2018-09-19Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/su10093357
Climate Vulnerability in Rainfed Farming: Analysis from Indian Watersheds
Raghavan Sathyan, Archana
India ranks first among the rainfed agricultural countries in the world. The impact of changing climate threatens rainfed food production as well as the food security of millions of people in the tropics and subtropics. The Government of India initiated Watershed Development Programmes (WDPs) for the overall development of these areas. We, therefore, established a comprehensive, location-specific, bottom-up tool to analyse and compare the climate vulnerability of watershed areas. For this, we deducted a new Climate Vulnerability Index for Rainfed Tropics (CVIRFT) to evaluate the potential effectiveness of programmes to adapt to climate change impacts. The CVIRFT comprises of three dimensions of vulnerability, i.e., adaptive capacity, exposure and sensitivity. These dimensions consist of ten major components and 59 indicators with emphasis on rainfed farming and WDP interventions. To test the tool, we collected primary data through household surveys (n = 215, split among three watershed communities) in Kerala. We show that there were strong variations in the exposure dimension, moderate in sensitivity and negligible in adaptive capacity across the watersheds. After analysing the major components under the dimensions, we suggest focusing on policy orientation towards redesigning of the WDPs with emphasis to economic diversification, livelihood strategies, social networking coupled with stakeholder participation, natural resource management and risk spread through credit and insurance flexibility. The CVIRFT is replicable to similar physio-geographic areas of rainfed farming, with the refinement of indicators suited to the locality.
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