Negotiating Uncertainty: Jamaican Small Farmers’ Adaptation and Coping Strategies, Before and After Hurricanes—A Case Study of Hurricane Dean
ABSTRACT In recent years, Jamaica has been seriously affected by a number of extreme meteorological events. The one discussed here, Hurricane Dean, passed along the south coast of the island in August 2007, damaging crops and disrupting livelihood activities for many small-scale farmers. This study is based on detailed ethnographic research in the southern coastal region of St. Elizabeth parish during the passage of Hurricane Dean, and explores the ways in which small farmers negotiate the stressors associated with hurricane events. The study employed a mix methods approach based on a survey of 282 farming households. The paper documents coping strategies employed by farmers in the immediate period of Hurricane Dean to reduce damage to their farming systems, and highlights the positive correlation between farmers’ perceptions of hurricanes and degree of damage to local farming systems. In addition, through an analysis of socio-economic and environmental data, the paper provides an understanding of the determinants of adaptive capacity and strategy among farmers in the area. The study indicated that despite high levels of vulnerability, farmers have achieved successful coping and adaptation at the farm level.
- SourceAvailable from: Clinton BeckfordFood Production - Approaches, Challenges and Tasks, 01/2012; , ISBN: 978-953-307-887-8
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ABSTRACT: This paper conducts a systematic realist review to examine how market engagement interacts with vulnerability to food insecurity after a climatic hazard event, focusing on rural areas of the developing world. It examines who is able to engage in the market after a climatic hazard and the barriers and opportunities that this engagement presents to food security. In the review, households were less able to effectively engage in the market to maintain food security when they had limited pre-hazard resources and/or were unable to mobilize these resources due to the biophysical and socioeconomic context following the climatic event. It is important to consider the volition behind market engagement after a climatic hazard and the consequences of using the market to maintain food security.09/2013; 2(3):144–155. DOI:10.1016/j.gfs.2013.08.003
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ABSTRACT: In regions highly exposed to climatic variability and longer-term climate change, vulnerable communities undertake a number of measures to manage the effects of extreme weather events. Results from a survey of 1059 low income persons in agriculture and tourism in Belize, Grenada, Jamaica and St. Lucia point to a need for a new balance to reduce risk, transfer risk, and effectively prepare for climatic stressors. This corroborates the findings from the IPCC Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaption (SREX). This article seeks to bolster limited evidence to understand the consequences of these measures, and assess whether financial risk management tools could complement current asset-depleting approaches: The results reveal that the dominant responses to managing extreme weather events included: using savings (36 %), borrowing (12 %) and government assistance (9 %). However, one-tenth of the sample is at risk from ‘doing nothing’, which can contribute to loss of productive capacity and income sources, loss of access to finance, depletion of assets, health problems and social isolation. Study respondents indicated a need for alternative financial risk management approaches. The results also indicate a moderate explicit demand for weather-related microinsurance. Overall the results reveal that where vulnerability and exposure to extreme weather events are high, and capacity is low, a rethinking of risk management measures is needed to reduce loss and damage for low-income people.Climatic Change 01/2013; DOI:10.1007/s10584-013-0922-1 · 4.62 Impact Factor