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Response to Climate Risks among Smallholder Farmers in Malawi: A Multivariate Probit Assessment of the Role of Information, Household Demographics and Farm Characteristics

Chalmers Mulwa, Paswel Marenya, Dil Rahut () and Menale Kassie

No 212511, 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy from International Association of Agricultural Economists

Abstract: Located in southern Africa, Malawi is a country increasingly facing numerous climate-related stressors including droughts and floods. Adaptation to these stressors is critical to the sustainability of the farming systems in the country. Using household and plot level data collected in 2011, we implement a multivariate probit model to assess the determinants of farmer adaptation behavior to climatic risks. The ex-ante adaptation practices considered by farmers include: planting drought, disease and pest tolerant varieties, early planting, soil and water conservation and crop diversification. We find that plot characteristics, credit constraints and availability of climate-related information explain the adoption of several of these adaptation practices. We also find that even when financial limitations are binding, availing climate-related information still motivate farmers to adapt. Policy effort to build resilience among rural farming systems should focus on extension education and information delivery with special emphasis on climate risks information and associated adaptation mechanisms.

Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy; Farm Management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27
Date: 2015
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-env and nep-pke
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.212511

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