Climate Change (CC) is the among the most important global environment concerns. CC is having significant impacts on the most vulnerable communities. Considering characteristics, land farms can be considered as one of the most affected sector and thus most vulnerable to climate change. Susceptibility and sensitivity of agriculture to the variance of the climatic parameters is responsible for the fact. Agriculture having the significant contributor in national GDP, translates the susceptibility of national economy and growth to climate change.
In context of India the GDPs 60% share is agriculture and approximately 60% population’s livelihood is depends on farming co emphasizing the need of resilient systems and strategies for agriculture sector and farming community. In which semi-arid regions are considered particularly most vulnerable to climate change. Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Supported Development Alternatives, a Civil Society Organization, active in Bundelkhand Region of Central India for taking up actions and influence policy to address the climate vulnerability of the region and its impact on livelihhods.
Semi arid regions being particularly less resilient to the non favourable climatic conditions, lead to more negative impacts. Bundelkhand has faced severe drought years in recent past (five drought years in last seven years). Last year was not the hydrological drought but delayed monsoon resulted into the failed Kharif season in most part of the Bundelkhand region. Increasing frequency of the drought in the region is causing the farmers to take extreme steps in frustration. There have been incidences of farmers letting their animals in fields as the crops would not yield anything, in cases of delayed monsoon.
Even though farmers are facing these challenges, haven’t yet realized that these droughts are not incidental but reflecting the trend of reducing rainfall and erratic character and these are going to be more common incidents in future. Thus there is dire need not only of identifying strategies to fight climate change but also to make the vulnerable sections aware about the climate change and make them ready to adopt the strategies for adapting to climate change.
There are several factors and sectors which are responsible for Green House Gas emissions and thus climate change. Agriculture sector remained most unmanaged till yet due to i) non point source emission of GHGs, ii) need and priority of higher productions to feed the ever growing population. As mentioned above, agriculture sector is also most susceptible to climate change contributing into the vicious cycle. Inefficient agricultural practices causes the GHG more emissions, which accelerating the CC, resulting into the lower production. To compensate this, farmers tend to put more resources whenever and wherever are available in terms of fertilizer, water etc. Which are the main factor for inefficiencies in the farm sector.
In Bundelkhand region, calculations of the climate reflect that after 25 years. Rainfall is expect to reduce by 20% and the productivity of the existing crops may reduce by 15%. Decreasing landholding per farmer is going to have enhanced negative impact of these projections.
Approach which has been adopte to take up and fight with climate change is two side, i) Identifying. The technical options and interventions required, ii) making community aware and helping them to take lead to fight climate change. Drought resistant varieties are available at different stakeholders. However the adoption is not much as farmers are not aware about these varieties and characteristics of these crops/crop varieties. Such varieties have been promote as they are the important option. Which can provide reliable production level even in extreme conditions.
There are various methods and ways available for reducing the water losses in irrigation. Sprinkler and drip methods can reduce the water application significantly. Similarly, mulching can reduce the water loss from the soil. For flood irrigation also contour cultivation, and making the check basins or borders depending. The land slope and soil type, can increase the water use efficiencies significantly. Information on these options is being made available to the farmers through different stakeholders including the research organizations.