Agriculture in the Himalayas of Nepal Essay

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Agriculture in the Himalayas of Nepal

According to some estimates, as much as 90% of Nepal's population relies on agriculture for its sustenance.[1] The significant climactic variations between Nepal's sub-tropical Terai region, hills region, and Himalayan mountain region lead to a variety of different agricultural models. Within the northern Himalayan region, additional variations in agricultural style exist because of changes in the qualities of available soil and quantities of moisture at different altitudes. Some researchers remark that it is even possible to anticipate the ethnicity of a group in a rural Himalayan village by glancing at an altimeter, as the traditional lifestyles maintained by the Nepali-speaking caste Hindus
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As they rely heavily on their crops to sustain themselves, they tend to remain in areas where agriculture can continue throughout the year.

In midland mountainous regions from 2,500 to 3,200 meters above sea level, sub-Tibetan groups (or groups of Tibetan ethnicity and culture) grow one crop of wheat or barley per winter and one crop of buckwheat during the summer. The climate in this region is cool and dry, and the dry-field agriculture used requires less labor than rice cultivation. This allows them to raise cattle, water buffalo and goats to supplement their diet.[4]At even higher altitudes, where low levels of moisture permit only a single crop of wheat or barley, yak, which are well suited for high altitudes, become a major component of the lifestyle.[5] In the northern areas of Nepal, Tibetan pastoralists travel to altitudes reaching up to 5,200 meters as they seek out pasture for their animals during the summer monsoon season, although few permanent habitations can be found above 4,000 meters. Where possible, these groups make up for shortages in grain and other goods by trading wool, butter, meat, and draught animals. They may also hunt, fish, and forage for wild plants, although habitat destruction from deforestation has caused a decline in the availability of game and fish resources in much of Nepal, making it increasingly difficult to rely on these assets for food.[6]

Unlike many third-world countries, no strong landowning

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