In Sri Lanka, smallholder farmers are among the most vulnerable to natural disasters. More than 27 million people have been affected by floods and droughts with economic losses estimated at over USD 2.62 billion since 1966. Climate change-induced factors such as erratic rainfall and severe floods, droughts, tropical cyclones or saline water intrusion are making the situation worse. While climate risks are on the rise, a growing variety of tools aims to reduce the impact on poor and vulnerable people. Among those tools, social protection (e.g., weather index insurance) is a proven set of instruments when it comes to reducing risks in a context of poverty and vulnerability.
Lack of education and technical skills, poverty, risks inherent to agricultural investments, and limited assets and financial capital are major reasons for low investment in enhancing adaptive capacity to climate change. Now, technology could be the key to improving smallholder resilience to natural disasters and their opportunities for resilient recovery.