Climate Change Adaptation Perspectives-Commercial Farmers and Small Farmers | 2015-09-17 |

Perception of Engaging the farmers in the field

Climate Change Adaptation Perspectives-Commercial Farmers and Small Farmers

Natasha Israt Kabir     17th September, 2015 06:25:18 printer

Climate Change Adaptation Perspectives-Commercial Farmers and Small Farmers

The perceptions of climate change and variability cut across all categories of social groups and locations .Climate change /variability is claimed to be one of the most important problems confronting their farming activities. Their experiences of the elements of the weather inform their perceptions of climate change. Commercial Farmers have more sophisticated understanding of Climate change than peasant farmers. Climate change as scientific jargon comes from framer’s awareness creation efforts by NGOs and the state through radio discussion and visits by extension officers. The perception of climate risk is therefore dependent on the social, cultural and economic conditions within which people experience the risk. Farmers generally have very clear ideas of the trends in the parameters of climate change as they relate to farm productivity and other livelihoods.



Small Scale Farmers

Commercial Farmers

General Impacts

  • Food Security
  • Migration
  • Poor Economy
  • Poverty
  • Introduction of livestock rearing


  • Exports
  • Quality
  • Migration
  • Poor economy
  • Environmental Degradation.


This situation together with the very high cost of production creates fear and uncertainty among farmers. The effects of climate change have devastating consequences because of the high input, high output nature of production. Ability to plan output is crucial for the farmers. On the whole it is thought climate change ’will result in hunger due to crop failure. The shortage of food emanating from poor agricultural output will lead to high prices of food stuffs and adaptation on the part of government which will put pressure on government resources’


In response to the impacts of climate change/variability on their production, livelihoods and environments, the farmers have restored to a range of adaptation strategies. The adaptation strategies reflect a combination of climate and non-climate factors as fish farming as an activity is driven by both dimensions rather than climate alone. Most of the strategies devised by farmers fitted with their perceptions of the problem of climate change and it’s impacts on dimensions of their farm operations and other livelihoods. Modernization of aquaculture is a necessity as climate and non-climate factors exacerbate socio-economic scarcities of income generation.


Table: Adaptation to Climate change: Variability after Technology



  • Technology
  • Mechanization
  • Income
  • Collateral Security
  • Skills/Education
  • Local Knowledge
  • Experience


  • Diversity in Aquaculture
  • Cultivate new improved varieties
  • High input usage
  • Multiple location of aquaculture
  • Diversified aquaculture
  • Rivers, ponds and lakes
  • Availability of non-degraded water resources
  • Financial Capital
  •  Acquire River Basins
  • Available Markets
  • Quality Demands
  • Physical Capital
  • Modern Skills
  • Policies of openness of global markets
  • Integrated Policy
  • Meet quality standards
  • Mechanized and professional aquaculture-business practice


  • Extension Services
  • Agricultural NGOS
  • Multilateral and Bilateral Aid Initiatives
  • Union Power for Access to Information and Diffusion
  • Receive information

Collaboration with other farmers for shared innovations

  • Unionized activities
  • Social Capital in City
  • Skills
  • Financial Capital
  • Institutions
  • New Technology
  • Diversity
  • Engage in Aquaculture


 Disasters associated with climate affects both groups but differentially women since resilience level differ. Serious disasters however affect women being dependent. Non-farm property is of more concern to small farmers since these represent major investments and the impacts on them are mainly negative being dependent and intertwined to larger socio-economic problems. Within the southwestern coastal region of Bangladesh, it is estimated that there are approximately 207,600big ha land under gher system. The implication being that a wide range of support has been available to the farmers. The knowledge base is now diverse as continually built up by seminars and technical support, in addition to group dynamics which makes them unified body capable of influencing policy. Earlier the farmers were ubiquitous without a leadership capable of pushing their concerns to policy makers. Also their products are undervalued by policy makers even though they ensure food security of the country..Investment level differentiates the two, in addition to the quality and profitability of investments. A holistic understanding of strategies is always important. We find that climate change and variability is a serious challenge but one that the actors and their environments have capacities and strengths to deal with given the right combination of resources and management.






  • The Practice of mixed aquacultures for food security
  • farming of cash aquaculture to earn income to meet other necessities
  • Multiple economic activities where family members do other activities
  • Protein potentials


  • Cold Storage facilities
  • lack of inputs
  • Lack of access to information
  • Inability to form a strong and sustainable association


  • Opportunity for new variety
  • Possibility to ask government for support
  • Easier and possible now to change attitude of people


  • Market uncertainties
  • wide spread poverty
  • difficult and costly access

Major Concerns and Solutions

  • State support is very important for using technology
  • Fish farming must be popularized


Aquaculture options chosen by farmers are outcomes of conscious decision –making process and details understanding of the complex nexus of factors defining effective livelihood adoption .Although the main manifestations of climate change are of a physical nature ,their consequences transcend ecological, social, cultural, political and economic impacts ( Adger and Kelly 1999: Mendelsohn et al.2006)The non-climate factors just as important threats to farming are mainly lack of seed, security of tenure, or market accessibility as problems results in the adoption and adaptation over time of dynamic livelihood strategies. The capacity to adopt impacts hinges on proactive measures adopted by different socio-economic groups living in differentiated geographical and socio-economic circumstances. Each and every measure requires different structures and institutions to galvanize necessary action and resources. Success in adjustments in economic system in response to actual or expected outcomes and their effects therefore depend on the nature of institutional arrangements in terms of policies and programs. The understanding of phenomena is a reflection of capabilities needed to confront it and adapt to it. The farmers are different social groups with different capabilities in terms of assets, training and access to extension, inputs and markets. Efforts by the state and donors and NGOs in increasing capacity can only be effective upon a good understanding of perceptions by differentiated groups of people. This provides the right avenues for instituting right mechanisms for dissemination of information, knowledge and skills, and the deployment of new technologies needed to adapt to the threats of climate change.


The writer is a Freelance Researcher and Founder President of BRIDGE Foundation.

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