Fast growing economies like India are likely to witness increasing disparity in living standards between rural and urban areas, with a corresponding increase in migration from rural to urban areas. The weather sensitivity of agriculture and the increasing vulnerability of crop yields to both weather extremes and changing weather conditions are likely to further accelerate the rural to rural and rural to urban migration.
This study explores the three-way linkage between weather variability, agricultural performance and internal migration in India. It addresses the following issues:
What is the evidence of inter-state migration caused by weather-variability-induced agricultural yield changes?
How significant is the impact on migration of crop yield changes at the intra-state level? Does such migration depend on the agricultural crop under consideration?
The findings of the paper indicate a clear link between weather variability, crop yield decrease and migration rates of those engaged in agriculture. The paper argues that these results have important policy implications from a climate change perspective and re-emphasise the scope for considering migration as an effective adaptation option.