Can warmer be better? Changing production systems in three Andean ecosystems in the face of environmental change

Cristal Taboada, Magalí Garcia Cárdenas, Jere Gilles, Omar Pozo, Edwin Yucra, Katherine Rojas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Andean farmers have always faced high levels of climate-related risk and have produced a wide range of resilient crops and animals to subsist under harsh ecological conditions. In recent decades, changing climatic and economic conditions have challenged farmers in the region. In response, farmers have changed their production systems. The present study outlines some of the risks farmers faced in four Andean ecosystems and examines how they have adapted production systems to changing risks over the past 20 years. Their adaptation strategies were evaluated using participatory research methods and cost benefit analysis. To date, most farmers have been able to successfully adapt to changing climatic and economic conditions in ways that usually improve their livelihoods. These improvements are largely due to their abilities to take advantage of warming trends and new markets to produce higher value crops than in the past. These strategies may not be as effective as temperatures continue to rise. Understanding farmer adaptation strategies at the micro-level can help policy makers and planners identify how they can assist adaptation in the future and will help point to challenges in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-154
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was carried out with support from the McKnight Foundation Collaborative Crop Research Program , the Facultad de Agronomia of the Universidad Mayor de San Andres , the Missouri Agricultural Experimentation Station Project and the Division of Applied Social Sciences, University of Missouri . We also want to acknowledge the SANREM CRSP USAID grant for providing us part of the data used in this analysis.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd


  • Adaptation
  • Andean production systems
  • Bolivia
  • Climate change
  • Local knowledge
  • Risk perceptions


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