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Climate Change and Large Cardamom: Gold of Streams

November 16, 2017
Large cardamom (Amomum subulatum Robx.), rare and endemic spice crop of Eastern Himalayas, has played an important role in rural livelihoods and land use practices in middle hills. It is regarded as gold of stream or black gold by locals since it is low volume, high value, non-perishable and lucrative cash crop grown beneath tree cover on marginal lands. The large cardamom based agroforestry system yields cardamom along with fodder and firewood. It is one of the major sources for economy of the people and hence many farmers have shifted to the large cardamom cultivation because compared to the other traditional crops, the income from large cardamom is three to four times higher.
Nepal, as a part of the earth, cannot remain untouched by the global phenomenon of climate change. Emergence of disease, pests, erratic rainfall pattern, rising temperature, long dry spells and other associated effects of climate warming have jeopardized the livelihoods of more than 70,000 families directly and indirectly dependent in this shade and moist loving cardamom cultivation.
  • Large cardamom based agroforestry system
    Hangpang, Taplejung Nepal
  • Large cardamom cultivation replacing traditional crop i.e. millet
    Hangpang, Taplejung Nepal
  • Locals harvesting large cardamom
    Hangpang, Taplejung Nepal
  • Locals separating cardamom capsules from inflorescence i.e. post harvesting process
    Hangpang, Taplejung Nepal
  • Firewood extracted from large cardamom based agroforestry is used for curing cardamom and in domestic purposes
    Hangpang, Taplejung Nepal
  • Traditional large cardamom curing chamber i.e. bhatti
    Hangpang, Taplejung Nepal
  • Packaging of large cardamom capsules
    Hangpang, Taplejung Nepal
  • Large cardamom cultivation damaged due to sun scorching
    Hangpang, Taplejung Nepal
  • Large cardamom infected with chirkey (mosaic streak) disease
    Hangpang, Taplejung Nepal
  • Stem borer (Glyphipterix sp.) pest in pseudo stem of large cardamom
    Hangpang, Taplejung Nepal