Migration and Household Labor Use for Adopting Climatic Stress: A Study of Drought-Affected Areas in Odisha

  • Basanta K. Sahu


This is a study of temporary migration as a coping strategy to overcome the adverse impact of drought in Odisha. Based on study of four villages which suffered extensive crop, employment, and income loss due to drought, it finds that except land owners who cope with it without migration, up to three fourths of other farmer households migrate mostly out of state. Their social category appears to influence the nature of work they land in: tribals end up in brick kilns, landless and marginal farmers work in construction and farming operations, and small to medium farmers manage to secure some semi-skilled or work in services. The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme does not match the duration of work needed. Since migration is mediated through advances from labor contractors, much of the earnings are lost in the payment of usurious interest charges. Women who are left behind suffer the double burden of low-paid work and the burden of maintaining the family.



I am thankful to the Indian Council for Social Science Research, New Delhi, for financial support for a major research project undertaken at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi. I thank all of the household respondents for their support during the field survey in Odisha. Valuable comments/suggestions received from the participants on the paper presented earlier at an international conference held at SR Sankarn Chair, National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Hyderabad during March 12–14, 2015, are duly acknowledged.


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Basanta K. Sahu
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian Institute of Foreign TradeNew DelhiIndia

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