Climate Change in the Andes: Predictions, Perceptions and Adaptation by Rice Farmers

Rice farmers in Peru are one of the world’s social groups that are more highly and heterogeneously exposed to climate change. While aggregate climate predictions provide important guidance for impact mitigation policy, actual climate perceptions and coping behavior observations provide a unique view into the heterogeneity of households’ exposure to climate risks and related livelihood stresses. In this study we show how farmer perceptions provide a nuanced picture of climate change in Northern Peru and analyze the different coping actions of agricultural households as they respond to diverse climatic stress factors. We examine the complexity of adaptation strategies by evaluating the complementarity/substitutability between different coping actions. For example, we find that households adopting new rice varieties as a coping strategy use this option as a substitute to getting credit, reducing the rice area or diversifying the crop. We also find that non-agricultural strategies such as migrating, mortgaging the land and pawning assets are high complements of asking for credit, reducing area or diversifying the crop, and relying on the help of family and friends.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-23

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