From the forest to the farm

Start date: 28 February, 2014 End date: 28 May, 2015 Project type: Master's Thesis (prior to 2018) Project code: A26836 Countries: Nepal Institutions: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark Grant recipient: Alice Elena Martha Guehennec Total grant: 9,000 DKK



Fodder resources play an essential role in the mixed farming systems of the Middle Hills of Nepal. However different factors have limited farming householders' access to these resources; deforestation, community forestry and out-migration have contributed to increasing the fodder shortages that affect rural livelihoods, more severely in the dry season. Deficits in fodder resources constrain farming households' outputs and can lead to food insecurity. This thesis aims to evaluate the influence of changes in access to fodder and bedding resources on rural livelihoods through a focus on milk production. Research focused on the case-study of Baireni and Nayabasti households, two villages situated in the Dhading district, one of the poorest districts of the country, during three months of the dry season. The main variables of the study are the two village communities and the wealth rank of the participants. The results are based on qualitative data collected through a sample of fifteen household questionnaires and six household in-depth studies in each village, trend analyses, seasonal calendars and semi-structured interviews. The collected information was transcribed, categorised and compared to reviewed literature in order to reach the final conclusions. It was analysed within the framework of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach. The study states that changes in access to fodder and bedding resources has positively affected high-level households provision of the resources while it has aggravated poorer households' vulnerability to fodder shortages. This thesis introduces the application of the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach in the context of community forestry in Nepal and illustrates its relevance in identifying factors of poverty within rural households. The work seeks to encourage the conduct of further research on the influence of fodder shortages on the overall mixed farming system in order to design context-specific measures to alleviate poverty.