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Migration as adaptation strategy to cope with climate change: A study of farmers’ migration in rural India

This study aims to evaluate the link between climate/weather change and farmer migration in Bihar, India. The influence of cognitive conditions and climate-related stress on farmer migration decisions and the socioeconomic characteristics of migrating and non-migrating farm households are analysed. The focus is the role of migration in access to climate and agricultural extension services and the contribution of migration to enhanced farmer coping capacity.

Design/methodology/approach: A primary survey was conducted of farm households in seven districts of Bihar, India. Farmer perceptions of climate change were analysed using the mental map technique. The role of socioeconomic characteristics in farm household migration was evaluated using binary logistic regression, and the influence of migration on access to climate and agricultural extension services and the adaptive capacity of migrating households was investigated using descriptive statistics.
 

Findings: Climate-induced livelihood risk factors are one of the major drivers of farmer’s migration. The farmers’ perception on climate change influences migration along with the socioeconomic characteristics. There is a significant difference between migrating and non-migrating farm households in the utilization of instructions, knowledge and technology based climate and agriculture extension services. Benefits from receipt of remittance, knowledge and social networks from the host region enhances migrating households’ adaptive capacity.
 

Originality/value: This study provides micro-evidence of the contribution of migration to farmer adaptive capacity and access to climate and agricultural extension services, which will benefit analyses of climate-induced migration in other developing countries with higher agricultural dependence. In addition, valuable insights are delivered on policy requirements to reduce farmer vulnerability to climate change.

Published in International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management ( open access journal)

Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial & non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors.

Chandan Kumar Jha, Vijaya Gupta, Utpal Chattopadhyay, Binilkumar Amarayil Sreeraman, (2018) "Migration as adaptation strategy to cope with climate change: A study of farmers’ migration in rural India", International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, Vol. 10 Issue: 1, pp.121-141, https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCCSM-03-2017-005