Enhancing food security: Food crop portfolio choice in response to climatic risk in India

Aditya R. Khanal, Ashok K. Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Food security is highly sensitive to climate risks in rainfed areas, particularly in South Asia where agriculture is highly dependent on rainfall. About 56% of India's land mass is agricultural land, and only 43% is net cultivated area; 60% of India's total cropped area is still rain-fed and therefore dependent on the monsoon. Changes in climatic variables such as rainfall can have an adverse impact on output and income, food prices and human health, and the food security. This study considers the combination of food crop choices as one of the ex-ante risk management strategies and examines farm households’ food crop portfolio choices as a response to climatic risk in semi-arid tropics of India. Unlike in other countries, intercropping and mixed cropping are prevalent among Indian farmers. Taking this into consideration and data from Indian farms findings show that farmers in semi-arid tropics of India are growing less risky food crop portfolio. Secondly, we find that in the presence of climatic risk, farmers tend to choose less risky crops and as a result less risky food crop portfolios. Finally, in the presence of climatic risk wealthy farmers and farmers with more cash on hand are more likely to choose relatively riskier food crop portfolio.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalGlobal Food Security
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Climatic risk
  • Farm households
  • Food crop portfolio
  • India
  • Intercropping
  • Mixed cropping
  • Off-farm income
  • Single-index approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Ecology
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Safety Research


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