Adapting to climate change: Retrospective analysis of climate technology interaction in the rice-based farming system of Nepal

Netra Chhetri, William E. Easterling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The development of technological solutions to minimize risks of the current climate can lead to two possible outcomes: increase in agricultural productivity and insights about adaptation to future climate change. Drawing on the hypothesis of induced innovation, we investigate whether spatial variations in climatic resources prompted the development of location-specific technologies that led to increased rice productivity in Nepal. Using Nepal's district-level time-series data (1991-1992 and 2002-2003), this article examines the extent to which technological innovations have provided farmers with means to respond to climatic constraints to enhance rice productivity in climatically marginal regions of the country. Complementing this analysis with relevant case studies, we also investigate how and to what extent Nepal's research establishments have provided farmers with technological options to alleviate climatic constraints in rice cultivation across the country's climatically diverse terrain. The findings from both the empirical and qualitative assessment indicate that Nepal's research establishment is engaged in and committed to the development of location-specific technologies that address the constraints of climate. The outcome of such commitment has been a series of technological innovations and changes in policies in agriculture. Together, this might have been responsible for higher yields among the districts with marginal climate, which have subsequently led to convergence of the rice productivity growth rate in the country. If the current trend of addressing the constraints of climate in agriculture through appropriate technological as well as institutional changes continues, then the prospect of adapting to further climate becomes more apparent in Nepal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1156-1176
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Adaptation
  • Agriculture
  • Climate change
  • Induced innovation
  • Nepal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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