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Farm household level adaptation metrics for agriculture and water sectors

A. Arivudai Nambi (M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Chennai, India)
Chandra Sekhar Bahinipati (Gujarat Institute of Development Research (GIDR), Gota, Ahmedabad, India)
Ranjini Raghunath (College of Engineering, Anna University, Chennai, India)
R. Nagendran (National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, India)

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management

ISSN: 1756-8692

Article publication date: 16 March 2015




This study aims to provide a methodology for constructing farm household-level adaptation metrics for agriculture and water sectors. The livelihood of farm households is at risk now and in the foreseeable future, as both agriculture and water sectors are vulnerable to climate variability, particularly in developing nations. Adaptation is critical to protect their livelihood. Vulnerable farmers have adopted various adaptation mechanisms to counteract negative impacts of climate variability, though the extent varies temporally and spatially.


It is, therefore, imperative to understand current adaptation practices for successfully implementing them. A few studies have emerged so far in this context, investigating different issues associated with micro-level adaptation strategies related to agriculture and water sectors, e.g. output and cost-effectiveness, and constraints related to farm, household and institutional levels.


While such analysis is critical to enhance micro-level adaptation measures, there is a felt need to formulate adaptation metrics that can investigate the underlying factors in an integrated manner. For empirical assessment, 146 farmers were interviewed from different agro-ecological zones of Tamil Nadu, India, regarding seven adaptation measures, such as micro-irrigation, rainwater harvesting, resistant crops, use of bio-fertilisers, crop insurance, income diversification and community-based efforts.

Practical implications

These adaptation measures were evaluated through an Analytical Hierarchy Process using four criteria: effective awareness, economic viability, individual and institutional compatibility and flexibility and independent benefits.


The present study provides a methodology to identify barriers that limit implementation of adaptation measures, and enable target-oriented policy measures to promote appropriate adaptation strategies at the local level.



This article is an outcome of the study conducted as part of the Asia-Pacific Network (APN)’s CAPABLE programme, Japan, under the project “Strengthening capacity for policy research on mainstreaming adaptation to climate change in agriculture and water sectors” (CRP2009-02NMY-Pereira). The authors thank M.S. Swaminathan, S.V.R.K. Prabhakar, Joy Jacqueline Perira, Ancha Srinivasan and Nguyen Vom Thang for their intellectual inputs. The authors would like to thank the Editor and two anonymous referees for the useful and constructive comments. The authors extend our thanks to K. Muniyappan for his help in the field study. All the remaining errors and omissions are our responsibility.


Nambi, A.A., Bahinipati, C.S., Raghunath, R. and Nagendran, R. (2015), "Farm household level adaptation metrics for agriculture and water sectors", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 27-40.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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