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Restoring Food and Income Security in Sri Lanka - TCP/SRL/3607










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    The challenge of making climate adaptation profitable for farmers – Evidence from Sri Lanka’s rice sector 2021
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    Increased incidences of drought and water scarcity due to climate change is an important challenge facing Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector. Identifying farm practices that can reduce its adverse impacts on agricultural production and farmers’ livelihoods is a key policy objective in Sri Lanka. This paper makes use of household survey data collected in Anurādhapura District to evaluate the impacts of 11 drought adaptation practices adopted by farmers in the district. The impacts of the practices are estimated simultaneously along two dimensions: 1) impact on sensitivity to water stress (measured in terms of the probability of experiencing crop loss due to wilting) and 2) impact on household livelihood (measured in terms of total value of crops harvested and total gross household income). After accounting for a wide range of confounding factors, five practices are found to be associated with a reduced sensitivity to water stress. However, only two of these are simultaneously associated with a higher gross value of crops harvested, while none is associated with significant differences in household income relative to non-adopters. The reasons for this vary by practice, but are linked to opportunity costs of household labour and market weaknesses for crops other than rice. Making climate adaptation practices profitable is a key challenge faced by policy-makers and will require a holistic research and extension approach that is bundled with complementary support to market institutions, such as appropriate mechanization services, value chain support for other field crops and input supply systems.
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    Building the Resilience of Communities Against Drought in Namibia -TCP/NAM/3605 2019
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    In 2016, recurrent dry conditions affecting Namibia were exacerbated by one of the worst El Niño episodes on record. This resulted in widespread crop failure during the 2015-2016 agricultural season, with the staple crops, maize and mahangu, attaining below average national yields of 62 percent and 39 percent, respectively. The impact upon the agriculture sector was compounded by water scarcity, increased incidence of disease, high food prices and declining livestock prices. With the loss of livelihoods for 1.5 million subsistence farmers and pastoralists and more than 720 000 people (36 percent of the country’s population) reported to be food insecure, a state of emergency was declared by the country’s President. In response, FAO mobilized resources to continue and expand its technical assistance to the Government of Namibia through resilience-building interventions targeting selected drought-affected communities.
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    Emergency Assistance in Support of Food Security Recovery of Drought-Affected Communities - TCP/MAS/3601 2020
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    The Republic of the Marshall Islands has historically faced numerous challenges with regard to the accessibility of consistent water supplies. In 2015/16, an estimated 21 000 people were affected by severe drought conditions as a result of the El Niño Southern Oscillation. A State of Emergency was declared in March 2016 and support was requested from the World Bank to conduct a Post Disaster Needs Assessment to evaluate the economic effects of the drought, while the Pacific Community was asked to assess key sectors, including agriculture, water and health. The monetary value of the effects of the drought, in early 2016, was estimated at USD 4.9 million. Although this was equivalent to only 3.4 percent of the 2015 gross domestic product for the country as a whole, the consequences of the drought on agricultural production were critical, as the agriculture sector is of primary importance to self-employed communities in outer islands, where the cultivation and processing of copra, and the sale of fish, bananas, pumpkins and handicrafts are the main sources of cash income. In response to this situation, a nine-month Drought Immediate and Near Response Plan was endorsed by the Government for USD 8.9 million, of which USD 3.1 million would meet food security needs. The aim of the project was to increase resilience and contribute to restoring the food security of at least 560 drought-affected households (HHs) in the six most affected atolls (Arno, Aur, Maloelap, Mejit, Namu and Wotje) in a sustainable manner. This would be achieved by distributing drought-resistant and saline-tolerant crops, by providing training in sustainable agriculture in drought-prone areas to farmers, women and youth, and by supporting the Government in monitoring the outcome of the training and seed distribution in order to inform future sustainable response practices and future action plans.

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