A new Noragric study analyzes farm households’ adaptation in a broad livelihood context, showing how both internal household dynamics and broader external factors, such as climatic, economic and political conditions, influence both the perception of and adaptation to climate variations and change.
Nearly a third of the households in Bosnia and Herzegovina are engaged in agriculture as a livelihood strategy to cope with the multiple shocks experienced over the past three decades, resulting in economic decline and loss of income opportunities. Based on a household surveys, this study analyzed the livelihoods of households in three agricultural regions in Bosnia and Herzegovina; how they are affected by climate change, their perceptions of climatic change, as well as various household adaptation strategies.
The results were discussed in the context of the sustainable livelihoods approach. The results indicate that rural households are relatively asset poor and highly dependent on agriculture, irrespective of geographical location or wealth. Their access to assets is further constrained by the ongoing changes in economic and political structures and processes. Negative effects of climate change were reported in terms of yield decline and reduced quality of products. On a positive note, the level of adoption of different agricultural practices and technologies indicates signs of an overall intensification strategy of agricultural production in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as adaptation to the perceived changes in climate and climate variability using the available asset base.