The impact of climate change is evident in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh, where the lives of betel leaf producers and farmers has been considerably deteriorated during last seven years. Climate change has resulted in a 58 percent decline in agriculture based livelihoods and food grain production.
As noted in the report of WaterAid India,13 the Bundelkhand region, an area of approximately 70,000 square kilometers with 21 million people—nearly the size and population of Sri Lanka—comprising 13 districts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh is facing its worst ever drought spell in living memory. Rainfall has been deficient by 40-50 percent for the last five years. Going by the report of an inter-ministerial central team, headed by JS Samra of the National Rain-fed Areas Authority, the region didn’t sow in 40 percent of farms; food grain production was down by around 30 percent. More than 20 lakh livestock, a major source of livelihood for local communities, were abandoned. Around 40 percent of the region’s population migrated out, which was double that of 2003.
Different sectors of society depend on different livelihood systems, which are integrally linked to climatic conditions.