Farm level damage and loss assessment of natural disasters: How realistic are the assessments?

Femi Elizabeth George, A. Prema, M. Hema, P. Prameela

Abstract


The mounting evidence on global climate change and its effects leading to increased occurrence of natural disasters that directly impact the lives and livelihoods of people is a matter of serious concern. The climatic extremes are often found to adversely affect farm production and productivity as agriculture is highly vulnerable to climate variability and change. The study was undertaken in the background of the unprecedented deluge that engulfed the entire state of Kerala in the year 2018 triggering 341 landslides, destroying topography of affected areas, claiming 433 lives and resulting in huge loss to state’s economy. A large number of agriculture dependent rural households, most of which are involved in subsistence agriculture, were found to have borne the brunt of the unprecedented deluge and its aftermath. The assessment of disaster effects on farm households was carried along the flood plains of Chalakudy river in terms of damages and losses following the FAO methodology. The study revealed severe damage to crops, livestock and agricultural assets and pegged the damage and loss at about A 259 crores in the flood plain. The destruction of seasonal crops in the stage of harvest imposed greater monetary loss to the farm households than any other damages. The inconsistencies with regard to the estimated flood impact to agriculture and the corresponding reported values by the government departments concerned, suggest the need for adopting internationally approved frame work for assessing the impact of disasters on agriculture; both at macro and microlevel.


Keywords


Disaster Loss Assessment

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References


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