Socio-economic analysis of awareness and perception of climate change by the rice farmers in vulnerable regions of Odisha

Public risk perception indicates the way people respond to the hazards including climate catastrophes. Public opinion largely shapes the policy formulations by the governments. The present study was conducted in Ganjam district of Odisha to gauze the awareness and perception of farmers regarding climate change which is already manifesting itself in the region. The study indicated that reasonably good percentage (65.17%) of farmers heard the term 'climate change'. However, they hardly understand the proper meaning of climate change. Around 41% of the farmers didn't have any idea about what causes climate change. However, farmers had unanimous feeling that the climate is changing. They perceived that intensities of day and night temperature, rainfall, humidity, cold and heat waves and frequency of cyclones has changed over the years. Majority of the farmers experienced that the cropping season and sowing time had been delayed because of late onset of monsoon. Farmers may be encouraged to rear livestock as a measure of occupation diversification to lessen the risk in times of climatic adversity. It is required to organize awareness camps for educating the farmers and general mass about the seriousness of threat level of climate change and the mitigation/adaptation options. Extension functionaries should impress upon the farmers to have more social participation.