Integrating Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change in Orissa, India: Coupling Entrepreneurial Agricultural Mechanization with Village-Based Biodiesel Production
Dabby, Nava Samara
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India’s strong agrarian economy, global location and climatic zoning make it highly vulnerable to the potential effects of climate change. Recent evidence of shortening cropping seasons has raised interest among academics and policy makers in tools for adaptation. Timely sowing and appropriate mechanization have been identified as attractive adaptation tools. Mechanization using locally produced biodiesel in place of conventional fossil fuel provides a relatively low-cost and sustainable opportunity to mitigate carbon emissions. An enterprise model in which farmers invest in machinery for custom hire coupled with community-produced biodiesel offers one approach to integrated adaptation and mitigation mechanisms for climate change. This research analyses agricultural practices and small farm mechanization in the state of Orissa, India, drawing on a village case study. Primary data is from twelve key informant interviews with farmers, academics and NGO representatives in India. Secondary data analysis includes Indian and Orissan government documents and reports from international organizations regarding agricultural mechanization, sustainability, resiliency and climate change. The results of this study indicate that joint mitigation and adaptation mechanisms implemented at the community level can address impacts of climate change while also offering opportunities for livelihood benefits, poverty alleviation and income generation. This research contributes to growing literature on adaptation and mitigation tools for climate change and adds an integral focus on small-scale opportunities within the broader scope of sustainable agriculture and biofuel development in India.