Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



Nepal is the perfect country to study all the facets of migration, sustainable agriculture and their subsequent impact on food systems. Droves of migrants are leaving rural Nepal for higher incomes to cover household daily expenses. The Government of Nepal (GON) encourages migration as a means to reduce poverty, and remittance already amounts to 25.83% of GDP, and it is expected to grow (Nepal Bastra Bank 2014, Thieme and Wyss 2005, Yang 2011). However, it is still unclear whether the mass exodus from rural areas and the growing dependence on remittance, the portion of the migrant workers' earnings sent back to the migrant’s family, will exacerbate food insecurity in the long run. For migration and remittance to foster sustainable development, this non-labor income has to eventually be channeled toward productive investments. The most obvious use of remittance income that could foster economic growth in rural Nepal is to finance inputs that increase agricultural productivity. Agricultural development has been the crux of many national and international development proposals; it is considered the main objective in U.S. Government initiatives such as Feed the Future by USAID (Nepal FY). However, increasing economic growth through agricultural development should be weighted by the potential environmental degradation (Frost et al. 2007). Otherwise, increasing agricultural productivity may exacerbate food insecurity problems (Mgbenka et al. 2012). The impact of migration and remittance on agricultural productivity and natural resource conservation may also be accelerated by the simultaneous investment in education. This study separates the impact of migration and remittance on several household investment decisions using three stage least squares (3SLS) on new data collected from representative households in eastern Chitwan (Feb-Mar 2013). Testing whether migration and remittance as an overall positive effect on technology adoption, natural resource conservation, and household’s per child expenditure on education enhances our understanding of how Nepalese households’ decision-making process, and their use of remittance income, impact sustainable poverty alleviation and food security. While several studies on international and domestic migration have been carried out in Nepal, to date, there has been little published on its impact on sustainable food systems in the Chitwan Valley.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Paudel, Krishna