Indrajit Barman and Kausik Pradhan
UBKV, Pundibari, Coochbehar, WB
Food and Agriculture Organization states that disasters have an outsized impact on the agriculture sector, leading to large-scale economic losses and causing physical damage to the lands, resources and livelihood assets. Agricultural production systems are being repeatedly and increasingly challenged by multiple disasters and it hinder the farmers in realizing their full potential. Farmers’ knowledge on disaster risks reduction practices plays major role in sustainable agricultural production. The study was conducted in flood prone areas of Dhemaji district under North Bank Plain Agro-Climatic Zone of Assam to assess the farmers’ awareness and knowledge level on disaster risk reduction practices and study socio-economic attributes of farmer respondents as well as to find out the relationship between disaster risk reduction practices with socio-economic attributes of the respondents. A multi-stage, purposive cum random sampling design was used in the study for selecting 120 sample respondents. The study revealed that most of the respondents were young to middle aged, marginal farmers and had medium level of formal education. Majority of them belonged to the low and medium level of annual income categories and had medium level of economic motivation, scientific orientation, extension contact and mass media exposure. Majority of the participant farmers had low level of knowledge on disaster risk reduction practices. Correlation analysis of the independent variables of the study with knowledge of farmers on disaster risk reduction practices revealed that six independent variables, viz., size of land holding, extension contact, mass media exposure, age, education and risk bearing ability were positively and significantly correlated with disaster risk reduction practices. The study implies that existing agricultural extension and advisory service efforts need to be strengthened and focused to enhance the knowledge level of farmers on farm disaster risk reduction practices.