Panchkhal lies in a rainshadow area in the mid-hills of Nepal, forty kilometres east of the capital Kathmandu. As of 2009, Panchkhal has been suffering a drought for five years. What used to be Kathmandu’s vegetable basket is turning into a wasteland. The Jhiku Khola (river) which used to irrigate the fields through canals is now a dry riverbed. As weather patterns change, traditional agricultural calendars are failing and farmers are responding in individual ways – by digging trenches in the dry riverbeds. But farmers need to turn these short term responses into long term adaptation practices. What are the options?
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