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Drought Adaptation And Coping Strategies Among Coffee Farmers In The Central Highlands Of Vietnam

Phuong Le Nguyen, Mau Dung Nguyen

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Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer in the world, mostly from the Central Highlands region where water has been becoming a scarce resource. Since 2014, drought has been strongly affecting Central Highlands’ agriculture, particularly coffee production. The drought leads to changes in flowering, ripening and thus harvesting times of coffee. Coffee productivity has reduced about 50 percent. Ultimately, coffee quantity and quality is jeopardized which endangers coffee farmers who occupy 90 per cent of population and their livelihoods mainly rely on coffee. Most of coffee farmers have had to develop alternative strategies to respond to the drought. Based on quantitative and qualitative data collected from 50 coffee households in a community in the Central Highlands, this research has indicated that farmers had to find the ways to adapt as well as to cope with drought. The ways of adaptation and coping were diverse, including short, medium and long-term plans. To strengthen the adaptation and coping strategies of farmers with drought in the short term, it is recommended that authorities provide more technical and financial support to farmers. Furthermore, longer term strategies need to focus on land use planning, investment in irrigation schemes, and consolidated afforestation schemes in appropriate areas.