Policy Measures for Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Extremes in Agriculture: Lessons from the Case of Unseasonal Rainfall in Haryana and Punjab, India



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.


Climate smart Crop insurance Weather forecasting Vulnerability Climate change Disaster management 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Food Policy Research InstituteNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.University of Minnesota Twin CitiesMinneapolisUSA

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