Title: Climate, vulnerability and farming: a preliminary study among Australian food growers

Authors: Abel Duarte Alonso; Jeremy Northcote

Addresses: School of Business, University of Western Sydney, Locked Bag 1797, Penrith South DC, NSW 1797, Australia; School of Marketing Tourism and Leisure, Edith Cowan University, 100 Joondalup Dr., Joondalup, Western Australia 6027, Australia ' School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty of Arts and Education, Murdoch University, Murdoch, Western Australia, 6150, Australia; CREATEC, Edith Cowan University, 100 Joondalup Dr., Joondalup, Western Australia 6027, Australia

Abstract: The present study examines climate change, vulnerability to climate, and other environmental challenges from the perspective of 80 horticulture operators from different Australian states. Vulnerability in the form of storms and droughts are respondents' main environmental concerns; in some cases, the impact of wildlife displacement is affecting their production outputs. In addition, substantial negative impacts of climate change on food production, particularly the effects of global warming, are of concern to respondents, which they claim is both limiting the volume and quality of grown crops. Many respondents seek to adapt farming practices to address current climatic and environmental challenges, especially through planting and irrigation practices. However, adaptability, as well as proactive and reactive measures comes at a price that may not necessarily be recuperated. With limited resources and support, growers worry that they may become even more vulnerable to future and potentially more severe climatic challenges and subsequent impacts.

Keywords: climate change; vulnerability; food growers; challenges; Australia; horticulture; environmental impact; storms; droughts; wildlife displacement; production outputs; food production; global warming; farming practices; planting practices; irrigation practices.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSSOC.2014.066770

International Journal of Sustainable Society, 2014 Vol.6 No.4, pp.376 - 396

Available online: 01 Jan 2015

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