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Effects of drought and changes in precipitation patterns on small-scale farming in Serbia

Submitted by Daniel Morchain 9th March 2012 11:33


Climate change is projected to bring increasing temperatures and changing precipitation patterns to Serbia, varying from region to region within the country. Agricultural production is traditionally important part of national economy in Serbia and a sector employing more than 10% of population. The region chosen for this study is the Velika Morava Region in the Danube river basin. Recent decades have already seen an increased frequency of droughts, which negatively impact small farmers. The situation is exacerbated by the significant lack of long-term data, modest coverage of the regional territory with the monitoring equipment, and other priorities on the agenda of the small-scale farmers than the long-term planning.  

This case study documents tasks carried out on adaptation to drought impacts in Serbian agriculture, including stakeholder consultation rounds and expert interviews. To a large extent the case study goal is awareness-raising introducing stakeholders such as local authorities and small-scale farmers to good practices under similar conditions in the other regions of Western Balkans and Europe as a whole, and financial opportunities available to them through the adaptation activities. This process identified the disproportionate impact of drought on small-scale farmers. A thorough description was produced of the policy context influencing farm level decisions that affect access to government support. This identified the need to analyze the factors influencing farm level decisions for reducing drought impacts on small-scale farmers, which will be undertaken through interviews with farmers and through the application of multi-criteria analysis through socio-institutional network analysis. The results may provide insight on the influence of actors and institutions on farm-level decisions in order to better target adaptation interventions and identify the key factors motivating  the farmers to be involved in long-term and innovative adaptation planning.