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Transformational capacity in Australian peanut farmers for better climate adaptation


Marshall, NA and Dowd, A-M and Fleming, A and Gambley, C and Howden, M and Jakku, E and Larsen, C and Marshall, PA and Moon, K and Park, S and Thorburn, PJ, Transformational capacity in Australian peanut farmers for better climate adaptation, Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 34, (3) pp. 583-591. ISSN 1774-0746 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright INRA and Springer-Verlag France 2013

DOI: doi:10.1007/s13593-013-0186-1


The food industry is vulnerable to climate change. Producers will need to adapt to climate change if they, and the communities dependent on them, are to remain viable. There are essentially two ways to adapt—incrementally and transformationally. We differentiate between incremental and transformative adaptation mostly on the basis of the size of the change needed. Here, we studied the Australian peanut industry, which is already experiencing the effects of climate change. We expand on the notion of adaptive capacity and refer to ‘transformational capacity’ and test its association with resource dependency. Resource dependency is a measure of the interactions that primary producers have with a natural resource and includes factors such as occupational identity, networks, resource use as well as a range of financial factors. We hypothesized that some primary producers were more likely to demonstrate higher levels of transformational capacity if they possessed lower levels of resource dependency. We surveyed, by phone, 69 farmers representing 87 % of the peanut industry in northern Australia. Our results show that the capacity to transform depends upon individual's networks, their employability, tendency for strategic thinking and planning, business profitability, local knowledge, environmental awareness, use of irrigation and use of climate technology. Barriers to transformational change were occupational identity, place attachment and dependents. Our study is one of the first to focus on transformational capacity. This approach allows us to understand why some individuals are better able to adapt to change than others and also to assist industry and community leaders to develop broad-scale strategies.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adaptive capacity, barriers to change, natural resource management, social resilience, climate change adaptation, social vulnerability, resource dependency
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Agriculture, land and farm management
Research Field:Sustainable agricultural development
Objective Division:Environmental Policy, Climate Change and Natural Hazards
Objective Group:Understanding climate change
Objective Field:Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)
UTAS Author:Fleming, A (Dr Aysha Fleming)
ID Code:119357
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:44
Deposited By:Office of the Faculty of Law
Deposited On:2017-07-31
Last Modified:2017-11-23

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