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Rodriguez Gonzalez, Carolina, 2015. Opportunities to improve farming systems to achieve adaptability to climate change : farmers’ perceptions on climate change and diversification of cropping systems as an adaptive strategy in southern Skåne. Second cycle, A2E. Alnarp: SLU, Department of Work Science, Business Economics, and Environmental Psychology

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain knowledge about farmers’ perception of how the climate change might
impact agriculture in southern Sweden and therefore how cropping systems diversification could enhance the
adaptation to climate change. 16 farmers including owners and managers of conventional and organic production
systems and a consultant at SLU participated in the study. Other stakeholders from the agricultural sector were
also part of the participatory process. The study was based on a qualitative research study including semistructured
interviews and the initiation of a process of participatory action research. In general, cropping systems
have been influenced by various factors such as legislative frameworks from the EU and also at national level.
These systems have advanced by the use of technology and have become intensive farming systems dependent
on external inputs such as fertilizers and agrochemicals. The change in agricultural practices that promote sustainable
production is occurring slowly and that may be due to the conservative behavior of farmers in general
who are reluctant to change the way they farm. The perception of farmers on climate change was mainly attributed
to natural processes rather than a consequence of human activity. However, many advances have been
made in order to reduce GHG emissions particularly influenced by the national government. Farmers have realized
the importance of improving soil health, as well as the water management and increased biodiversity. Farmers
perceived diversification in cropping systems as the use of cover crops to keep the soil covered throughout
the year. Although farmers did not see the introduction of new crops feasible at the moment, they were aware
that the effects of climate change would bring opportunities to grow new crops. Finally farmers mentioned the
importance of generating more knowledge about these new practices. In addition, government support with clear
and concise policies that promote sustainable production practices that are in line with the needs and demands of
the farmers are needed. This study indicates that understanding farming systems with a holistic approach, allow
us to comprehend the effects of various social, economic and environmental aspects that influence farmers’ decision
making and also the choice of their farming approach. Although new CAP reforms and regulations at nation
level have made room for aspects of environmental conservation, it is still unclear which is the most practical
approach to implement these regulations. New practices have emerged towards improving sustainable production.
However, the sector needs to understand the benefits of ecosystem services as well as the restriction of an
entirely economic perspective. Furthermore, this study suggests that diversification is an adaptation strategy that
would be possible to implement to address climate change in the region. It is necessary to promote the active
participation of various stakeholders in order to find joint solutions that are tailored to local needs.

Main title:Opportunities to improve farming systems to achieve adaptability to climate change
Subtitle:farmers’ perceptions on climate change and diversification of cropping systems as an adaptive strategy in southern Skåne
Authors:Rodriguez Gonzalez, Carolina
Supervisor:Carlsson, Georg and Zachrison, Mozhgan
Examiner:Jensen, Erik Steen
Series:UNSPECIFIED
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2015
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:LM005 Agroecology - Master's programme 120 HEC
Department:(LTJ, LTV) > Department of Work Science, Business Economics, and Environmental Psychology
Keywords:farmers' perceptions, climate change, diversification cropping systems, mitigation, adaptation, participatory process
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-5057
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-s-5057
Subjects:Agricultural research
Organization, administration and management of agricultural enterprises or farms
Pollution
Language:English
Deposited On:18 Jan 2016 13:19
Metadata Last Modified:19 Jan 2016 05:00

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