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Adapting Gujarat to Climatic Vulnerabilities: The Road Ahead

Author Affiliations

  • 1 Department of Agricultural Economics, Junagadh Agricultural University, Junagadh, INDIA

Res. J. Recent Sci., Volume 1, Issue (5), Pages 38-45, May,2 (2012)

Abstract

Climate change is expected to affect agriculture, following food security and farmers’ livelihood. Though several international level interventions have taken a step forward, there is a need to carry out disaggregated analysis at the regional level, particularly, within the state in order to fine-tune the hot spot areas that need immediate interventions. Keeping this in view, and the fact that there exists a dearth of systematic literature with reference to climate change in Gujarat, the present study aims to assess the impacts of climate change particularly with reference to rainfall and temperature parameters notwithstanding the relationship between climate change and the vulnerability of people living in different districts of Gujarat. For Gujarat state as a whole, it could be concluded that the year 1987 was undoubtedly the driest year across the various agro-climatic zones during the entire period of study. The Northwest Arid Zone was the most vulnerable zone due to extreme deviations in rainfall pattern. The results of distribution of frequencies of clusters of below average rainfall years showed that in general, during the period 1978-2008, more than ninety per cent of the districts had more number of years with below average rainfall. The districts of Surat, Narmada, Patan, Gandhinagar and Amreli had more number of clusters of three years and above with below average rainfall and thereby, indicating a high variability of rainfall in these districts. The vulnerability indices constructed revealed that the variables pertaining to agricultural vulnerability were the major contributors in the overall vulnerability to climate change during the different periods. Next to the agricultural indicators, the occupational indicators were found to be the second largest contributors towards overall vulnerability. Keeping in view the vulnerability of different districts, investments in adaptation research capacity: particularly, in the development of climate proof crops, improvements in the agronomic practices of crops such as revising planting dates, plant densities etc, designing region-specific strategies particularly suited to drylands such as rainwater harvesting, livestock development and better techniques of dryland agriculture, income diversification and generating better employment opportunities in districts where out-migration is high as well as adopting resource conservation technologies emerged as the major suggestions of this study.

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