Vulnerability to climate variability and drought among small and marginal farmers: a case study in Odisha, India uri icon

abstract

  • Indicator-based frameworks have been widely used in vulnerability analysis to understand vulnerability to climate variability and change. This study examines the socio-economic vulnerability of farmers exposed to drought conditions and climate variability in one of the highly vulnerable state (Odisha) in Eastern India. Intensive survey was undertaken among 183 households in four villages to collect data on various socio-economic and livelihood indicators. Data were aggregated using a composite index, and vulnerability in four villages was compared. Our assessment shows that caution is warranted in terms of the assumption that we make about adaptive capacity. A higher adaptive capacity of the communities in vulnerability index does not necessarily imply that they are less vulnerable to the impacts of climate variability and change and vice versa. Highly vulnerable villages to climate risks are also the ones involved in various adaptation actions in agriculture. The findings further suggests that although vulnerability indices are helpful in identifying vulnerable people and places, there is a need to examine multiple stressors that interacts with socio-economic and biophysical vulnerability of communities. Results shows that highly vulnerable villages are characterized by features such as high levels of poverty, high levels of borrowing, less crop diversity, with agriculture as the only source of income and low level of agricultural insurance. Finally, results demonstrate the importance of diversified livelihoods in managing risks associated with climate hazards.

publication date

  • 2017
  • 2017
  • 2017