Identifying pathways for improving household food self-sufficiency outcomes in the hills of Nepal

Tika B. Karki, Shrawan K. Sah, Resam B. Thapa, Andrew J. McDonald, Adam S. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Maintaining and improving household food self-sufficiency (FSS) in mountain regions is an ongoing challenge. There are many facets to the issue, including comparatively high levels of land fragmentation, challenging terrain and transportation bottlenecks, declining labor availability due to out-migration, and low technical knowledge, among others. Using a nonparametric multivariate approach, we quantified primary associations underlying current levels of FSS in the mid-hills of Nepal. A needs assessment survey was administered to 77 households in Lungaun (Baglung District), Pang (Parbat District), and Pathlekhet (Myagdi District), with a total of 80 variables covering five performance areas; resulting data were analyzed using Classification and Regression Trees. The most parsimonious statistical model for household FSS highlighted associations with agronomic management, including yields of maize and fingermillet within a relay cropping system and adoption of improved crop cultivars. Secondary analyses of the variables retained in the first model again focused primarily on crop and livestock management. It thus appears that continued emphasis on technical agricultural improvements is warranted, independent of factors such as land holding size that, in any case, are very difficult to change through development interventions. Initiatives to increase household FSS in the mid-hills of Nepal will benefit from placing a primary focus on methods of agricultural intensification to improve crop yields and effective technology transfer to increase adoption of these methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0127513
JournalPloS one
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 5 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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