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Climate 2017, 5(4), 85; doi:10.3390/cli5040085

The Role of Social Networks in Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change: Implications for Sustainable Agriculture in Pakistan

Centre for Climate Research and Development (CCRD), COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad 45550, Pakistan
Research Group Climate Change and Security, Institute of Geography, University of Hamburg, Grindelberg 7, 20144 Hamburg, Germany
Department of Plant Sciences, Conservation Biology Section, Kenyatta University, P.O. Box 43844-00100 Nairobi, Kenya
Department of Economics, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad 45550, Pakistan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 August 2017 / Revised: 20 November 2017 / Accepted: 21 November 2017 / Published: 23 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies for Climate Mitigation and Adaptation in Agriculture)
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Incorporating adaptation into subsistence farming systems is an important strategy to reduce damages related to climate change and to protect livelihoods in developing countries. Using a dataset of 450 farm households collected from three agro-ecological zones, this study examines rural networks, assesses farm-level institutional support and documents any existing structural gaps on climate change adaptation in the agricultural sector of Pakistan. For this purpose, a social network analysis method is used. The study findings reveal that farmers reported a decrease in crop production and increase in pests and diseases due to climate change. Further, changing crop varieties, sowing dates, input mixes and planting trees are the key measures adopted by farmers. Lack of information, finances and resources are the key adaptation constraints. The study findings show that only 28% and 13% of the respondents do not have access to financial services and climate adaptation knowledge, respectively. Support to farmers mainly consists of marketing information and farm equipment from community-based organizations, while private institutions offer weather forecasting services. Public institutions are poorly represented in the network analysis. We also found that extension services are key institutions in the climate adaptation network, while agricultural credits, post-harvest services and marketing of produce were dominant but weakly connected in the financial support network. We also found that with an increase in the provision of services at the farm level, farmers not only adapt more but also move from low-cost and short-term measures to advanced measures. This study proposes an integrated framework to improve the stakeholders’ networking through different kind of partnerships and better adaptation to climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: social network analysis; local institutions; climate change adaptation; agriculture; Pakistan social network analysis; local institutions; climate change adaptation; agriculture; Pakistan

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Abid, M.; Ngaruiya, G.; Scheffran, J.; Zulfiqar, F. The Role of Social Networks in Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change: Implications for Sustainable Agriculture in Pakistan. Climate 2017, 5, 85.

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