Evaluating the Determinants of Perceived Drought Resilience

An Empirical Analysis of Farmers' Survival Capabilities in Drought-Prone Regions of South India

Ram Ranjan*, Deepa Pradhan, V. Ratna Reddy, Geoffrey J. Syme

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Farmers in the rainfed districts of South India are faced with repeated drought conditions, which adversely affect their livelihoods, placing their survival at stake. In this chapter, we empirically assess the drought survival potential of such households in three drought-prone districts of Andhra Pradesh, and evaluate the roles of human, physical, social, financial, and natural capitals in determining their resilience to repeated droughts. The key findings indicate that within the human capital category, health is not considered relevant for future drought survival, whereas higher skills are considered important by the households. Further, level of education and number of earning members in the household positively influence perceived drought survival. In addition, reliance on government intervention programs such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for drought survival is higher among households with better health; such households also show greater reliance on common property resources for their income, implying that households with better health are able to better access or utilize livelihood opportunities outside of farming. The study also finds that watershed programs may have contributed to increased inequality in these regions; when compared to untreated regions, watershed-treated areas show improved drought resilience in some regions while there is no improvement in others. Results also indicate that the perceived resilience of farmers seems to have improved in terms of financial and health indicators in the watershed-treated regions despite a decline in their net crop incomes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIntegrated Assessment of Scale Impacts of Watershed Intervention
Subtitle of host publicationAssessing Hydrogeological and Bio-Physical Influences on Livelihoods
EditorsV. Ratna Reddy, Geoffrey J. Syme
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)9780128008461
ISBN (Print)9780128000670
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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