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Climate induced vulnerability to poverty among smallholder farmers: Evidence from Malawi

Assa M. Maganga, Levison Chiwaula and Patrick Kambewa

World Development Perspectives, 2021, vol. 21, issue C

Abstract: Assessment of farmers’ climate change induced vulnerability is an important step for enhancing the understanding and decision-making to reduce such vulnerability. Using panel version of Malawi Living Standards Measurement Survey data of 2010, 2013 and 2016, this paper examines the magnitude of climate induced vulnerability to expected poverty among farming households and how climate change relates to ex-post poverty and poverty transition. We find that vulnerability is strongly associated with short-run climate stresses and less so with the long-run climate related shocks. The effects of vulnerability on actual poverty lessen with time in the long run. Similarly, climate related stresses worsen the welfare of farming households. Droughts, floods and irregular rainfall exacerbates poverty with droughts showing the greatest impact on farmers welfare loss, followed by floods. The study underscores the importance of livestock, in buffering against poverty through serving a safety net, and off-farm income-generating activities. This suggests that the inclusion of livestock in shaping of climate management policies for farmers is crucial.

Keywords: Vulnerability; Poverty; Climate shocks (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.wdp.2020.100273

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