Cotton Cultivating Marginalised Farmers’ Climate Change Perceptions, Impacts and Adaptation Strategies in Vidarbha Region, Central India

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This study aimed to assess cotton cultivating marginalised farmers' climate change perceptions, impacts, and adaptation strategies in the Vidarbha region of Central India. Purposive sampling was carried out to identify 70 marginalised farmers from the study area in the year 2020. A specially designed and developed questionnaire was used as a tool to elicit information from the respondent. From the identified sample population, 14.28% are illiterate and 34.28% with primary education and 42.85% don't use a cell phone. Climate change perceptions of these farmers are well understood and clear and reported rain pattern change (100%), wind profile change (81.42%) and high atmospheric temperature (75.71%). Of the different causes responsible for climate change crop residue burning is considered as a major (97.14%). Impacts of climate change on agriculture in general is reported as crop production reduced (95.71%) > crop growth reduction (85.71%) > reduction in soil fertility (81.42%) > irrigation water scarcity (65.71%). Impacts on cotton cultivation in particular include increase in insect/pest attack (90%) > production reduced (62.85%) > crop quality deteriorated (32.85%). The cost of insecticide/pesticide use is increased by 21-40% whereas profit received is decreased (71.42%). Heatstroke is identified as a major (66.66%) impact on livestock and death due to it (23.33%). Farmers willingness for adaptation to new methods is in the order of irrigation (82.85%) > harvest (72.85%) > during sowing (67.14%) > crop growth (51.42%). Future climate change adaptation strategies include high yielding crop varieties (100%) > early maturing crop varieties (60%) > use of organic manure (52.85%) > irrigated crops (48.57%) > drought-resistant crop varieties (45.71%) > crop diversification (37.14%) > water use change (30%). The climate change-induced problems faced by these marginalised farmers are well defined and different from other farmer categories and needs a holistic approach to overcome them. Sustainable adaptation strategies emphasize on climate-smart agriculture is the need of the hour to pave the way for sustainable agriculture and sustainable livelihood. This may be perhaps the first study with this aim from the region.

Keywords: Central India, Chandrapur, climate change, climate smart agriculture, cotton, marginalised farmers, Vidarbha

Article Details

Rahul Kamble
Kumaresh S. Tikadar


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