Spatial Distribution of Farm-Family Resources in the Mid-Hills of Nepal

The location of farm households along the spatial gradient affects resource availability and farmers’ livelihoods. Many socioeconomic variables have strong spatial affinity that would otherwise be overlooked by data aggregation at household levels. The Geographic Information System (GIS) displays and analyzes socioeconomic data that could aid many social researchers in understanding socioeconomic reality influenced by geographical positions. This paper aims to integrate socioeconomic data into a GIS environment. It examines spatial tendencies of farm-family resources in the mid-hills of Nepal using spatial and random sampling techniques. Farmers living in relatively flat lands and nearby urban centers have small families, higher level of education, farm and family income. In addition, they have small agricultural holdings and engage in commercial farming. Meanwhile, the opposite applies to farmers living in the hills. These spatial differences are related mainly to road, market, and other infrastructure that are crucial for agricultural development and livelihood enhancement. Strong spatial trend in socioeconomic aspects and farm-family resource availability infer the need to focus development activities spatially.

Vol. 8 No. 2, December 2011

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