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The New Face of Agriculture in Southern California: Ventura County Famers’ Adaptation to Climate Change

Authors: Segnide J. Guidimadjegbe*, CSU Long Beach
Topics: Agricultural Geography, Human-Environment Geography, Land Use
Keywords: Adaptation practices, Climate change, Farming, Sustainable agriculture
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The increasing global population depends on the efficacy of agriculture to meet nutritional needs. Due to changing climate and extreme weather events, it is necessary that farmers rethink their practices. Additionally, global society has a shared belief that agriculture represents one of the principal sources of climate change. The development of efficient farming management practices holds the potential to both reduce farmer risk and mitigate the negative impacts of agriculture on the climate. Hence, it is critical to identify adaptation measures that farmers are implementing. This study aims to investigate challenges posed by climate change on Southern Californian agriculture—a prominent agricultural area in the country—and the various measures farmers have adopted to counter them efficiently. This study also scrutinizes those measures and sheds light on governmental assistance efforts in that process.
Using primarily ethnographic methods, I collected farmers’ perceptions of climate change and how it influences their productions. This method also allowed the assessment of farmers’ adaptation processes and their sentiments on its efficacy. Quantitative data collected was used to assess crop production yields and any correlation with weather fluctuations in the region.
The results showed that climate change has caused losses in crop production yields in Southern California. Farmers are conscious about that correlation and have responded by implementing various adaptation strategies, based either on their own experiences and/or governmental initiatives. The findings suggest that those measures contain some imperfections and that governments and farmers need to collaborate further to elaborate efficient management practices to foster sustainable agriculture.

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