Climate Change Impact on Sugarcane Crop in the Gulf of Mexico: A Farmers Perception and Adaptation Measures

  •  Jesús Guerrero-Carrera    
  •  Cesáreo Landeros-Sánchez    
  •  Juan Martínez-Dávila    
  •  Gustavo López-Romero    
  •  Iourii Nikolskii-Gavrilov    
  •  Juan Hernández-Pérez    
  •  Alejandra Soto-Estrada    


Climate change is one of the main threats to agriculture, including sugarcane agro-ecosystems, affecting the productivity of growers, and forcing them to implement adaptation measures. The study objective was to understand grower perceptions of climate change impact on sugarcane crop and the adaptation actions they are implementing in managing their crop in relation to socioeconomic and technological factors. This work was carried out in Irrigation Module II-1 Actopan, Veracruz, which serves part of sugarcane areas of the sugar factories La Gloria and El Modelo, Veracruz, Mexico. The Irrigation Module is located in the central region of the Gulf of Mexico. Information was attained by interviewing 90 sugarcane growers. Approximately 81% of growers had heard of climate change, 97% perceived changes in climate, 73.5% perceived changes in temperature, 87.8% perceived changes in precipitation, 49% in wind and 69% claimed damages to their agroecosystems from climate change. Using nonparametric statistics (Spearman ranks) (p < 0.05), there was a high perception by growers of climate change and sufficiently related to the adaptation actions they had implemented (rs = 0.3225, p = 0.0002). Given that the socioeconomic level of a producer influences perception level (rs = 0.561195, p = 0.0000001) and the development of actions for adapting to climate change (rs = 0.4436907, p = 0.000012), the results for the technological level of the grower were not related to adaptation measures. The latter can be explained in terms of the non-availability of financial resources for sugarcane growers, which prevents them from buying, for instance, a modern irrigation system or new agricultural machinery and equipment.

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