Adaptation to Climate Change and Food Security: Micro-evidence from Malawi

This paper assesses factors governing farmers’ decision to adopt adaptation/risk-mitigating strategies and evaluates the impact of adoption on crop productivity by utilizing household level data collected in 2011 from a nationally representative sample of 7842 households (11208 plots) in Malawi. We employ a multivariate probit (MVP) technique to model simultaneous and interdependent adoption decisions and utilize instrumental variable method for the impact estimates. The MVP results suggest that the decisions to adopt each of the farm management practices are quite distinct and to a larger extent the factors driving the adoption decisions are also different which entail the unsuitability of aggregating them into one adaptation variable. We find that favourable rainfall outcome affect positively the decisions to adopt short-term inputs such as improved seed and inorganic fertilizer whereas unfavourable rainfall outcome encourages farmer to adopt planting trees, maize-legume intercropping, use of organic fertilizer and soil and water conservation measures (SWC). Land tenure security increase the likelihood that farmer adopt strategies that will capture the returns from their investments in the long run and reduces the demand for short-term inputs. Access to extension advice, social capital and collective action also affect positively the adoption decisions suggesting the importance of information and networks. The impact estimate show that adoption of farm management practices has a positive and statistically significant impact on maize productivity suggesting the positive synergies between adaptation strategies and food security.

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
Q01; Q12; Q16; Q18

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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