Abiotic stresses observed in the village Kaudikol , district Cuttack, Orissa have been recorded for 8 years and analysed. Survey data collected for four years (1996-97 to 1999-2000) from the farmers of this village have been analysed to find out their livelihood system, importance of rice in this system and the coping mechanisms followed by them in case of loss to the kharif rice crop. The abiotic stresses have been found to cause flood / submergence to different degrees in 5 years, drought in 3 years and cyclone in one year out of the total 8 years, causing production losses to rice. The maximum losses to rice crop have been observed during 1999 kharif season due to cyclone. It has been found that rice is the major crop during the kharif season, covering up to 79 per cent of the total cultivated area with contribution of 21 per cent to total income. Service has been found to be the most important source of income, followed by rice and business. The average annual income of the farmers has been noticed to vary from Rs 23,329 for marginal farmers to Rs 84,072 for large farmers over the period 1997-98 to 1999-2000. Rice has been found to be the major source of income for medium than other categories of farmers. For large farmers, salaried job has been observed as the most important source of income. The marginal and small farmers have been found to compensate their rice income loss from sources like wage earnings, jute and rabi/ summer rice.
Through non-farm income and crop diversification, the farmers have been able to reduce the effect of rice income losses to some extent. Therefore, more non-farm employment opportunities should be created in this area to increase income and living standard of the farmers. Development of submergence-tolerant varieties with high-yield is the priority area for rice research in this area. There is also a need to introduce crop insurance scheme for rice crop in this area.