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      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
      Emerald

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          Abstract

          Purpose

          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.

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          Most cited references84

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          Are there social limits to adaptation to climate change?

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            Theories of International Migration: A Review and Appraisal

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              Adaptive capacity and human cognition: The process of individual adaptation to climate change

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management
                IJCCSM
                Emerald
                1756-8692
                January 08 2018
                January 08 2018
                : 10
                : 1
                : 121-141
                Article
                10.1108/IJCCSM-03-2017-0059
                a070eb20-3b8e-4aaa-8155-43a56fb90623
                © 2018

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