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Coping with climate induced natural disasters in coastal Orissa, India B. C. Roy Mruthyunjaya S. Selvarajan National Centre for Agricultural Economics and Policy Research (ICAR)
Presentation Part I: Vulnerability of Orissa Agriculture Part II: Coping with natural disasters
Why Orissa agriculture is highly vulnerable? • Erratic climate • Low irrigation coverage • Very high degree of dependence on a single crop (mainly rainfed kharif rice) • Large coastal area • Poor rural infrastructure • Lack of resources
Orissa is one of most severely food insecure states in India • Here, the net climate effect is negative also (Downing, 2002)
Season-wise contribution to total foodgrain production: 1960-2000 • Very high dependence on kharif production in Orissa • Paddy alone accounts for 78% of gross cropped area in Orissa
ORISSA- The Disaster Capital of India After 1999 super cyclone Men can survive on relief, but what about cattle? “Deadly cocktail of floods,cyclones, and droughts” Flood in Mahakalpara 2001
Coping with natural disasters Large scale adaptation programmes by government are severely constrained due to resource scarcity. Therefore, efforts by those who feel the impacts are crucial. How do rural households perceive and cope with CINDs?
Orissa Kendrapara Mahakalpara Rajnagar Jambu (50) Mangalpur(50) Gupti (50) Sanwara(50)
Coping strategies Reducing expenditures: Modifying consumption Livestock keeping: Composition & De-stocking Drawing down inventories: Stocks & assets Drawing upon CPRs: Forest, river & sea Seeking alternate employment: Locality or Migration Adjustment in crop practices: Change crop variety Others: Co-operation, Postponing family festivals
Some lessons • Vulnerability: Nexus between poverty and environment • Poor are more vulnerable. Further, their capacity to withstand any extreme event is very low. • Warning systems are almost timely and more or less accurate but the problem is of follow-up actions • Relief is vital. In spite of limitations, it saved many poor from further suffering. • Livestock is a neglected entity in relief programmes. So the case with seed, fodder and credit requirements. • The coping mechanisms adopted by the rural households provide them flexibility to reduce vulnerability • However, it is necessary that a system be developed for greater preparedness at all levels, i.e., government and civil society
Looking forward • A collaborative study: ‘Developing Decision Making Tools for Assessment of Vulnerability to Climate Change’ • Objective: Help mainstream adaptation on climate change in national sustainable development planning • Target: The project will cover agriculture and allied sector • Time: Output will be ready within one year from now