Climate change adds another dimension of challenges to the growth and sustainability of Indian agriculture. The growing exposure to livelihood shocks from climate variability/change and limited resource base of the rural community to adapt has reinforced the need to mainstream climate adaptation planning into developmental landscape. However, a better understanding of micro-level perceptions is imperative for effective and informed planning at the macro-level. In this paper, the grass-root level perspectives on climate change impacts and adaptation decisions were elicited at farm level in the Moga district of Punjab and Mahbubnagar district of Telangana, India. The farmers opined that the climatic variability impacts more than the long-term climate change. They observed change in the quantum, onset and distribution of rainfall, rise in minimum as well as maximum temperature levels, decline in crop yield and ground water depletion. The key socio-economic effects of climate change included decline in farm income, farm unemployment, rural migration and increased indebtedness among farmers. In order to cope with climate variability and change thereon, farmers resorted to adaptation strategies such as use of crop varieties of suitable duration, water conservation techniques, crop insurance and participation in non-farm activities and employment guarantee schemes. Farmers’ adaptation to changing climate was constrained by several technological, socio-economic and institutional barriers. These include limited knowledge on the costs–benefits of adaptation, lack of access to and knowledge of adaptation technologies, lack of financial resources and limited information on weather. Besides, lack of access to input markets, inadequate farm labour and smaller farm size were the other constraints. Further, on the basis of the grass-root elicitation a ‘Need-Based Adaptation’ planning incorporating farmers’ perceptions on climate change impacts, constraints in the adoption of adaptation strategies and plausible adaptation options were linked with the most suitable ongoing programmatic interventions of the Government of India. The study concluded that micro-level needs and constraints for various adaptation strategies and interventions should be an integral part of the programme development, implementation and evaluation in the entire developmental paradigm.
Natural Hazards – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 9, 2018
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