Extreme weather events in last 5 years affected over 60 per cent of Indian marginal farmers: Report

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Extreme weather events like droughts and excessive rains led to significant crop losses to over 60 per cent of marginal farmers in India, in the last five years, revealed a report on Tuesday calling for actions on climate change.

The report, by the Forum of Enterprises for Equitable Development (FEED) and the Development Intelligence Unit (DIU), is based on a survey involving 6,615 respondents across 20 major states in India.

It showed that 40.9 per cent of farmers have experienced droughts, while 32.6 per cent have faced excessive rains, leading to significant crop losses.

“Over 60 per cent of marginal farmers have faced significant crop losses due to extreme weather events in the past five years, with more than half reporting severe impacts,” said the report.

“These challenges necessitate immediate and sustained action,” it added.

Further, the climatic disturbances have also drastically reduced crop yields — 50 per cent of farmers experienced at least half their standing paddy crop loss, and 42 per cent reported similar losses for wheat.

The losses “threaten food security and also exacerbate the economic instability of marginal farming households”, the report said.

It showed that only 30 per cent of marginal farmers have access to crop insurance, and a mere 25 per cent receive timely financial credit.

“This highlights the need for improved access to financial credit, crop insurance, and advanced technological resources. It also emphasises the benefits of Direct Benefit Transfers (DBTs) and the importance of irrigation facilities in enhancing resilience against climate shocks,” the report said.

It called for promoting “climate-resilient agricultural practices, diversifying livelihoods, and improving access to financial services and technical advice,” said Sanjeev Chopra, Chairperson, FEED.

–IANS

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