Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 277

Climate Change, Agriculture, Poverty
 and Livelihoods: A Status Report


K N Ninan
Satyasiba Bedamatta



This paper assesses the impact of climate change on Indian agriculture covering a cross section of crops, seasons and regions based on existing literature. The study notes that the impact of climate change will vary across crops, regions and climate change scenarios. The evidences indicate a decrease in production of crops in different parts of India with an increase in temperature. A number of studies indicate a probability of 10 % to 40% loss in crop production in India with increases in temperature by 2080-2100.In areas located above 27° N latitude yields of irrigated and rainfed wheat are projected to rise in response to climate change whereas in all other locations yields are projected to decline by -2.3% to -23.9 %. Temperature rises of between 2° C to 3.5 ° C is projected to lead to a loss of 3-26 % in net agricultural revenues. Increasing climate sensitivity of Indian agriculture will lead to greater instability of India’s food production which will also impact on poverty and livelihoods. How quickly Indian farmers are able to adjust their farming practices to adapt to climate change, and what policies or technologies will enable rapid adaptation to climate change are issues that merit attention.

Working Papers