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Title: Study of Water Quality, Water Balance and Climatic Classification for Irrigation Requirement for Sustainable Strawberry Cultivation in Okharpauwa
Authors: Pandey, Prava
Keywords: Irrigation;Water Quality
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Central Department of Environmental Science
Institute Name: Central Department of Environmental Science
Level: Masters
Abstract: This study has been attempted to obtain some important findings which would indeed further enhance the sustainability of strawberry cultivation in Okharpauwa. As such nowadays farmers in the hills are being aware and attracted by cash crops cultivation. The study area is located in the middle hills about 25 km west of Kathmandu Valley with altitude ranging from 1600m to 1800masl and slope from 250 to 600 experiencing temperate to subtropical climate. Some natural vegetation still flourish in the surrounding areas and the drainage density of the catchment is favorable for small irrigation schemes for the strawberry farming. Strawberry cultivation has already been a success in this area and this study has been conducted with the objectives to improve the yield of this important cash crop. First, the major physico-chemical parameter of river water, which has been used as irrigation water to a limited extent by farmers, has been analyzed. Second, water balance study has been conducted to find the water deficit months for strawberry irrigation. Third; climatic classification for the area has been determined suitable for this successfully growing species of strawberry. Lastly, the socio- economic survey was conducted regarding the population, education economic status, marketing of strawberry and the irrigation status. The study has come up with encouraging and interesting result with a few recommendations as summarized below. Nine parameters relating to quality of irrigation water have been carefully analyzed. These parameters reveal higher values in pre monsoon season than in the post monsoon season, but in both seasons all of the parameters were in the good to excellent category range, thereby indicating no harmful effect on the strawberry farming by such irrigation- water. Water balance study suggested that irrigation is needed for the 6 months with exception from May to October. Irrigation will be essential because strawberry is a shallow rooted plant requiring good drainage with frequent but less amount of water. The climate type of Okharpauwa region is found to be Per- humid with meso thermal. Strawberry farming may be introduced in other parts of the country with this similar climatic classification. Strawberry farming has indeed uplifted the livelihood conditions of the local farmers, but the poverty and illiteracy have caused problems relating to marketing, farming, irrigation, using the pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The local farms are sloppy and sandy soil and thus will require frequent watering with sprinkler–irrigation, as the source of water is far way from the farms with rugged topography. Installation cost will be the main problem for the local farmers. With the government support, the local farmers can be convinced to switch over in cultivating different cash-crops beneficial from rural, urban to the national levels. Key words: Irrigation, Water Quality, Water Balance, Climatic Classification, Strawberry.
Appears in Collections:Environmental Science

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