Agricultural drought risk assessment in the Caribbean region: The case of Haiti

Climate hazards are a particular concern for the Caribbean region, especially droughts, which cause significant damage in the agricultural sector. However, studies on agricultural drought risk mapping are lacking for the Caribbean region, including Haiti. Thus, a comprehensive agricultural drought risk assessment integrating all risk components with their respective influencing indicators is urgently needed to generate structured drought risk information for drought mitigation strategies and proactive response. This study performs an exhaustive assessment of agricultural drought risk, integrating all risk components (vulnerability, hazard, exposure, and the adaptive capacity) with their appropriate parameters essential to plant development. A total of eighteen corresponding spatial indicators are defined to develop agricultural drought risk maps. Fuzzy logic was applied to standardize the various drought aspects in a range of 0-1 followed by the aggregation of drought vulnerability, hazard, exposure, and adaptive capacity indicators to quantify and develop detailed agricultural drought risk maps. Drought risk was analyzed at two different stages: (i) using the risk equation without including the adaptive capacity, and (ii) including the adaptive capacity as a risk component in the risk equation. The first approach produces higher (45.8%) moderate to very-high drought risk than the second (30.7%). The resulting cartographic products can assist in visualizing critically drought-stressed areas and stakeholders, and policy makers can use them to make better decisions to cope with drought in the farming sector.

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