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Smallholder maize production and climatic risk : a case study from Mexico

By: Eakin, H.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticlePublisher: Amsterdam (Netherlands) : Springer, 2000ISSN: 0165-0009; 1573-1480 (Online).Subject(s): Climate | Maize | Smallholders | Agricultural policies | MexicoOnline resources: Access only for CIMMYT staff In: Climatic Change v. 45, n. 1, p. 19–36Summary: The article explores the strategies employed by smallholder farmers in Mexico to cope with the affects of climatic variability, and how seasonal climate forecasts may assist these farmers in mitigating climatic risk. Recognizing that the decisions of smallholder farmers are intricately tied to the political-economic circumstances in which they operate, the article discusses how agricultural policy in Mexico affects the vulnerability of small-scale producers and may inhibit their ability to use climatic forecasts to their advantage. The article first reviews the literature on smallholder adaptation in Mexico, and discusses briefly policy and institutional issues affecting adaptation at the farm-level. Using the case of small-scale maize producers in Tlaxcala, Mexico, as an illustration, the article then argues that political-economic uncertainty outweighs climatic variability as a determinant of the production strategies of small-scale producers. In these circumstances, the farmers are unlikely to use new seasonal climate forecasts.
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Article CIMMYT Knowledge Center: John Woolston Library

Lic. Jose Juan Caballero Flores

 

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The article explores the strategies employed by smallholder farmers in Mexico to cope with the affects of climatic variability, and how seasonal climate forecasts may assist these farmers in mitigating climatic risk. Recognizing that the decisions of smallholder farmers are intricately tied to the political-economic circumstances in which they operate, the article discusses how agricultural policy in Mexico affects the vulnerability of small-scale producers and may inhibit their ability to use climatic forecasts to their advantage. The article first reviews the literature on smallholder adaptation in Mexico, and discusses briefly policy and institutional issues affecting adaptation at the farm-level. Using the case of small-scale maize producers in Tlaxcala, Mexico, as an illustration, the article then argues that political-economic uncertainty outweighs climatic variability as a determinant of the production strategies of small-scale producers. In these circumstances, the farmers are unlikely to use new seasonal climate forecasts.

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