Learning adaptation to climate change from past climate extremes: Evidence from recent climate extremes in Haryana, India
This article (PDF) in the International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management examines whether farmers learn form their past experiences of exposure to climate extremes and use the knowledge to better adapt to future climate extremes. Conservation agriculture-based wheat production system (CAW), which has been adopted by the farmers primarily to reduce production costs, is now being adopted as a climate risk coping measure. The findings show that farmers learn climate change adaptation through their own experience. Farmer learning and uptake of new technology is not only related to the characteristic of technology but also how well the technology fits the farming system and its impact on farmers’ livelihood. Learning/communication was found to be the most crucial factor for CAW adoption. Therefore, providing support to agricultural education programmes for farmers rather than focussing solely on input subsidies and credit should be a major target for policy. A transformational change in agriculture is possible through better institutional support and improved service provision for CAW-based technologies. Climate change adaptation in agriculture, therefore, needs to focus on various other issues related to farm household and market characteristics, along with technology development. Designing an appropriate strategy to communicate scientific evidence to farmers, reshaping compensation policies and strengthening local extension institutions are essential. At the local level, farmer-to-farmer communication was found to be a critical factor in promoting technology adoption. Targeting young farmers for new agricultural technology dissemination can substantially enhance CAW adoption. Climate change adaptation in agriculture through technology adoption is a crucial topic and has multiple dimensions. Therefore, future research at multiple locations is necessary to address the issues further at a broader scale and to generalize its impacts in different states of India.