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                     TS.Lê Thị Hoa Sen

The objectives of this research are (1) to describe and analyze science and local perceptions on long-term changes in temperature, precipitation and drought, (2) to assess impact of drought on mixed farming system, various farm-level adaptation measures and capacity of community to drought adaptation. The study was conducted in a coastal commune, named Trieu Van commune in Trieu Phong district, Quang Tri province. Data and information were collected using in depth interview, group discussion and questionnaire with 59 households.

The findings showed that drought heavily influenced daily livelihood of local people in the study area. The statistical analysis of the climate data showed that temperature and drought has been increased over the years. Precipitation was characterized by large inter-annual variability and a decreased amount during summer. Farmers’ perceptions on temperature and precipitation as well as drought were consistent with trends found in climatic data records. Agricultural land and water resource were affected increasingly and negatively by drought. The indicators of these negative impacts are: the reduction of yields and quality of products of crops, livestock, and aquaculture due to increasing pests and diseases. As a result, production costs are increased.

The study has also shown how local farmers have made significant efforts to implement adaptation measures to drought and to its impacts. Several farming adaptation options were found, such as using drought-tolerant varieties and local breeds; 42.3% of surveyed households applied VAC(R) model; adjusting seasonal calendar and scale of crops, livestock and fish production (100% interviewed farmers applied this); intercropping, rotational cultivation and diversifying crops and animals in the farm; changing land preparation and mulch techniques in crop production as well as techniques in livestock and fish management. Finding alternative livelihood options and migration were found as important adaptation options. Access to natural resource, supports from policies and non-government organizations, farming experiences, forest planting and potential livestock production development, are the main conditions and potentials to manage and adapt to drought. Several difficulties for scaling up the options found. They are the poor sandy land, lacking irrigation system, lacking of financial support, low capacity of agricultural staff creating barrier to access to the extension service and transfer technology; lack of policies mechanism to support research and development technologies, appropriate to the changing local context due to climate change.

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