IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Farmers’ Distress Index: An Approach for an Action Plan to Reduce Vulnerability in the Drylands of India


  • Reddy, A. Amarender
  • Bhattacharya, Anindita
  • Reddy, S. Venku
  • Ricart, Sandra


Farmer distress is a widely recognized problem in India induced by multiple causes ranging from climate variability to price volatility and the low risk-bearing ability of farmers. Tracking farmers’ distress in a localized context is a prerequisite for timely action to provide sustainable livelihood options. Therefore, a field survey was conducted with 640 dryland farmers of 10 sub-district units from two states in India with the aim to identify the major indicators based on seven dimensions of distress and to construct a multidimensional Farmers’ Distress Index (FDI) at the farmer and sub-district levels. The FDI was built with seven dimensions of distress: exposure to risk, adaptive capacity, sensitivity, mitigation and adaptation strategies, triggers, psychological factors, and impacts. The study developed a broad-based FDI which can be used as a planning tool that can address the causes of farmers’ distress and also evolve measures to tackle those causes. Based on the result, the study recommends a location-specific distress management package based on various dimensions of the FDI. The paper also suggests an upscaling strategy to identify and prioritize the highly distressed farmers as well as sub-district geographical units by tracking a few sets of variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Reddy, A. Amarender & Bhattacharya, Anindita & Reddy, S. Venku & Ricart, Sandra, 2021. "Farmers’ Distress Index: An Approach for an Action Plan to Reduce Vulnerability in the Drylands of India," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 10(11), pages 1-1.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:273430
    DOI: 10.3390/land10111236

