Improving terraces with farmers

Participatory action research with multiple stakeholders for the demonstration and extension of improved rainfed hill terraces in Nepal

The traditional farming practices employed on steep sloping land in Kubinde village in Nepal’s midhills led to soil and water erosion and low crop and fodder yields. The People and Resource Dynamics in Mountain Watersheds of the Hindu Kush-Himalayas Project (PARDYP) started work in 2001, with a small group of farmers from this village (who were also members of the local forest user group) and the Department of Soil Conservation and Watershed Management to identify and test an integrated approach for addressing these constraints. The approach taken was an improved hill terrace for rainfed conditions consisting of structural and vegetative measures.


  • Weak institutional collaboration for addressing 1) poor soil fertility and land productivity; 2) soil and nutrient loss and excessive water runoff from sloping agricultural land; and 3) fodder scarcity.
  • Lack of on-farm research for developing technologies that attend to farmers’ needs.


    • Local farmers collectively solving problems by identifying and using the most appropriate local solutions
    • Local farmers designing, testing, and disseminating alternative technologies adapted to local conditions
    • Strengthening joint learning by farmers and development actors

      WOCAT database reference: QA NEP2

      Location: Kubinde village, Jhikhu Khola watershed, Kabhrepalanchok district, Nepal

      Approach area: 0.02 km2

      Land use: Annual cropping

      Climate: Humid subtropical

      Related technology: Improved terraces, QT NEP2

      Target groups: Land users, Extension workers, School teachers and children, Local leaders

      Compiled by: Madhav Dhakal, ICIMOD

      Date: February 2003, updated May 2007

light green: districts in 2007