Farmers, more than anyone else in the world, depend on predictable and stable weather patterns to do their job. Climate change, therefore, poses a significant threat to food production worldwide. Agriculturalists have been doing their best to adapt to these changes, but we don’t really know exactly what the farmers have been doing (or why).

We attempted to solve this mystery by interviewing apple farmers in three regions: two in Japan and one in South Africa. We divided our findings into two types: actions that the farmers initiated themselves (bottom-up) or actions recommended by institutions around them (top-down).

How farmers sell their crops was the main factor determining which type of action they took. After collecting data on their adaptation strategies, we realized that a combination of both types of activities could provide the best adaptation to climate change. To be sure, though, further on-farm studies are needed to confirm this recommendation.

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About this article

Summary of research
Case study of farmers’ adaptations to climate change in South Africa and Japan.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
September 2015

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