2017
  • Non-ICIMOD Publication
No Cover Photo

Knowledge and Passive Adaptation to Climate Change: An Example from Indian Farmers

  • Tripathi, A.
  • Mishra, A. K.

This study is an attempt to use group information collected on climate change from farmers in eastern Uttar Pradesh, India to address a key question related to climate change policy: How to encourage farmers to adapt to climate change? First, we investigate farmers’ perception of and adaptation to climate change using content analysis and group information. The findings are then compared with climatic and agriculture information collected through secondary sources. Results suggest that though farmers are aware of long-term changes in climatic factors (temperature and rainfall, for example), they are unable to identify these changes as climate change. Farmers are also aware of risks generated by climate variability and extreme climatic events. However, farmers are not taking concrete steps in dealing with perceived climatic changes, although we find out that farmers are changing their agricultural and farming practices. These included changing sowing and harvesting timing, cultivation of crops of short duration varieties, inter-cropping, changing cropping pattern, investment in irrigation, and agroforestry. Note that these changes may be considered as passive response or adaptation strategies to climate change. Perhaps farmers are implicitly taking initiatives to adapt climate change. Finally, the paper suggests some policy interventions to scale up adaptation to climate change in Indian agriculture.

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