Indian farmers / Image-Deepak Kumar/UnSplash
A new report by The Nudge Institute (T/NI) analysed how climate change has impacted small-scale farmers in six Indian states namely Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh.
The report titled ‘Smallholder Farmers and Climate Change – Voices from the Field’ found that 70 per cent of smallholder farmers in India lost 50 per cent or more of a crop in the past three years due to climate change. It stated that the top concern faced by smallholder farmers was inconsistent rainfall and the rise in pests and plant diseases.
According to the findings, 74 per cent of farmers from the mentioned states reported an increase in pests and diseases while 77 per cent of them reported an increase in weed growth. To mitigate the situation, pesticides, and chemical fertilizer usage among small farmers has more than doubled with 76 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.
The report also found that the farming process was less tedious for farmers due to the availability of advanced technologies. 55 per cent of women were spending less time weeding out the fields while men weren’t on the fields for long doing backbreaking work due to the ease provided by tractors. Time saved was being used in generating secondary income from dairy farming and wage labour.
The report findings will be used to "create newer avenues to support smallholder farmers in India," said Deepali Khanna, VP, asia regional officer of Rockefeller Foundation. "By integrating these insights into our initiatives, we can with towards building resilient and sustainable food systems that support the livelihoods of millions," she added.
"The support of The Rockefeller Foundation has been instrumental in enabling us to initiate work towards addressing these pressing issues. We are actioning research towards innovative solutions and scaling up our efforts, ensuring that small farmers have access to the resources, knowledge, and tools they need to thrive,” said Ashish Karamchandani, president of T/NI.
Blurb: Nearly 70 per cent smallholder Indian farmers lost 50 per cent or more of a crop in the past three years due to climate change.