This study aims to assess wheat, mustard, and barley cultivating marginalized farmers’ (landholding ≤1 hectare) climate change perceptions, impacts, and adaptation strategies in Alwar and Jhunjhunun districts of Rajasthan, India. Purposive sampling of 50 marginal farmers was carried out in winter 2020. A specially designed, developed and pre-tested questionnaire was used as a tool to elicit the information from the respondent. From the identified sample respondents, all farmers are engaged in rainfed crop cultivation followed by livestock rearing (76%). Farmers have well-understood perceptions of climate change and reported rain pattern change (100%) and high temperature (98%) as crucial issues. Crop residue burning is identified as a major agricultural activity responsible for climate change. Soil moisture reduction (100%) and crop destruction by climate change (98%) are reported by respondents. Insect/pest incidences increased (100%), irrigation water scarcity (100%), production reduction (88%), crop growth reduction (76%), and reduction in soil fertility (58%) are some of the impacts on agriculture. Farmers have reported decreased (84%) in crop yield in the last five years and increased (0-20%) in the cost of insecticide/pesticide during crop cultivation. Heatstroke (83.88%) and summer diseases (100%) in livestock are described by respondents. Willingness to climate change adaptation options is reported by 68% of farmers. Future adaptations options for coping with climate change impacts are reported in the order of high yielding and drought resistance crop varieties (100%) > crop and livestock diversification (82%) > early maturing crop varieties (76%) > water storage method (58%) > organic manure (52%). The farmers’ perceptions are in agreement with scientific evidence and impacts on these crops vary according to their growth stage. To enhance the resilience of this group of farmers they should be made aware of climate-smart agriculture measures. In addition, micro-credit, crop and farmers’ insurance, advanced weather forecast and national level policy will pave the way for sustainable agriculture which will further result in livelihood security.
Key Words: Barley, Climate change, Climate-smart agriculture, Marginalized farmers, Mustard, Wheat
Comments: no replies