Evaluating Adoption of Climate Resilient Agricultural Practices: Evidence from India and Nepal

This study aims to understand how climate hazards impact the livelihoods of farming communities.


Climate change has adverse implications for crop yield, food supply, market prices and can further aggravate the situation of food insecurity and poverty in South Asian countries; adversely affecting the livelihoods of millions of people in the region (Schmidhuber and Tubiello 2007; Bandra and Chai 2014; Wang et al. 2017, Aryal et al. 2019). Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, and Nepal are particularly vulnerable to declining crop yields due to glacial melting, floods, droughts, and erratic rainfall, among other factors (MoE 2010a; Tiwari et al 2014). Poor farmers with small holdings in India and Nepal are confronted with changing patterns of temperature and precipitation and increased occurrence of extreme weather events like drought and floods (Morton, 2007).  With South Asian countries confronted with increased vulnerability to climate change, there is increasing policy focus the governments of these countries have focused on initiating several climate resilient agricultural practices and policies. 

In this context, it becomes important to examine how climate variability and its related risks affect farmers’ as well as their choices of a portfolio of climate-resilient agricultural practices and the resulting association of these practices on economic outcomes of interest as farm yield, productivity and revenue. It is also interesting to understand how farmers adopt various climate resilient agricultural practices, whether each one is taken up in isolation or in combination with others, the enabling factors as well as the constraints to adoption. Finally, it is important for policymakers and practitioners to understand whether farmers across the border follow similar or different adoption patterns as a result of being exposed to different policies or programs.

The study aims to highlight the role of institutions by attempting to understand how a household’s adaptation pattern is affected by being institutionally in two different regions and hence lead to evidence driven policy dialogues and exchanges across the boundaries.


This study aimed to understand how climate hazards impact the livelihoods of farming communities. It tries to answer if there are any variations in the adaptation of climate –resilient agricultural practices with spatial variations? And if there is an association between the adoption of climate resilient agricultural practice and economic outcomes (like income, yield, revenue etc.)? Researchers  also examined if the farming households across borders, exposed to different policy regimes, respond similarly to Climate Resilient Agricultural practices(CRA). 


A mixed-methods design was adopted for the study. The sample for the quantitative survey consisted of 1003 farmers (501 from India and 502 from Nepal) across a stretch of approximately 25 km of the India-Nepal common border in Shravasti (UP -India ) and Banke  (Nepal) district using spatial sampling. The quantitative surveys covered  farmers with small, medium and large landholdings in Shrawasti, India and Banke, Nepal. Findings from the quantitative survey have been corroborated with responses from IDIs, KIIs and FGDs with residents from villages in the above-mentioned districts along both sides of the border.  

We conducted in person surveys with 503 farmers in Nepal and 502 farmers in India, across a 16 km stretch along the Indo-nepal border and covered a 1km radius. This area was divided into five 200 mts buffer zones and the stretch along the border was divided into four buffer zones. Within each buffer zone we conducted surveys with 20-25 farmers. These buffer zones were mapped using QGIS and the distances were determined keeping in mind i) survey feasibility in the presence of jungles and water bodies and ii) including farmers who are both near and farther away from the border to understand cross border information dissemination and climate resilient farming adoption patterns.  We also conducted Focus group discussions with both male and female farmers in India and Nepal to triangulate our findings from the surveys and to better understand female perception of and participation in farming activities.  

Key Findings

1. Farmers do not have the preparedness to predict, absorb or mitigate the predict, absorb or mitigate the shocks from climate change.

2. There is high awareness and adoption of soil related climate resilient farming practices. However the practices adopted vary across both countries. Awareness and adoption of water and crop related practices in both countries is low.


The data will be used to understand the effects of climate change on current farming practices and consequently production. It will also assess farmer’s ability to adopt climate resilient farming practices. The findings can help bring forth gaps in awareness around and availability of resources which can then help improve formulation and implementation of policies on ground.

Thematic Area

Financial Well-being and Social Protection

Project Leads

Sabina Yasmin


India and Nepal