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Adaptation to climate change impacts on rice production: an analysis of Myanmar's central dry zone farmers

Thandar Win Maung, Sayamol Charoenratana*

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: We explore the agroecological methods that rice farmers of Myanmar employ for adapting to climate change, the factors influencing their adaptation strategies, the extent of their adaptive capacity (AC), and the connection between AC and rice yield. We randomly selected 197 farming households in two villages for a community-based survey. To collect qualitative data, seven Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and two Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were conducted in two sampled villages in Kyaukse Township, Mandalay Region. The study utilized descriptive analysis, multiple regression (MR) analysis, and an adaptive capacity index for data examination. The most practiced adaptation strategies among rice farmers with high AC included crop diversification (adopted by 98% of farmers), utilization of climate-resistant varieties (92%), and modification of planting techniques (87%). The MR analysis revealed that personal factors, like level of education and years of agricultural practice, along with social factors, such as access to credit, irrigation, cooperative memberships, participation in training, and access to information dissemination, were significant positive determinants of farmers' choice of adaptation methods. Farmers with high AC were found to have a higher rice yield (4506.46 kg/ha) compared to those with low AC (3392.56 kg/ha). The overall adaptive capacity was assessed to be at a moderate level (0.53) for farmers in these communities. It is recommended that relevant government and private entities promote community education and communication networks to foster adaptation initiatives. The improvement of irrigation and credit facilities in a systematic and strategic manner would meaningfully enhance the long-term adaptive capacity of farmers.