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Article alert: Adaptation in rice-wheat based sodic agroecosystems: A case study on climate resilient farmersí practices
23.04.2014

Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge (2014) 13(2): 377-389.

Singh et al.

Resource-poor farmers, living in marginal environments and more directly dependent on local natural resources, have developed location specific agricultural knowledge systems that help them to adapt to climatic variability. In this research, we documented farmersí perceptions of climatic variability and related adaptive practices in three selected hamlets of Azamgarh district of eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. Data were collected with 60 farmers using participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools and personal interview methods. We found that the farmers are experiencing climatic variability as reflected by reduced frequency of rains and increased rainfall intensity, and that the farmersí observations were consistent with climate data of the past 100 years (from 1901 to 2000), where at several intervals variations in rainfall were very high. To combat climatic variability among resource-poor community and sodic agroecosystems, farmers have developed, through trial and error, a number of adaptive practices in their subsistence agriculture. These include crop diversification, agronomic manipulations and mixed cropping. Small-scale and marginal farmers practice biodynamic agriculture, where they maintain more than 10 crop species with minimal use of external inputs. Soil type, season, nutrient demand, soil fertility, cost of cultivation and local ecological knowledge are all considerations in these systems. These farmers also use indigenous practices to manage the insect pests in their crops. These adaptations help farmers to reduce environmental risks and minimize crop failures, and thus enhance the livelihoods. Farmers consider their location specific crop systems to be ecologically sustainable, economically viable and culturally acceptable.


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