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Indian Journal of Soil Conservation
Year : 2014, Volume : 42, Issue : 1
First page : ( 54) Last page : ( 61)
Print ISSN : 0970-3349. Online ISSN : 0976-1721.

Meteorological drought and coping strategies by small and marginal farmers in semi-arid Karnataka

Mondal Biswajit1,*, Loganandhan N.2, Raizada A.3

1Central Rice Research Institute, Cuttack-753 006, Odisha

2Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hirehalli, Tumkur-572104, Karnataka

3Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Research Centre, Bellary-583104, Karnataka

*Email: bisumondal@rediffmail.com

Online published on 7 May, 2014.

Abstract

Occurrence of frequent droughts of varying intensities is a critical constraint in improving agricultural productivity in the dry tropics. This paper quantifies meteorological drought from long-term annual rainfall data. Analysis of primary survey data from two watersheds indicated that moisture stress and fodder shortage were the major shocks experienced by farmers during drought, which caused low productivity of crops and animals. Farmers had their own strategies to cope with the drought like diversifying farming practices, borrowing, migration, sale of assets and livestock. The logit regression model indicated that coping strategies were influenced by number of earning family members, availability of irrigation facility, animal holding and income from non-farm sources. There is an urgent need to implement drought mitigation measures by central and state government institutions through both short and long term strategies covering technological and policy interventions like alternate cropping systems that augment soil moisture conservation, emphasis on water harvesting and ground water recharge, ensuring fodder and seed supplies, credit assistance, etc.

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Keywords

Coping strategies, Drought, Marginal farmers, Mitigation, Watershed.

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