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Climate variability, adaptation strategies and food security in Malawi








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    Food security impact of agricultural technology adoption under climate change: micro-evidence from Niger 2014
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    We assess farmers' incentives and the conditioning factors that hinder or promote adoption of agricultural technologies under climate risk and evaluate its impact on food security in Niger. We distinguish between (i) exposure to climatic disruptions, (ii) bio-physical sensitivity to such disruptions, (iii) household adaptive capacity in terms of farmers’ ability to prepare and adjust to the resulting stress, and, finally, (iv) system-level adaptive capacity that serve as enabling factors for hou sehold-level adaptation. We employ multivariate probit and instrumental variable techniques to model the selection decisions and its impact. The results clearly indicate that while the use of modern inputs and organic fertilizers significantly improves crop productivity, results are unclear for the impact of crop residues. Results also show that factors driving modern input use are different than those of crop residues and organic fertilizer which can be characterized at low investment capital r equirements, higher labour requirements and longer time for results versus modern inputs which can be characterized as higher investment capital requirements, less labour requirement and shorter time for returns. Exposure to climatic stress and bio-physical factors are identified as key factors that hinder or accelerate adoption. Results show that greater climate variability as represented by the coefficient of variation of rainfall and temperature and recent climate shocks as represented by ave rage rainfall shortfall increases use of risk-reducing inputs such as crop residue, but reduce the use of modern inputs. Results also show the key role of system-level adaptive capacity in governing input use decision. For instance people who are close to extension offices and periodic markets are more likely to use modern inputs whereas those further away are more likely to use climate-smart agricultural inputs suggesting that role extension in promoting the use of modern inputs. Results presen ted have implications for understanding and overcoming barriers to selection for each practice, distinguishing structural aspects such as exposure and sensitivity from potential interventions at the household or system levels linked to adaptive capacity.
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    Food security impact of agricultural technology adoption under climate change
    Micro-evidence from Niger
    2015
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    We assess farmers' incentives and the conditioning factors that hinder or promote adoption of agricultural technologies under climate risk and evaluate its impact on food security in Niger. We distinguish between (i) exposure to climatic disruptions, (ii) bio-physical sensitivity to such disruptions, (iii) household adaptive capacity in terms of farmers’ ability to prepare and adjust to the resulting stress, and, finally, (iv) system-level adaptive capacity that serve as enabling factors for hou sehold-level adaptation. We employ multivariate probit and instrumental variable techniques to model the selection decisions and its impact. The results clearly indicate that while the use of modern inputs and organic fertilizers significantly improves crop productivity, results are unclear for the impact of crop residues. Moreover, factors driving modern input use are different than those of crop residues and organic fertilizer which can be characterized at low investment capital requirements, higher labour requirements and longer time for results versus modern inputs which can be characterized as higher investment capital requirements, less labour requirement and shorter time for returns. Exposure to climatic stress and bio-physical factors are identified as key factors that hinder or accelerate adoption. Results also show that greater climate variability as represented by the coefficient of variation of rainfall and temperature and recent climate shocks as represented by average rai nfall shortfall increases use of risk-reducing inputs such as crop residue, but reduce the use of modern inputs. In addition, the key role of system-level adaptive capacity in governing input use decision. Results presented have implications for understanding and overcoming barriers to selection for each practice, distinguishing structural aspects such as exposure and sensitivity from potential interventions at the household or system levels linked to adaptive capacity.
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    Adaptation to Climate Risk and Food Security: Evidence from Smallholder Farmers in Ethiopia 2015
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    This paper explores the impact of climate risk on the adoption of risk decreasing practices and other input choices and evaluates their impact on subjective and objective measures of household welfare (namely net crop income and a food insecurity indicator). The analysis is conducted primarily using a novel data set that combines data from the large-scale and representative Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (ERSS), 2011/12 with historical climate and biophysical data. We employ a multivariate probit model on plot level observations to model simultaneous and interdependent adoption decisions and utilize a conditional mixed process estimator (CMP) and instrumental variable (IV) method for the impact estimates. Findings show that there is interdependency between the adoption decisions of different farm management practices which may be attributed to complementarities or substitutability between the practices. Greater riskiness, reflected in the coefficients of variation and higher temperature , increases use of risk reducing inputs such as climate-smart agriculture (CSA) inputs, but decrease use of modern inputs such as chemical fertilizer. Even if higher climate risk does generate higher incentive to adopt, results also confirm the importance of other conventional constraints to adoption that need to be addressed. Yield enhancing inputs such as chemical fertilizer and improved seed are mainly adopted by wealthier households and households having access to credit and extension servic es whereas risk reducing inputs are frequently used by households with lower level of wealth and limited access to credit and households with stable land tenure. Moreover, the CMP and IV estimations showed that the adoption of CSA and modern inputs have positive and statistically significant impacts on the objective measure of food security (net crop income) but no impact is observed for the subjective food security indicator.

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