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The vulnerability of Latvia’s agriculture: Farm level response to climatic and non-climatic stimuli
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Department of Water and Environmental Studies.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Agriculture is a climate sensitive sector whether it changes moderately and slowly or radicallyand rapidly. Many studies that focus on the vulnerability of agriculture, use climate scenariosand crop models to assess the potential impacts. This study seeks to identify (1) farmers‘awareness and perceptions of climate variability and change; (2) the types of adjustments theyhave made in their farming practices in response to these changes (farm responses, adaptivestrategies); and (3) other external factors (government policies, social, technological andeconomic conditions) that have significant impact on the farming activities.The results indicate that climate change and variability already have and will have mostlynegative impacts on agriculture. Prolonged dry spells and heat in the summer, less summerrain combined with higher temperatures, more heavy rainfall, more forest or grass fires andextreme weather: drought, flood, storms have been identified as highest climatic burdens toagriculture. An advanced start of the growing season is the the only truly positive change forthe majority of farmers. Apart from that several non-climatic factors were identified assignificant, among them political: high level of bureaucracy, lack of public trust in socialinstitutions, political instability; economical: incentives, for example tax exemption orreduction, access to subsidies and funds, economic growth and development, long-lastingeconomic recession; technological and infrastructural: access to advanced technologies,infrastructure and settlement development and poor road and railroad system; and social:population migration within Europa, ageing of population and population decrease. Thesesocio-economic factors play significant roles in overcoming the risks and building adaptivecapacity. This study shows that a variety of strategies and methods have been applied toreduce the vulnerability. Most often it is a farm level managerial decision, like, adjustedtiming of farm operations, changed crop variety and types, reduced number of livestock,improved technological base or increased income by off farm jobs.Finally we can conclude that even though individual farms have capacity to reducevulnerability, one must not underestimate the role of government and industry to decrease thedamages, take advantage of opportunities or cope with consequences. Farmer decision tomake changes in farming activities is rarely based on one risk alone.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 68 p.
Keyword [en]
Adaptation, agriculture, climate change and variability, climatic and non-climatic factors; Latvian farmers, vulnerability
National Category
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-71589ISRN: LIU-TEMAV/MPSSD-A--11/005—SEOAI: diva2:450864
Subject / course
Master´s Programme in Science for Sustainable Development, 120 ects
Life Earth Science
Available from: 2011-10-24 Created: 2011-10-23 Last updated: 2011-10-25Bibliographically approved

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Department of Water and Environmental Studies
Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-useEarth and Related Environmental Sciences

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