Agrifood Economics


Food security impact of agricultural technology adoption under climate change: micro-evidence from Niger
ESA Working Paper 14-12
Solomon Asfaw, Federica Di Battista and Leslie Lipper
Publication date
We assess farmers' incentives and the conditioning factors that hinder or promote adoption of agricultural technologies under climate risk and evaluate its impact on food security in Niger. We distinguish between (i) exposure to climatic disruptions, (ii) bio-physical sensitivity to such disruptions, (iii) household adaptive capacity in terms of farmers’ ability to prepare and adjust to the resulting stress, and, finally, (iv) system-level adaptive capacity that serve as enabling factors for household-level adaptation. We employ multivariate probit and instrumental variable techniques to model the selection decisions and its impact. The results clearly indicate that while the use of modern inputs and organic fertilizers significantly improves crop productivity, results are unclear for the impact of crop residues. Results also show that factors driving modern input use are different than those of crop residues and organic fertilizer which can be characterized at low investment capital requirements, higher labour requirements and longer time for results versus modern inputs which can be characterized as higher investment capital requirements, less labour requirement and shorter time for returns. Exposure to climatic stress and bio-physical factors are identified as key factors that hinder or accelerate adoption. Results show that greater climate variability as represented by the coefficient of variation of rainfall and temperature and recent climate shocks as represented by average rainfall shortfall increases use of risk-reducing inputs such as crop residue, but reduce the use of modern inputs. Results also show the key role of system-level adaptive capacity in governing input use decision. For instance people who are close to extension offices and periodic markets are more likely to use modern inputs whereas those further away are more likely to use climate-smart agricultural inputs suggesting that role extension in promoting the use of modern inputs. Results presented have implications for understanding and overcoming barriers to selection for each practice, distinguishing structural aspects such as exposure and sensitivity from potential interventions at the household or system levels linked to adaptive capacity.
JEL Codes
Q01, Q12, Q16, Q18