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Regionalization of climatic factors and income indicators for milk production in Honduras

Peter Lentes, Michael Peters and Federico Holmann

Ecological Economics, 2010, vol. 69, issue 3, 539-552

Abstract: The temporal and spatial distribution of dry and wet seasons is drastically limiting forage and agricultural production in Honduras. A regional overview on how these patterns influence the income of different types of milk producers was non-existent and would be a beneficial tool for targeting policies and development interventions. This paper examines the regionalized incomes derived from milk production by relating dry season length to milk production parameters for dairy farms. Cattle farms were assessed using two samples. Milk production in the dry and wet seasons was characterized by monthly net income from milk per cow. Sample A (97 farms) was classified according to a) herd size classes and b) performance in dry season milk production. Sample B (30 farms) assessed advanced farms that used more forage technologies than the others. The income from milk was related to environmental conditions by means of a countrywide map based on dry season length. The map was created by estimating the water balance for each month in a GIS. Yearly income from milk/cow was regionalized for the farm classifications and combined with agricultural census data. Results of the GIS analysis show a detailed zoning of dry season length and yearly income per cow from milk. Climate-income maps quantify the income ranges of the examined groups of farms. Climate change models predict temperature rise and decreasing precipitation for Honduras. In view of these trends the results can be used for an interpretation of farm vulnerability and resilience to climate change.

Keywords: Climate; Dry; season; Honduras; Livestock; Regionalization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:69:y:2010:i:3:p:539-552