Farmers׳ Perception of Drought Impacts, Local Adaptation and Administrative Mitigation Measures in Maharashtra State, India (2014)

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Recurring drought is a major challenge in the Drought Prone Area of Maharashtra State in India. Agriculture (e.g., rainfed cropping and livestock) is the major income activity of over 64% of the state׳s population. The objective of this study is to understand the rural farming community׳s perception of drought impacts on their socio-economic activities and environment, their adaptation at the household level and opinions on government drought mitigation measures. This study is based on both secondary and primary data collected via a survey of 223 farming households. The results show that decrease in yield of cereals, horticultural crops, livestock production and loss of employment, all associated with decreased income of farmers, were the most immediate economic impacts of drought. Social impacts such as population migration, impacts on health and schooling of children, hopelessness and sense of loss, conflicts in society for water, and malnutrition due to changed food preferences were also reported. The environmental impacts such as increases in average atmospheric temperature, pasture-forest degradation, deteriorated water quality, damage to fish habitat-wild life, and groundwater depletion were perceived by farmers to high extent. In spite of good perception of severity of drought impacts by farmers and their familiarity with various adaptation options, the preference given for their adoption in agriculture was not good enough. Also to mitigate drought, the government provided various mitigation measures, but the level of satisfaction amongst farmers was low. It is expected that this study will help policy makers to develop more appropriate drought adaptation policies in India.
Year: 2014
Language: English
In: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 10, Part A (0): 250-269 p.

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 Record created 2014-12-02, last modified 2014-12-02