Policy Measures for Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Extremes in Agriculture: Lessons from the Case of Unseasonal Rainfall in Haryana and Punjab, India
- 215 Downloads
This study investigates the efficacy of institutional and technological measures in reducing farmers’ vulnerability and increasing their adaptation to climatic extremes. In the winter of March 2015 unseasonal rainfall and hailstorms damaged standing crops in most of the North Indian states. Based on a survey of over 800 farmers in 12 affected districts of the states of Haryana and Punjab, we study the effectiveness of government compensations, crop insurance, and relaxation in norms of wheat procurement in mitigating the impact of crop loss. We find that compensation for crop loss and crop insurance were of limited help to the farmers. Our strong recommendation is that, for these ex-post measures to work effectively we must address problems in accurate loss assessment. The study also indicates that improved drainage in fields and weather forecasting could also help. In fact, the survey revealed that around 20–30% farmers were able to reduce their losses in at least one plot. Though the role of disaster-relief measures cannot be underestimated in coping with such contingencies, reliance on them can be minimized by making farmers’ fields resilient to sudden weather aberrations.
KeywordsClimate smart Crop insurance Weather forecasting Vulnerability Climate change Disaster management
- Bera, S. (2015). Higher compensation still a pittance for drought-hit farmers, mint e-paper, November 2, 2015. epaper.livemint.com/epaper/viewer.aspx. Accessed on Januray 26, 2016.
- Business Standard. (2015a). Unseasonal rains damaged rabi crops, mango. Available at http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/unseasonal-rains-damaged-rabi-crops-mango-115030200786_1.html.
- Business Standard. (2015b). Punjab seeks Rs.717 crore compensation for farmers. Available at http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/punjab-seeks-rs-717-crore-compensation-for-farmers-115032601116_1.html.
- EM-DAT. (2015). Available at http://www.emdat.be/country_profile/index.html.
- GoI - Ministry of Agriculture. (2011). Agricultural census (2010–11). New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
- GoI - Ministry of Agriculture. (2014a). Basic animal husbandry and fisheries statistics. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
- GoI - Ministry of Agriculture. (2014b). Report of the committee to review the implementation of crop insurance schemes in India. New Delhi: Government of India.Google Scholar
- GoI - Ministry of Earth Sciences. (2015). Rainfall for the month March-2015 (Realtime). India Meteorological Department, Government of India. Available at http://www.imd.gov.in/section/hydro/dynamic/rfmaps/monthly/mar2015.jpg.
- GoI - Press Information Bureau. (2015a). State-wise revised affected area under rabi crops during end of February to 26.03.2015. Government of India. Available at http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=117752.
- GoI - Press Information Bureau. (2015b). Damage to rabi crops. Government of India. Available at http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=118447.
- GoI - Press Information Bureau. (2015c). Relief package to farmers affected by unseasonal rains and hailstorms. Government of India. Available at http://pib.nic.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=118626.
- Governance Today. (2015). Compensations to farmers—adding salt to injury. Available at http://governancetoday.co.in/compensations-to-farmers-adding-salt-to-injury/.
- ICAR - Directorate of Wheat Research. (2015). Crop technologies wheat. Indian Council for Agricultural Research. Available at http://www.dwr.res.in/node/80.
- Jat, M. L., Chandna, P., Gupta, R., Sharma, S. K., & Gill, M.A. (2006). Laser land leveling: A precursor technology for resource conservation (p. 48). Rice-Wheat Consortium Technical Bulletin Series 7. New Delhi, India: Rice-Wheat Consortium for the Indo-Gangetic Plains.Google Scholar
- Kishore, A., Joshi, P. K., & Pandey, D. (2014). Droughts, distress, and policies for drought proofing agriculture in Bihar, India (IFPRI discussion paper 01398). Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute.Google Scholar
- Laxmi, V., Erenstein, O., & Gupta, R. K. (2007). Impact of zero tillage in India’s rice-wheat systems. Mexico, D.F.: CIMMYT.Google Scholar
- Westermann, O., Thornton, P., & Förch, W. (2015). Reaching more farmers—innovative approaches to scaling up climate smart agriculture. CCAFS working paper no. 135. Copenhagen, Denmark: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).Google Scholar