Drought vulnerability assessment : the case of wheat farmers in western Iran
Faculty of Applied Economics
Global and planetary change. - Amsterdam
, p. 122-130
Drought, as a natural and slow-onset phenomenon, creates numerous damages to agricultural communities. As a drought prone area in the Middle East, Iran has currently launched a crisis management approach to mitigate the harmful impacts of drought. However, thus far studies indicate that effective drought management strategies should be designed based upon vulnerability management which can increase farmers' ability to challenge the impacts. The purpose of this study was to assess drought vulnerability across three drought intensities (very high, extremely high, and critical) areas in Western Iran. Accordingly, a survey study was applied and 370 wheat farmers who all experienced drought during 20072009 were selected through a multi-stage stratified random sampling method. Face to face interviews were used to collect data on vulnerability indices from the farmers. Me-Bar and Valdez's vulnerability formula was applied to assess the vulnerability of wheat farmers during drought. Results revealed that the farmers' vulnerability is influenced mainly by economic, socio-cultural, psychological, technical, and infrastructural factors. The results also indicated that the farmers in Sarpole-Zahab township were most vulnerable compared to those in the Kermanshah township as the least vulnerable. Accordingly, some conclusions and recommendations are drawn for both policy-makers and practitioners who often must prioritize limited resources in the design vulnerability-reducing interventions.