Frontiers of Engineering Management
ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT TREATISES
Understanding Farmers’ Perceptions and Risk Responses to Climate Change in China
1. Business School of Central South University, Collaborative Innovation Center of Resource-conserving & Environment-friendly Society and Ecological Civilization, Changsha 410083, China.2. Business School of Central South University, Collaborative Innovation Center of Resource-conserving & Environment-friendly Society and Ecological Civilization; Hunan University of Commerce, Institute of Big Data and Internet Innovation, Changsha 410083/410205, China
Agriculture is likely to bear the brunt of the impacts of climate change. The extent to which these impacts are felt depends in large part on the extent of adaptation in response to climate change. The overall aim of this paper is to attempt to identify farmers’ knowledge, perceptions and risk responses towards climate change (or potential change). In order to achieve this goal, several specific objectives are pursued. First, the paper investigates whether or not farmers have perceived the long-term climate change and extreme weather events. Second, the paper describes how farmers respond to climate change and tries to assess the determinants of their adaptation. Based on data collected from a survey among farm households in three provinces in rural China, the findings demonstrate that farmers are aware of climate variability and identify the rising temperature, decreasing precipitation and the increasing frequency of drought. Only about 25% of farmers are willing to adjust their farming structures as a risk reaction. Household size, wealth, farm size, and the number of plots are found to be important factors that influence farmer adaptive capacity. Implications for policymaking on agriculture and adaptation to climate change will be to focus on providing farmers with information about the climate in time and facilitating enhancement of their adaptive capacity.