The Dynamics of Rural Vulnerability to Global Change: The Case of southern Africa

The Dynamics of Rural Vulnerability to Global Change: The Case of southern Africa Research on the agricultural impacts of global change frequently emphasizesthe physical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change, yet globalchanges associated with the internationalization of economic activity mayalso have significant impacts on food systems. Together, climate change andglobalization are exposing farmers to new and unfamiliar conditions.Although some farmers may be in a position to take advantage of thesechanges, many more are facing increased vulnerability, particularly in thedeveloping world. This paper considers the dynamics of agriculturalvulnerability to global change through the example of southern Africa. Wedemonstrate that the combination of global and national economic changesis altering the context under which southern African farmers cope withclimate variability and adapt to long-term change. We find that farmers whoformerly had difficulty adapting to climatic variability may become lessvulnerable to drought-related food shortages as the result of tradeliberalization. At the same time, however, removal of national credit andsubsidies may constrain or limit adaptation strategies of other farmers,leaving them more vulnerable to climate variability and change. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change Springer Journals

The Dynamics of Rural Vulnerability to Global Change: The Case of southern Africa

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Earth Sciences; Atmospheric Sciences; Climate Change Management and Policy; Environmental Management
ISSN
1381-2386
eISSN
1573-1596
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1015860421954
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Research on the agricultural impacts of global change frequently emphasizesthe physical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change, yet globalchanges associated with the internationalization of economic activity mayalso have significant impacts on food systems. Together, climate change andglobalization are exposing farmers to new and unfamiliar conditions.Although some farmers may be in a position to take advantage of thesechanges, many more are facing increased vulnerability, particularly in thedeveloping world. This paper considers the dynamics of agriculturalvulnerability to global change through the example of southern Africa. Wedemonstrate that the combination of global and national economic changesis altering the context under which southern African farmers cope withclimate variability and adapt to long-term change. We find that farmers whoformerly had difficulty adapting to climatic variability may become lessvulnerable to drought-related food shortages as the result of tradeliberalization. At the same time, however, removal of national credit andsubsidies may constrain or limit adaptation strategies of other farmers,leaving them more vulnerable to climate variability and change.

Journal

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global ChangeSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 4, 2004

References

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