Adaptation of organic vegetable farmers to climate change: an exploratory study in the Paris region - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Agricultural Systems Year : 2023

Adaptation of organic vegetable farmers to climate change: an exploratory study in the Paris region


CONTEXT Climate change is challenging vegetable production worldwide. but no study has investigated adaptation at the farm level in the Global North. OBJECTIVE We aimed to answer the following questions: (i) How do vegetable farmers perceive climate change and its impacts on farms? (ii) What responses have they already implemented in response to climate change? (iii) What are their adaptation plans for the future? And, (iv) To what extent are adaptation responses and plans related to farm or farmer characteristics? METHODS We conducted semi-structured interviews with 17 organic farmers in the Paris region of France. Interview content was processed using qualitative analysis and multiple correspondence analysis. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION Vegetable farmers perceived climate change in seasonal patterns (e.g. temperature, frost, wind) and in extreme events (e.g. droughts, heat waves). They related it to negative impacts on (i) vegetables (e.g. increased pressure from arthropods, metabolic disorders, decrease in crop yield and quality), (ii) farm management (e.g. increased and more difficult labour, more complex crop planning), and (iii) profitability (e.g. production losses, increased labour and equipment costs), despite some positive impacts (e.g. potential to extend the growing season or grow tunnel crops outside). Farmers mentioned a wide range of adaptation responses and plans (e.g. cover crops, mulching, agroforestry, diversification, changes in crop planning, equipment to control or mitigate climate conditions in tunnels, efficient irrigation systems). Younger farmers more often expressed the need to acquire knowledge for adaptation plans because they will have to adapt throughout their entire farming career. Although the vegetable area and the age of the farm may have influenced specific adaptation responses, most adaptations that farmers had already implemented did not appear to be related to the farm or farmer characteristics explored. Compared to other types of farming systems in the Global North, vegetable farms may be more exposed and sensitive to climate change but also have more adaptive capacity. Future studies should investigate the influence that vegetable farm characteristics have on their vulnerability compared to those of other types of farming systems in a given soil and climate context. SIGNIFICANCE To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate vegetable farmers’ perspectives of adaptations to climate change in Europe. The current study corroborates and enriches studies of the Global South. A preliminary understanding of farmers’ perceptions, responses, and plans provides a solid basis for supporting collective action and developing adaptation plans at the regional level.
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Year Month Jours
Avant la publication
Monday, November 4, 2024

Dates and versions

hal-03759994 , version 1 (24-08-2022)


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Kevin Morel, Karine Cartau. Adaptation of organic vegetable farmers to climate change: an exploratory study in the Paris region. Agricultural Systems, 2023, 210, ⟨10.1016/j.agsy.2023.103703⟩. ⟨hal-03759994⟩
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