Feedback modelling of the impacts of drought: A case study in coffee production systems in Viet Nam

Pham, Yen ORCID: and Reardon-Smith, Kathryn and Mushtaq, Shahbaz and Deo, Ravinesh C. ORCID: (2020) Feedback modelling of the impacts of drought: A case study in coffee production systems in Viet Nam. Climate Risk Management, 30:100255. pp. 1-17.

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Drought is a major cause of crop failure and livelihood insecurity, affecting millions of people across the world. A changing climate, increasing population and economic growth are exacerbating water shortages, further interrupting agricultural production. Assessing and minimizing the impacts of drought require a thorough understanding of the interrelationships and interactions between the climate system, ecosystems and human systems. In this paper, we apply causal loop modelling grounded in systems thinking theory to examine the interdependencies and feedback processes among factors associated with drought that impact crop production using a case study of Robusta coffee production systems in Viet Nam – the world’s second-largest coffee producing country. Our model, underpinned by qualitative data from consultation with a range of stakeholders, indicates that water depletion affecting coffee cultivation is not solely attributed to rainfall insufficiency but an outcome of complex interactions between climate and socio-economic systems. Our analysis highlights that uncontrollable coffee expansion, largely at the expense of forested areas, is partly the unintended consequence of policy decisions, including those encouraging migration and perennial crop development. Growing water demand in the region, including the demand for irrigation water driven by the ever-increasing area under coffee cultivation, as well as inefficient irrigation practices are placing significant pressure on water resources. A changing climate may exacerbate the problem, further impacting coffee cultivation, unless adaptation practices occur. A number of potential interventions are suggested, including explicit zoning of coffee-growing areas; awareness raising for wide adoption of optimal irrigation practices; converting Robusta coffee monocultures to diversified systems; and strictly protecting existing forests coupled with afforestation and reforestation. These interventions should be simultaneously implemented in order to adequately address drought and water scarcity for coffee production and build resilience to climate and market risks.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - No Department (1 Jul 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Sciences (6 Sep 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2020 02:52
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2020 00:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: System dynamics; Causal loop diagram; Conceptual modelling; Feedback loops; Mental models; Stakeholder engagement
Fields of Research (2008): 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070105 Agricultural Systems Analysis and Modelling
05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050205 Environmental Management
07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070301 Agro-ecosystem Functionand Prediction
Fields of Research (2020): 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3002 Agriculture, land and farm management > 300207 Agricultural systems analysis and modelling
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management
30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3004 Crop and pasture production > 300402 Agro-ecosystem function and prediction
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960905 Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Water Management
B Economic Development > 82 Plant Production and Plant Primary Products > 8298 Environmentally Sustainable Plant Production > 829805 Management of Water Consumption by Plant Production
D Environment > 96 Environment > 9603 Climate and Climate Change > 960399 Climate and Climate Change not elsewhere classified
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