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Abstract

This paper aims to analyze the effects of climate change on Brazilian agriculture considering irrigation adoption as an adaptation strategy. Investigation on how climatic variability influences irrigation adoption was performed as well as whether this adaptation measure actually reduces producers’ vulnerability to climate change. We used matching methods to analyze the choice of irrigation in the first stage and the land values for two types of farmer (irrigators or dryland) in the second stage. Temperature and precipitation projections for the 2010-2099 time period were used, considering different climate scenarios, according the 4th Assessment Report of IPCC (2007). Simulation results showed that irrigation can be a very effective tool to counteract the harmful effects of climate change. Land values for irrigated production are less vulnerable than those of rainfed production. Farmers’ income tends to grow on lands where irrigation techniques are practiced, while on those where agricultural production is exclusively rainfed, losses can sum to approximately 14% in relation to current period. These conclusions confirm the need to invest in adaptation strategies in order to make Brazil ready to cope with the adverse effects of global climate change.

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