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Identifying Barriers and Enablers for Climate Change Adaptation of Farmers in Semi-Arid North-Western China

Lan Mu (), Lan Fang (), Yuhong Liu () and Chencheng Wang ()
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Lan Mu: Northwest Institute of Historical Environment and Socio-Economic Development, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi′an 710062, China
Lan Fang: Northwest Institute of Historical Environment and Socio-Economic Development, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi′an 710062, China
Yuhong Liu: Northwest Institute of Historical Environment and Socio-Economic Development, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi′an 710062, China
Chencheng Wang: Northwest Institute of Historical Environment and Socio-Economic Development, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi′an 710062, China

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 18, 1-1

Abstract: The changing climate represents a large challenge for farmers, and adaptation responses are necessary to minimize impacts. Mixed approaches, which involve the analysis of meteorological data, web-based surveys, and face-to-face interviews, explore producers’ barriers and pressing needs to enhance climate resilience based on the Technique for Order Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS) approach in semi-arid north-western China. According to the main categories of farming activity, 85 crop farmers, 68 animal farmers, and 81 agro-tourism operators were interviewed. We found that most of the producers perceived climate impacts, and they encountered multiple adaptation obstacles, of which institutional and normative obstacles were more serious, such as farmers unable to obtain resources or government incentives, lacked scientific, and efficient coping measures. The survey also observed that crop farmers had a pressing need for agricultural subsidies, while animal farmers and agro-tourism operators had a strong enabler for animal housing infrastructure and credit facilities, respectively. Given the heterogeneity of the context and climate change experience of different categories of farmers, it is necessary to formulate flexible adaptation strategies and adjust them according to specific climate stress and farming conditions. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and implement the 2015 Paris Agreement, policymakers should plan and introduce appropriate adaptation strategies to minimize the adverse effects of climate change such as improving irrigation and weather forecasting system through technological advancement, cost reduction of farm inputs, ensuring availability of information, providing agricultural subsidies to the farmers, and increasing the access to agricultural markets.

Keywords: climate change; barriers; enablers; adaptation strategies; semi-arid north-western China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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