External Drivers and Internal Control Factors that Determine the Vulnerability and Response Capacity to Drought of Cattle Producers in the Sierras Del Este Region of Uruguay

  •  Ismael Díaz    
  •  Marcel Achkar    
  •  Nestor Mazzeo    


Increased response and adaptation capacity are key elements for coping with climate threats. Cattle producers in the Sierras del Este region are one of several groups that are the most vulnerable to climate variability in Uruguay. Despite this commonality, it is a heterogeneous system, which suggests that strategies to respond to these events are divergent. The objective of this work is to identify and evaluate the vulnerability of cattle producers to drought and determine drought response strategies. A new approach is proposed and focuses on the identification of differential capacities to address the vulnerabilities. In addition, this approach seeks to define groups of similar producers of vulnerability since the design of public policies cannot be developed in isolation. For evaluation, we provided consultations with livestock producers and specialists from which we collected our data. Data was analysed using multivariate statistical analyses. Our results indicated that 69% of the system’s vulnerability variance can be explained by 4 components: the capacity for cattle management, the socio-economic capacity to handle drought, the capacity to generate alternatives to cattle feeding, and the commercial and financial flexibility of the producers. These findings also yielded response groups that, in turn, identified 7 producer groups with significant differences in the available and necessary capacities to respond to drought. This methodological strategy allowed the operationalization of the vulnerability and responsiveness concepts, and the identification of strategies for these events. Additionally, this strategy creates an understanding of the complexity of the system and the variables that contribute to it.

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