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Climate risks and rice farming in the lower Mekong River countries

Published by:
Publication date
Number of Pages
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Asia and the Pacific
Focus Topic:
Climate / Weather / Environment
Type of Risk:
Weather & Climate related
Type of Risk Managment Option:
Risk assessment
Suppakorn Chinvanno, Soulideth Souvannalath, Boontium Lersupavithnapa, Vichien Kerdsuk, and Nguyen Thi Hien Thuan
Assessments of Impacts and Adaptations to Climate Change (AIACC)

Climate risks are not new to farmers of the lower Mekong. Important climate risks that are common to farmers of the region include midseason dry spells that can damage young plants and late-season floods just before harvest that can cause severe crop loss. Farmers have developed and used various measures to cope with these and other climate risks. Rice farmers’ experiences with  measures to  manage climate risks and  their perspectives on the potential for applying the same measures to adapt to climate change, are investigated  through interviews and focus group  discussions conducted  in selected farming villages in Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam. Although the climate hazards are similar for rice farmers across the study  areas, significant differences are found  in the measures used to  cope with climate risks in the different villages. These differences in risk  management practice arise from local and national differences in social, cultural, economic, and  environmental conditions and  policies, and  suggest that effective strategies for adapting to climate change need to be attuned to the specific context of a place and time.