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Conference Papers Year : 2015

Assessing the determinants of alternative adaptation strategies at farm level: the case of wine growers in South-East France


Climate change is expected to have a double effect on water resources, directly, by potentially reducing the recharge of water resources and, indirectly, through an increase of water demands and uptakes, mainly through irrigated farming. Understanding the rationale leading farmers to adapt to climate change is thus a major challenge for water management because one of the strategies to adapt to increasing crop water requirement is irrigation. This will induce new water demands, thus understanding the determinants of irrigation choice is a challenge for robust water planification both in terms of water conveyance infrastructure planning and environmental impacts on water resources. It is also a central issue for agricultural economics and policy. One of our main assumptions to this analysis is to state that climate change is just one of the multiple changes farmers are facing together with regulatory changes (right to irrigate on a regular basis since 2006), economic changes linked to the changes in consumers demand and wine market in general, and technical changes. Adaptation must be seen as a response to all the perceived changes and not to a particular one, apriori. Also, adaptation has always been at the core of farmer’s experience. In order to explore these questions, we concentrate on the case of wine growers in South-East France (Languedoc- Roussillon) where the context is changing: irrigation is authorized on a regular basis since 2006 only and a large water conveyance infrastructure is being constructed enabling for new water resources. We surveyed wine growers in Languedoc-Roussillon via a detailed Internet questionnaire sent to more than 3000 winegrowers to understand the determinants of agricultural practices and strategic choices (planting, structural size change, commercialization). The diffusion of the questionnaire was realized via the mail listings of professional organisms (Chambre d’agriculture, cooperatives...). We collected data on current and future practices relative to soilplant water management, perceptions of past economic, regulatory, technical and climate changes and social and economic characteristics such as objectives that wine growers are pursuing with their activity (improving wine quality, preserving tradition, etc.). For all completed and validated survey variables characterizing the terroir are systematically associated to each farm: rain, temperature, soil water capacity, elevation. A representative sample of 363 wine growers is used for a descriptive and econometric analysis. 30% of our sample is already irrigating vine while up to 28% is considering this option. When facing a climate change scenario by 2050, 57% of those not currently irrigating say they would implement irrigation. This illustrates the importance of anticipating future demand for water irrigation. We consider two main types of determinants and explore their relative contribution in explaining the adoption of water management practices at farm level. Terroir-like variables and socio-economic variables, including main objectives that vine growers are pursuing with their activity are explored as determinants. The results confirmed that both terroir and socio-economic determinants play a significant role in the implementation of adaptation actions among which irrigation. Perceptions of past changes are determinants of adaptations: for instance perceptions of regulatory changes are determinants of existing irrigation whereas perception of climate change is a determinant of having the project to irrigate in the future. Results suggest that having its own cellar (wine transformation), increasing its size, being part of professional networks, producing wine of good quality and developing commercial strategies are determinants of resilient farms.


Earth Sciences
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Dates and versions

hal-01196788 , version 1 (10-09-2015)


  • HAL Id : hal-01196788 , version 1


Nina Graveline, Marine Grémont. Assessing the determinants of alternative adaptation strategies at farm level: the case of wine growers in South-East France. Our Common Future under Climate Change (CFCC) Conference : International scientific conference, Jul 2015, Paris, France. ⟨hal-01196788⟩


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