Grassroots farmers’ perceptions on climate change and adaptation in arid region of Rajasthan

Singh, Naveen P; Srivastava, Shivendra K; Anand, Bhawna ; Kumar, N R; Sharma, Shirish k

Abstract

Understanding farmers’ perspectives to climate change and adaptation is essential in designing effective and informed strategies to combat the associated vulnerability. The study assessed farmers’ perceptions to changing climatic conditions, their impacts, adaptation measures and constraints to adaptation in Bikaner district of Rajasthan. Our results showed that farmers perceived change in the distribution of rainfall, rise in temperature, increase in frequency of heat waves and droughts in the region. Further, degradation of common property resources, uncertainty in crop yields, increased soil salinity, farm unemployment and reduction in consumption were some of the potential non-climatic impacts as perceived by the farmers. As climate adaptation measures, farmers resorted to disease/heat tolerant varieties, plant protection chemicals and water conservation techniques. Moreover, lack of access to institutional credit, poorly defined property rights, inadequate infrastructure and information gaps were some of the major barriers to climate adaptation in the region. The study provides a useful guide for identifying region-specific issues and implementable adaptation strategies. Policy actions are needed in creating awareness, improving climate information services and development of infrastructure for climate resilient farming.

Keyword(s)

Adaptation; Barriers; Climate change; Perceptions

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