In December 2016 a colleague of mine at Michigan State University, Aniseh Bro, finished her Ph.D. in Community Sustainability on adaptation to climate change by coffee farmers in Nicaragua. [Formal title is: Biodiversity, Climate Change and Livelihoods: A Study on Economic and Ecological Sustainability Among Coffee Producers in the Highlands of Nicaragua.]
Her thesis explores potential pathways for climate change adaptation via three separate studies.
- First, she looks at the characteristics of coffee producers in northern Nicaragua. Bro explores their attitudes towards risk through the use of experimental risk games. She finds that household food insecurity is a determinant of risk aversion, and that coffee income is important insofar as it results in greater food security. Below is a graphic depicting the relationships:
The slide below shows farmers' responses with disaggregation to show which responses are due to which of three shocks: pests, drought or flood.
This study also mentions the gender gap. Women are consistently worse off than men in this sample from northern Nicaragua. They are more vulnerable and more food insecure. Therefore, equitable interventions are needed. The table below shows some of the data, and a tell-tale public relations message is also shown in the photo to the left.