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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Climate Change and the Potential Economic Benefits of Heat Tolerant Bean Varieties for Farmers in Atlantida, Honduras

Authors
item Porch, Timothy
item Bernsten, Richard - MSU, EAST LANSING, MI
item Rosas, Juan - EAP, ZAMORANO, HONDURAS
item Jahn, Molly - CORNELL UNIV., ITHACA, NY

Submitted to: Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 20, 2007
Publication Date: August 1, 2007
Citation: Porch, T.G., Bernsten, R., Rosas, J.C., Jahn, M. 2007. Climate change and the potential economic benefits of heat tolerant bean varieties for farmers in Atlantida, Honduras. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico. 91:133-148.

Interpretive Summary: Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are sensitive to high temperatures during flower, pod and seed development, resulting in reduced yield. Yield losses in bean due to temperature stress are a concern in tropical climates because of global warming and production at low altitudes. This study investigated climate change in Honduras and farmer bean production in Atlantida, Honduras. The results of the climate analysis indicated that there is a warming trend in ambient temperatures in Honduras. Farmers were interviewed in ten villages, five at lower altitude and five at higher altitude in Atlántida. The results indicate that there are differences in bean production and yield between the low altitude and high altitude villages. These differences were attributed mainly to climatic constraints due to differences in elevation. Plant breeding can alleviate these constraints by increasing tolerance to high temperature stress in bean. A cost/benefit analysis indicates that the development and introduction of heat tolerant bean varieties could have significant returns and could help to alleviate increasing constraints on bean production.

Technical Abstract: Rising ambient air temperatures, migration, and deforestation have created a tenuous agricultural frontier zone of hillside agriculture in Atlantida, Honduras. Farmers avoid climatic constraints to common bean production by planting at distinct altitudes during different seasons. This practice may become less effective because the analysis of 14 weather stations presented in this paper indicates that Honduras is undergoing climatic warming. Farmers were interviewed in ten villages, five at lower altitude and five at higher altitude in Atlántida. Differences in bean production and yield were found between the low altitude and high altitude villages and attributed mainly to climatic constraints due to differences in elevation. Under base scenario assumptions, cost/benefit analysis indicates that the development and introduction of heat tolerant bean varieties could have significant returns and could help to alleviate increasing constraints on bean production.

Last Modified: 10/24/2014
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