Agricultural Development Economics


Climate-Smart Agriculture? A review of current practice of agroforestry and conservation agriculture in Malawi and Zambia
David Kaczan , Aslihan Arslan and Leslie Lipper
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Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa must undergo significant productivity improvements to meet the combined challenges of population growth and climate change. A proposed means of achieving such improvements is increased use of a ‘climate-smart agriculture’ approach to agricultural development policy-making, which emphasizes the use of farming techniques that (1) increase yields, (2) reduce vulnerability to climate change, and (3) reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Two countries that are prioritizing such an approach within the framework of a Climate-Smart Agriculture project are Malawi and Zambia . These countries are promoting the use of agroforestry and conservation agriculture with the aim of improving the productivity of their smallholder agricultural systems under climate change . This review synthesizes evidence on the use, yie ld and socio - economic impacts of these farming techniques. Key findings are that agroforestry is a promising option for smallholder farmers with well - documented yield and profitability improvements. Evidence supporting the use of conservation agriculture i n the target countries is also positive but weaker . Adoption rates, although higher than those in other African countries, are lower than would be expected given the potential benefits , and resources spent on promotion . Key constraints and needs for furthe r research are documented
JEL Codes
Q1; O13