Adapting to climatic variability in Tlaxcala, Mexico: Constraints and opportunities for small-scale maize producers
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThrough semi-structured interviews with Mexican climatologists and farmers and others in the agricultural sector in Tlaxcala, Mexico, this study explored how uncertainties posed by both variable climatic and changing political-economic conditions affect the vulnerability of small-scale maize producers. The objective of my research was to assess whether and how small-scale Tlaxcaltecan farmers could use long-lead forecasts to mitigate climatic uncertainty. The potential effectiveness of the climate forecasts was evaluated within the context of cultural, political, social and economic factors that influence the decision-making of smallholder farmers. This research determined that the vulnerability of small-scale producers in Tlaxcala is more a function of political-economic uncertainty than of physical circumstances. While farmers employ complex methods for anticipating climatic events based on religious beliefs and local knowledge, their ability to adapt is constrained by lack of resources. As a result, the success of the forecasts in mitigating small-farmer vulnerability will be limited.
Degree ProgramGraduate College