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World Food Day, 16 October 2017
Ashmita Thapa
"We hope to learn more in coming days. If we learn more, it will not be necessary to go abroad. "
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21-year old Ashmita Thapa lives in southern Nepal, in Narapani-2, Bhuwan Danda area. She has been married for six years.

Last year her husband left to work in Saudi Arabia. He was a farmer prior to this, and grew enough food for the family.

But the yields are now poorer and poorer, she says, because of climate change. There isn’t as much rain as before, the pest infections are on the rise, and the winds are stronger.

“We have less than a half of the maize we used to have,” says Ashmita.

Nepal is one of the countries hardest hit by the impacts of climate change. Farmers are the worst affected. Poverty and impacts of climate change are pushing people to migrate.

Her husband’s move did not improve their situation however. He has been unable to find a good job and repay the debts they incurred for his trip.

“We were facing lots of problems. Last year we were told about this project. We felt happy that we would have a solution to our problems,” she says.

As part of the FAO-supported project, Ashmita and some 3,000 farmers learn to grow crops that are better adapted to the impact of climate change, and practice climate-smart and sustainable agriculture.

Farmers test different varieties of crops and use different techniques to determine the best crops to grow for their land. They learn by doing.

They also get support to raise animals by learning what and when to feed their animals.

“Before this project, we had to buy vegetables form market. We now started growing them in our fields. We no longer need to buy vegetables. We can save money. We have learnt many things from the project. We hope to learn more in the coming days. If we learn more, it will not be necessary to go abroad. I have a great hope that we will be able to work together with our husbands in farming,” she concludes.

The project - “Reducing vulnerability and increasing adaptive capacity to respond to impacts of climate change and variability for sustainable livelihoods in agriculture sector” - is made possible thanks to the support of the Global Environment Facility.

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