Adaptation as Innovation: Lessons from Smallholder Farmer in Rainfed Karnataka

Greeshma Hegde, Chandni Singh, Harpreet Kaur | 2018 

Abstract

Agriculture in India faces multiple challenges such as increasing climate variability, deteriorating natural resources, and systemic fluctuations such as market dynamics, aspirational shifts, and policy changes. These challenges are critically experienced in semi-arid regions across India which are seeing rapid environmental change and inadequate and unequal policy action. At the individual level, farmers deal with risk and uncertainty daily. Many of them leverage these conditions of stress as opportunities for innovation and improved risk management. Often, these innovative practices can result in ‘triple wins’ – higher incomes, while maintaining ecological sustainability, and adapting to increasing climate variability and environmental change.

This booklet documents eight farmer stories from two districts in Karnataka to highlight innovative practices and the socio-economic, institutional, and personal factors that enable this innovation. This also helps identify potential entry points to support autonomous, individual-led adaptation and provides directions for scaling up. It is aimed at district and state-level government officials and local NGOs as a way to spread success stories and share reasons for failures between districts.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.24943/aai.2017