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Characteristics of Nepalese Agriculture and Its Importance

Characteristics of Nepalese Agriculture
Nepal is an agro-based country. Agriculture is the backbone of the Nepalese economy. So, there are several significant characteristics associated with Nepalese agriculture. The main characteristics of Nepalese agriculture are as follows:

1. Subsistence farming:
Nepalese farmers have taken agriculture as the means of subsistence farming only. Majority of their production is used for self-consumption and it is still inadequate for survival. Farming has not been taken from a commercial point of view.

2. Monsoon-based agriculture:
Sufficient irrigation is required for agriculture. Though Nepal is rich in water resources, the agriculture of Nepal depends on monsoon which is most uncertain and inadequate. So, agricultural production is directly affected.

3. Low productivity:
Nepalese agriculture is characterized by low productivity in terms of output per hectare. There is low productivity because of the use of inferior seeds, a traditional method of farming, lack of irrigation facilities, etc.

4. Lack of crops diversification:
Nepalese agriculture is not so much diversified in terms of crops. Farmers are giving importance to cereal crops and most of them do not want to change the next suitable and alternative crops. So, limited crops are grown in Nepalese agriculture.

5. Primitive farming:
Nepalese farming practices are still primitive. They still use the same tools and methods sued by their forefathers. Modern tools, improve seeds fertilizers, etc are not commonly used by the majority of farmers in the country.

6. High population pressure on agriculture:
The population pressure on the agricultural sector is very high due to the slow development of other non-agriculture sectors. Thus, the increase in pressure of population is badly affecting the agricultural productivity.
There are other characteristics of agriculture such as fragmentation of land, geographical variation, the defective land tenure system, inadequate investment, etc.

Importance of Agriculture
Agriculture is regarded as the primary sector of the Nepalese economy. It does not provide food and raw material but also provides 74 % employment opportunities in the country. Therefore, the development of an overall economy depends on agriculture development. The role of agriculture in the economy can be explained as follows.

1. Source of livelihood:
Majority of the people of Nepal are dependent on agriculture. There I lack employment of opportunities in other sectors. Agriculture has provided 74% of employment opportunities to the people for their livelihood.

2. Source of food:
Agriculture is the main source of food for a rapidly growing population. It supplies the food products like paddy, vegetable, fruit, etc. required for the livelihood of the people.

3. Source of national income:
Agriculture is the main source of national income of Nepal. In Nepal, the non-agricultural sector is not properly developed. Agriculture sector contributes about 32.5% of the total income to the National economy.

4. Source of industrial raw materials:
In Nepal, various types of industries are based on agriculture. Agricultural sectors provide raw materials like sugar cane, cotton, jute, tobacco, etc. required for industries.

5. Basis of foreign trade:
Agriculture is the main source of export trade. Agricultural products like pulse, jute, oil seeds, tea, animal skin, etc. are the major exportable items of Nepal. Raw agricultural products contribute more than 50 % of the total Nepalese exports.

6. Source of government revenue:
The agricultural sector is one of the major sources of government revenue. The government receives revenue from tax and fee from agro-based industries, land tax, registration fee, irrigation charges, etc.

There are other important roles of agriculture such as the development of trade and transportation, employment opportunities, improve the living standard of rural people, help for economic development.