The increasing global population depends on the efficacy of agriculture to meet its nutritional needs. Due to changing climate and extreme weather events, farmers confront increasing risks as yields fluctuate and crop production becomes less stable forcing farmers to rethink their agricultural practices. The development of more efficient farming management practices holds the potential to both reduce farmer risk and stabilize production. Hence, it is critical to identify adaptation measures that farmers are implementing. This study investigated the challenges posed by climate change on Ventura County, California, agriculture—a prominent agricultural area in the country—and the various measures farmers adopted to counter them efficiently. This study also examines the success of these measures in light of governmental assistance efforts to facilitate this process.
Using a mixed methods approach that integrated ethnographic methods and quantitative data analysis, I collected farmers’ perceptions of climate change and how it influenced their agricultural production decisions. This method also allowed for the assessment of farmers’ adaptation processes and their sentiments on its efficacy. I used a triangulation approach that included interviews of experts and extension agents as well as quantitative data that was collected to assess crop production and yields and compared them with weather fluctuations in the region.
The results showed that increasing temperature and water scarcity tied to climate variability has caused losses in crop production as farmers abandoned more risky crops and land holdings, but that yields in high value crops remained stable as a result of farmers adaptation of new agricultural technologies and practices over the last two decades. In general, farmers responded by implementing various adaptation strategies, based on their own experiences and/or governmental initiatives. It finds that farmers who believed that the negative climate events were a result of long-term climate change were more likely to invest in and adopt new farming technologies and practices. The findings also suggest that the adaptation measures could be improved if government agents and farmers collaborate further on programs imperfections to elaborate efficient adequate management practices to foster sustainable agriculture.
|Commitee:||Dallman, Suzanne, House-Peters, Lily|
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 82/6(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Climate Change, Geography, Sustainability, Environmental Studies, Management, Meteorology, Agricultural engineering|
|Keywords:||Adaptations, Climate change effects, Farming practices, Southern California, Nutritional needs, Extreme weather events, Farming management, Weather fluctuations, Agricultural technologies, Farming technologies|
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