government-funded climate related small irrigation projects in Bardiya and Udayapur sowed an excellent delivery record, which went above 90 percent in the surveyed districts.
Public Expenditure Survey was conducted to improve climate finance transparency by monitoring climate finance from its source directly to recipients in Nepal, claimed researchers.
“The public expenditure tracking survey is critical in determining how much of what the government intends to allocate to groups and projects actually gets there,” said Krishna Sapkota of Freedom Forum, adding, “This is an important tool to hold concerned bodies to account. Without studies like the PETS, poor, vulnerable and marginalised people are unable to verify whether funds are misused.”