Farming in the Face of Uncertainty: How Colombian Coffee Farmers Conceptualize and Communicate Their Experiences With Climate Change

Natalie J. Lambert, Jessica Eise


Climate change is impacting agricultural systems around the globe, but little research has focused on how agricultural producers communicate their firsthand experiences with climate change impacts. Coffee, Colombia’s largest agricultural export (indirectly responsible for the livelihood of 2 million Colombians), is uniquely vulnerable to climate change. This study lays the groundwork for future adaptation communication efforts by analyzing 45 in-person, in-depth interviews of coffee farmers in Risaralda, Colombia. Dimensionalization, a grounded theory approach, is used to offer a theoretical data matrix to capture the major factors involved in Colombian farmers’ experiences with climate change from the farmers’ own perspective. The findings illustrate the conditions underlying Colombian coffee farmers’ belief that climate change impacts threaten their livelihoods and put farmers in a constant state of uncertainty.


climate change, environmental communication, uncertainty

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