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Improving Welfare through Climate-friendly Agriculture: The Case of the System of Rice Intensification

Yonas Alem (), Håkan Eggert () and Remidius Ruhinduka ()
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Yonas Alem: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O Box 640, SE 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden, http://www.economics.gu.se
Håkan Eggert: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O Box 640, SE 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden, http://www.economics.gu.se/
Remidius Ruhinduka: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Postal: P.O Box 640, SE 40530 Gothenburg, Sweden, http://www.economics.gu.se

No 630, Working Papers in Economics from University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics

Abstract: We use rich survey data to investigate the impact of a climate-friendly rice farming method known as the system of rice intensification (SRI) on the welfare of rain-dependent small-holder farmers in Tanzania. SRI reduces water consumption by half, which makes it a promising farming system in the adaptation to climate change in moisture-constrained areas, and it does not require flooding of rice fields, resulting in reduced methane emissions. Endogenous switching regression results suggest that SRI indeed improves yield in rain-dependent areas, but its profitability hinges on the actual market price farmers face. SRI becomes profitable only when the rice variety sells at the same market price as that of traditional varieties, but results in loss when SRI rice sells at a lower price. We argue that the effort of promoting adoption of such types of climate-friendly agricultural practices requires complementary institutional reform and support in order to ensure their profitability to small-holder farmers.

Keywords: Adaptation to climate change; Endogenous switching regression; Impact evaluation; System of rice intensification; Tanzania (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 J32 O33 Q12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-env
Date: 2015-10
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