Preparedness and Coping Strategies for Agricultural Drought Risk Management: Recent Progress and Trends

  • Donald A. Wilhite


In many countries, drought is responsible for the greatest loss of agricultural production. For example, in the United States, drought was the predominant source of indemnities paid because of crop losses between 1970 and 2003. These losses totaled more than $15 billion (USDA/RMA). In China during the period from 1949 to 2000, drought affected an average of 21 million hectares. More than 60 million tons of grain was lost in China as a result of the drought of 2000, the highest loss in 51 years (Zhang et al. 2005). Recent droughts in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Southern Africa, and many other regions have also resulted in devastating impacts in the agricultural sector. With growing pressure on water and other natural resources because of population increases and other factors, there is an increasing need to reduce both the impacts of drought on agriculture and other sectors and the demand for government- or donor-sponsored drought assistance programs. These programs are costly and largely ineffective in reducing societal vulnerability to future drought episodes.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald A. Wilhite
    • 1
  1. 1.National Drought Mitigation CenterUniversity of Nebraska-LincolnLincolnUSA

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