Impact of Climate Change on Marginalized Women – An exploratory study across 6 districts in Assam

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This Report has been prepared by the Centre for Environment, Social and Policy Research (CESPR), and Rashtriya  ramin Vikas Nidhi (RGVN) in collaboration with Indian Network on Ethics and Climate Change (INECC). CESPR is a Guwahati based organization engaged in research and advocacy on various social and environmental issues, which includes climate change, across the North East of India. RGVN is a development support organization, and over the years it has been able to groom and support small organizations involved in various livelihood enhancement programmes. INECC is a loosely structured national network comprising of individuals and organization representatives interested in the climate issue from a micro-macro perspective. It connects the issues of climate change to larger sustainable development and social justice concerns.
The outcome of this research work, which was carried out in six locations across the state of Assam portrays how climate change is impacting the lives of marginalized women in the rural areas in the state. Though there has been a lot of debate regarding climate change and its impacts on several issues such as food security, water shortage etc, attention has not been paid on the impacts of climate change on some very critical issues which includes impacts on marginalized women in the rural areas. This study shows that impacts of climate change has already started taking place and it is predominately visible at various locations across the state, and unknown to many among the policy makers and at the government level, there has been impacts of climate change on the social security, education, health etc of marginalized women in the rural areas in the state.
The study also shows that people are shifting from their traditional livelihood source, which is usually agriculture to other means of livelihood which includes working as a daily wage labour as there has been a decline in the agricultural production and other traditional practices. Besides this, in many households, women who were earlier home makers have now started working to supplement the family’s income as there has been a decline in the income through agriculture. In several households the families have also asked their daughter to quit her studies and spend time at the house for the household chorus.
The insights and findings from the research work, which was conducted in three phases gives an indication of the challenges that is ahead, and should also be able to convince everyone about the need to give a thought on this issue.
Please do go through the report and do give your feedback to Dr. Amarjyoti Borah, Co-Convener, CESPR, [cesprindia.research@gmail.com].

Scientist’s warning on farmer suicides: Assam

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/guwahati/Scientists-warning-on-farmer-suicides/articleshow/13749856.cms

GUWAHATI: Agriculture scientist GV Ramanjaneyulu on Saturday said Assam could go the Chhattisgarh way in terms of farmers’ suicides if the state government fails to implement concrete measures in protecting the interests of farmers.

The scientist was speaking at an interactive session titled “The Current Crisis in Indian Agriculture and the Way Forward” held in Cotton College State University, organized by its department of economics. He emphasized on the comparisons between Assam and Chhattisgarh in terms of production of different varieties of rice and engagement of tribals in farming and agriculture.

“What happened in Chhattisgarh was quite unfortunate because the state government had decided to introduce hybrid rice which almost made the traditional varieties extinct. Besides, there were many flawed measures introduced by the government which proved disastrous. Farmers have become an endangered species,” said Ramanjaneyulu, executive director Centre for Advanced Sustentative Agriculture, Hyderabad.

“That state has witnessed a large number of farmers committing suicide. But Assam has the lowest record of farmers’ suicide. However the situation could go wrong if the state government decides to introduce hybrid variety and Assam could suffer the same fate as Chhattisgarh. The government must put a check on farming by migrants as they tend to use fertilizers because they don’t have any bond towards the land,” added the scientist.

The scientist also took a dig at chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s recent announcement to allocate Rs 33 crore for organic farming by stating that until and unless there are some concrete policies regarding how and where to promote such farming, the entire money could go waste.

On the issue of green revolution being shifted to the eastern region of the country, Ramanjaneyulu said, “It needs to be properly addressed. If there are pesticides involved in agricultural fields in the upper-stream, then there are possibilities of them being disposed in the downstream. Assam has a rich history of producing different varieties of rice. But it has lost most varieties now.”