2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 140-2
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


POUDEL, Durga D., School of Geosciences, University of Louisana at Lafayette, Box 44650, Lafayette, LA 70504, ddpoudel@louisiana.edu

On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by the devastating 7.8 Magnitude earthquake. The nation experienced hundreds of aftershocks in addition to a second earthquake of 7.3 Magnitude on May 12, 2015. In addition to destroying over 500 temples, many historic palaces and monuments, roads, bridges, office buildings, and many other infrastructures, the Gorkha Earthquake 2015 caused almost 9,000 deaths and nearly 25,000 injuries with devastation of thousands of rural villages across the 22 districts of Nepal. Over 8 million people, about one third of Nepal’s total population, are affected. Since agriculture is the main occupation of rural communities, it is quite logical to have a major emphasis on agriculture and agro-industrialization for rural re-construction and development. In order to re-build rural Nepal through agro-industrialization, it is important to identify and invest on appropriate agro-industries and related agricultural production activities, which will provide employment as well as income generation for the rural communities while contributing to national foreign reserves. Because most earthquake affected districts border China, it is important to develop agro-industries in these areas considering the possibility of Chinese agricultural markets. In addition, the southern markets are also not very far from these affected areas. Depending on agro-ecology and global market conditions, emphasis for agricultural production can be given on the production of high value exportable agricultural commodities such as organic produce (fruits and vegetables, organic seeds, livestock produce, spices and condiments, fish), vegetable seeds, honey, livestock products, and fruits. In order to assess resource base such as soil types, climatic conditions, cropping systems, irrigation, crop production practices and other necessary conditions for commercialized agricultural production and to generate scientific information for agro-industrial development, it is necessary to develop a GIS-based inventory of natural resources and crop production practices in the region. Therefore, as a first-step in re-building the Gorkha earthquake devastated rural Nepal, the development of a GIS-based agro-industrial information system called “Nepal Agro-industrial Information System (NAIS)” is suggested.