Operationalizing crop monitoring system for informed decision making related to food security in Nepal
Keywords: Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Agricultural, Village Developmental Committee and crop monitoring
Abstract. In Nepal, two thirds of the total population depend on agriculture for their livelihoods and more than one third of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from the agriculture sector. However, effective agriculture production across the country remains a serious challenge due to various factors, such as a high degree of spatial and temporal climate variability, irrigated and rain-fed agriculture systems, farmers' fragile social and economic fabric, and unique mountain practices. ICIMOD through SERVIR-Himalaya initiative with collaboration of Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) is working on developing a comprehensive crop monitoring system which aims to provide timely information on crop growth and drought development conditions. This system analyzes historical climate and crop conditions patterns and compares this data with the current growing season to provide timely assessment of crop growth. Using remote sensing data for vegetation indices, temperature and rainfall, the system generated anomaly maps are inferred to predict the increase or shortfall in production. Comparisons can be made both spatially and in graphs and figures at district and Village Developmental Committee (VDC) levels. Timely information on possible anomaly in crop production is later used by the institutions like Ministry of Agricultural Development, Nepal and World Food Programme, Nepal to trigger appropriate management response. Future potential includes integrating data on agricultural inputs, socioeconomics, demographics, and transportation to holistically assess food security in the region served by SERVIR-Himalaya.