Date of this Version
Cogent Food & Agriculture (2018), 4: 1557582
A decline in land and water productivity, increase in the cost of cultivation, and labor-intensive practices are affecting the cereal-based farming system in Nepal, particularly in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP). Conservation agriculture (CA) practices have been found to be the climate-, energy-, and labor-smart and sustainable agricultural production technologies. Sustainable and Resilient Farming System Intensification (SRFSI) has been working since 2014 in response to the sustainability of the cereal-based (rice–wheat and rice–maize) farming in Sunsari and Dhanusha districts of Nepal. This study was conducted to assess the adoption and scaling up of CA in addition to input usage, production, net profit, benefit to cost (B:C) ratio, and labor use of CA practice on average scale land holdings in Sunsari district. The study employed structured questionnaires and key informant surveys as the main data collection tools and project reports were used as secondary data. Results revealed that farmers had several tangible advantages: lower labor utilization per area (71 people day−1 ha−1 as compared to 106 for conventional), lower input cost (NRs. 78,395 ha−1 as compared to 102,727 ha−1), less irrigation with regards to ponding time (50%) as compared to conventional practice, and higher crop productivity (8.11 t ha−1 as compared to 8.08 t ha−1 in rice–wheat and 13.1 t ha−1 as compared to 11.75 t ha−1in conventional rice–maize) farming system through the adoption of CA practices. This study assessed the potential of CA-based practices in a cereal-based cropping system to improve the yields and net profit for sustainability.