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manuel Fernando Castro, 2011. "Defining and Using Performance Indicators and Targets in Government M and E Systems," World Bank Publications - Reports 11061, The World Bank Group.
    2. Gordon, Line J. & Finlayson, C. Max & Falkenmark, Malin, 2010. "Managing water in agriculture for food production and other ecosystem services," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 97(4), pages 512-519, April.
    3. Vincenzo Rusciano & Gennaro Civero & Debora Scarpato, 2020. "Social and Ecological High Influential Factors in Community Gardens Innovation: An Empirical Survey in Italy," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(11), pages 1-16, June.
    4. Andrea Gatto, 2020. "A pluralistic approach to economic and business sustainability: A critical meta‐synthesis of foundations, metrics, and evidence of human and local development," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(4), pages 1525-1539, July.
    5. Archana Raghavan Sathyan & Christoph Funk & Thomas Aenis & Lutz Breuer, 2018. "Climate Vulnerability in Rainfed Farming: Analysis from Indian Watersheds," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(9), pages 1-27, September.
    6. Leonie Guerrero Lara & Laura M. Pereira & Federica Ravera & Amanda Jiménez-Aceituno, 2019. "Flipping the Tortilla : Social-Ecological Innovations and Traditional Ecological Knowledge for More Sustainable Agri-Food Systems in Spain," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(5), pages 1-21, February.
    7. Gallai, Nicola & Salles, Jean-Michel & Settele, Josef & Vaissière, Bernard E., 2009. "Economic valuation of the vulnerability of world agriculture confronted with pollinator decline," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 810-821, January.
    8. Valentina Cattivelli & Vincenzo Rusciano, 2020. "Social Innovation and Food Provisioning during Covid-19: The Case of Urban–Rural Initiatives in the Province of Naples," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(11), pages 1-15, May.
    9. Gatto, Andrea & Drago, Carlo, 2020. "A taxonomy of energy resilience," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    10. Frank Ellis, 2000. "The Determinants of Rural Livelihood Diversification in Developing Countries," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(2), pages 289-302, May.
    11. repec:idb:brikps:71438 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Komali Kantamaneni & Louis Rice & Komali Yenneti & Luiza C. Campos, 2020. "Assessing the Vulnerability of Agriculture Systems to Climate Change in Coastal Areas: A Novel Index," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(11), pages 1-24, June.
    13. Gallai, Nicola & Salles, Jean-Michel & Settele, Josef & Vaissière, Bernard E., 2009. "Economic valuation of the vulnerability of world agriculture confronted with pollinator decline," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 810-821, January.
    14. Salvatore Greco & Alessio Ishizaka & Menelaos Tasiou & Gianpiero Torrisi, 2019. "On the Methodological Framework of Composite Indices: A Review of the Issues of Weighting, Aggregation, and Robustness," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 141(1), pages 61-94, January.
    15. Rajiv Pandey & ShashidharKumar Jha, 2012. "Climate vulnerability index - measure of climate change vulnerability to communities: a case of rural Lower Himalaya, India," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 487-506, June.
    16. Andrea Gatto, 2018. "Historical Roots of Microcredit and Usury: The Role of Monti di Pietà in Italy and in the Kingdom of Naples in XV–XX Centuries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(5), pages 911-914, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Srijita Ghosh & Kausik Gupta, 2023. "Dynamic Analysis of Watershed Management and Sustainable Agriculture in Dryland Regions: A Case Study of Purulia District, West Bengal," Review of Development and Change, , vol. 28(2), pages 207-244, December.
    2. Abiodun A. Ogundeji, 2022. "Adaptation to Climate Change and Impact on Smallholder Farmers’ Food Security in South Africa," Agriculture, MDPI, vol. 12(5), pages 1-16, April.
    3. Diego León Peña-Orozco & María Eugenia Londoño-Escobar & Andrés Mauricio Paredes Rodríguez & Jesús Gonzalez-Feliu & Gonzalo Navarrete Meneses, 2023. "Prioritizing Public Policy Implementation for Rural Development in a Developing Country via Multicriteria Classification," Economies, MDPI, vol. 12(1), pages 1-25, December.
    4. Yue Sun & Yanhui Wang & Chong Huang & Renhua Tan & Junhao Cai, 2023. "Measuring farmers’ sustainable livelihood resilience in the context of poverty alleviation: a case study from Fugong County, China," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 10(1), pages 1-16, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Smith, Helen F. & Sullivan, Caroline A., 2014. "Ecosystem services within agricultural landscapes—Farmers' perceptions," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 72-80.
    2. Shuxin Mao & Sha Qiu & Tao Li & Mingfang Tang, 2020. "Rural Households’ Livelihood Strategy Choice and Livelihood Diversity of Main Ethnic Minorities in Chongqing, China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(19), pages 1-15, October.
    3. Mariarosaria Lombardi & Marco Costantino, 2020. "A Social Innovation Model for Reducing Food Waste: The Case Study of an Italian Non-Profit Organization," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, vol. 10(3), pages 1-16, July.
    4. Carlo Drago & Andrea Gatto, 2022. "An interval‐valued composite indicator for energy efficiency and green entrepreneurship," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(5), pages 2107-2126, July.
    5. Gatto, Andrea & Drago, Carlo, 2020. "Measuring and modeling energy resilience," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 172(C).
    6. Agnieszka Kozera & Aldona Standar & Łukasz Satoła, 2020. "Managing Rural Areas in the Context of the Growing Debt of Polish Local Government Units," Agriculture, MDPI, vol. 10(9), pages 1-25, August.
    7. Balzan, Mario V & Caruana, Julio & Zammit, Annrica, 2018. "Assessing the capacity and flow of ecosystem services in multifunctional landscapes: Evidence of a rural-urban gradient in a Mediterranean small island state," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 711-725.
    8. Lippert, Christian & Feuerbacher, Arndt & Narjes, Manuel, 2021. "Revisiting the economic valuation of agricultural losses due to large-scale changes in pollinator populations," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C).
    9. Nicholas W Calderone, 2012. "Insect Pollinated Crops, Insect Pollinators and US Agriculture: Trend Analysis of Aggregate Data for the Period 1992–2009," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 7(5), pages 1-27, May.
    10. repec:idb:brikps:64718 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Ioannis Arzoumanidis & Andrea Raggi & Luigia Petti, 2019. "Life Cycle Assessment of Honey: Considering the Pollination Service," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, vol. 9(1), pages 1-13, March.
    12. Centner, Terence J. & Brewer, Brady & Leal, Isaac, 2018. "Reducing damages from sulfoxaflor use through mitigation measures to increase the protection of pollinator species," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 70-76.
    13. Margot Karlikow & Evan Amalfitano & Xiaolong Yang & Jennifer Doucet & Abigail Chapman & Peivand Sadat Mousavi & Paige Homme & Polina Sutyrina & Winston Chan & Sofia Lemak & Alexander F. Yakunin & Adam, 2023. "CRISPR-induced DNA reorganization for multiplexed nucleic acid detection," Nature Communications, Nature, vol. 14(1), pages 1-11, December.
    14. Melathopoulos, Andony P. & Stoner, Alexander M., 2015. "Critique and transformation: On the hypothetical nature of ecosystem service value and its neo-Marxist, liberal and pragmatist criticisms," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 173-181.
    15. Laura Christ & Daniel C. Dreesmann, 2022. "SAD but True: Species Awareness Disparity in Bees Is a Result of Bee-Less Biology Lessons in Germany," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(5), pages 1-15, February.
    16. Giannini, Tereza C. & Acosta, André L. & Garófalo, Carlos A. & Saraiva, Antonio M. & Alves-dos-Santos, Isabel & Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L., 2012. "Pollination services at risk: Bee habitats will decrease owing to climate change in Brazil," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 244(C), pages 127-131.
    17. Tremlett, Constance J. & Peh, Kelvin S.-H. & Zamora-Gutierrez, Veronica & Schaafsma, Marije, 2021. "Value and benefit distribution of pollination services provided by bats in the production of cactus fruits in central Mexico," Ecosystem Services, Elsevier, vol. 47(C).
    18. Halbich, Cestmir & Vostrovsky, Vaclav, 2012. "Monitoring of infection pressure of American Foulbrood disease by means of Google Maps," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 4(4), pages 1-8, December.
    19. Vanessa Gabel & Robert Home & Sibylle Stöckli & Matthias Meier & Matthias Stolze & Ulrich Köpke, 2018. "Evaluating On-Farm Biodiversity: A Comparison of Assessment Methods," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(12), pages 1-14, December.
    20. Thompson, Wyatt & Lu, Yaqiong & Gerlt, Scott & Yang, Xianyu & Campbell, J. Elliott & Kueppers, Lara M. & Snyder, Mark A., 2018. "Automatic Responses of Crop Stocks and Policies Buffer Climate Change Effects on Crop Markets and Price Volatility," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 98-105.
    21. Letourneau, Deborah K. & Ando, Amy W. & Jedlicka, Julie A. & Narwani, Anita & Barbier, Edward, 2015. "Simple-but-sound methods for estimating the value of changes in biodiversity for biological pest control in agriculture," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 215-225.

    More about this item


    distress indicators; farmers; risk; income shoks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q14 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Finance
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy; Animal Welfare Policy
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:espost:273430. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.