Conservation Agriculture and Climate Resilience

Climate change is predicted to increase the number and severity of extreme rainfall events, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. In response, development agencies are encouraging the adoption of `climate-smart' agricultural techniques, such as conservation agriculture (CA). However, little rigorous evidence exists to demonstrates the effect of CA on production or climate resilience, and what evidence there is, is hampered by selection bias. Using panel data from Zimbabwe, we test how CA performs during extreme rainfall events - both shortfalls and surpluses. We control for the endogenous adoption decision and find that while CA has little, or if anything, a negative effect on yields during periods of average rainfall, it is effective in mitigating the negative impacts of rainfall shocks. Households that practice CA tend to receive higher yields compared to households using conventional methods in years of both low and high rainfall. We conclude that the lower yields during normal rainfall seasons may be a proximate factor in low uptake of CA. Policy should focus promotion of CA on these climate resiliency benefits. Acknowledgement :

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Conference Paper/ Presentation
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JEL Codes:
O13; Q12; Q56; Q54

 Record created 2018-10-02, last modified 2020-10-28

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