Development of a regional climate change perception index based on traditional
knowledge base of small-marginal farmers

Bhattacharjee, Shraddha ; Das, J K; Roy, S ; Chakrabarti, S

Abstract

Due to global climatic change, the pronounced impact of temperature and precipitation variability on agriculture has lately alarmed the top-up organizations to enable effective adaptation and mitigation strategies for small-marginal farmers. In contrast, despite being the main stakeholders of this sector, these farmers have always been neglected in the decisionmaking process while planning for adaptation strategies to combat climate change impacts in agriculture. Practicing farmers have a wide array of knowledge, both current and traditional, related to climate change impacts. This underutilized form of the knowledge base in the form of observable environmental changes that they deal with while producing food on their farms is a valuable resource for agricultural development. Their involvement in the decision-making process would be crucial to better understand the adaptation strategies at a local scale. With this in mind, we proposed a regional index for measuring the level of perception of farmers on climate change. The proposed index is based on 21 closed-ended statements, which have been exhaustively selected from a set of 62 statements through judges' rating methodology. The final set of statements has been checked for validity and reliability measures. These statements then have been put to pilot testing in a non-sampled area comprising of small farmers (n= 40). Finally, the set of 21 statements was applied in the study area (three selected districts in West Bengal) to estimate the perception score. The results indicate very high reliability among the statements of the proposed climate change perception index of the farmers.

Keyword(s)

Adoption, Agriculture, Climate education, Farmer’s education, Local knowledge, New technologies

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