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Farmers' perception of and adaptation to climate-change impacts in the Dry Zone of Myanmar

Swe L.M.M., Shrestha R.P., Ebbers T., Jourdain D.. 2015. Climate and Development, 7 (5) : p. 437-453.

In Myanmar, impacts of climate change have been apparent since 1977. Myanmar's economy, which exclusively depends on agriculture, is increasingly at risk due to climate change. Since farmers are often the first to confront climate change, they must adapt to new climatic conditions. Local adaptation practices, the possible starting points in developing new adaptation strategies, are currently occurring at a local scale, particularly based on the traditional knowledge. We used household survey, participatory histogram mapping and key-informant interviews to explore the farmers' perception and adaptation practices to climate change in the Myanmar Dry Zone. Ninety per cent of respondents perceived the changing climatic patterns in the Dry Zone, while increasing temperature and the erratic rainfall patterns were perceived as the predominant changes by 85% of the people. The farmers also perceived that there have already been several impacts of climate changes on agriculture. The common sesame/groundnut cropping pattern has been abandoned by the Dry Zone farmers in recent decades due to climate-change-driven agricultural production barriers. Farmers have been dealing with those barriers using their conventional agricultural practices, e.g. rainwater-collection, tube wells and water-harvesting techniques. They have also been using the traditional weather forecasting techniques to predict weather. Consequently, the study underlines the need to document existing agricultural practices that can prove to be successful adaptation measures, and it points out the crucial role of the extension strategy in disseminating agricultural techniques and weather information to support farmers to further adapt to climate-change impacts. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : approches participatives; protection des plantes; zone aride; Évaluation de l'impact; facteur climatique; choix des espèces; donnée météorologique; système de culture; pratique culturale; enquête sur exploitations agricoles; agriculteur; perceptions; changement climatique; adaptation aux changements climatiques; myanmar

Thématique : Météorologie et climatologie; Systèmes et modes de culture; Agriculture - Considérations générales; Protection des végétaux : considérations générales

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