Farmers’ perception on climate extremes and their coping mechanism: evidences from disaster prone regions of India
The state of Rajasthan is one of the most vulnerable to climatic extremes. The perception local communities regarding climate change and their indigenous copping management strategies are important for decision-making and policy formation. In this paper, the perceptions of farmers and their copping management strategies were studied using primary data collected from 180 farmers of Bikaner and Kota districts. The data were collected through personal interview as well as focused group discussion. The findings indicated that the risk of droughts, rainfall anomalies and wind-storms have increasing over the time. The people in drought prone region were found to be more food insecure in comparison to flood-affected region. However, their traditional wisdom and indigenous species Khimp (Leptadeniapyrotechnica), Kair (Capparis decidua) Phog (Calligonumpolygonoides), Khejri (Prosopis cineraria), etc. helped them in coping with climate extremes. Adjustments in the dates of sowing, deep summer ploughing in morning hours, dry sowing, higher seed rate, mixed cropping and farming, especially crop-livestock integration were the common copping management strategies followed by farmers. The farmers perceived that with modernization of agriculture, biodiversity of the region is declining. The study suggests that local communities need to be incentivized for conserving these species. These indigenous products have high market value. Therefore, the value chains of these products need to be strengthened by providing processing equipment such as solar drier at subsidized rates.
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