Economic and Policy Analysis of Climate Change


EX-ACT – Guidelines, Tool version 9

Manuals and guidelines

This document presents the methodology used to build the EX-Ante Carbon Balance Tool version 9 (EX-ACT). It describes in detail the main logic behind the tool, the tool structure, and the underlying equations and parameters used to calculate the carbon balance. EX-ACT is a land-use-based accounting system developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to evaluate the effects of the interventions in agriculture on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon stock changes expressed as carbon [...]

Can food aid relax farmers’ constraints to adopting climate-adaptive agricultural practices? Evidence from Ethiopia, Malawi and the United Republic of Tanzania

Working papers

The adoption of climate-adaptive agricultural practices (CAAPs) among resource-poor smallholder households is typically hindered by liquidity and risk constraints. Using an inverse probability weighted estimator that uses three waves of nationally representative panel survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi and the United Republic of Tanzania, this article examines whether food transfers help overcome barriers to the adoption of selected CAAPs. The results show that in each country analysed, receiving food transfers increase the probability of adopting at least one CAAP.

The challenge of making climate adaptation profitable for farmers: evidence from Sri Lanka's rice sector

Journal articles

Adapting agricultural systems to changes in seasonal precipitation is critical for the agricultural sector in Sri Lanka. This paper presents evidence on the adoption drivers and the welfare impacts of agricultural strategies adopted by Sri Lankan rice farmers to adapt to low rainfall conditions. We estimate the causal impact of adopting different adaptive strategies across three different dimensions: (a) sensitivity to water stress, (b) household productivity, and (c) household livelihood conditions. The results highlight important trade-offs faced by farmers between [...]

Progress towards sustainable agriculture – Drivers of change


The Progress towards Sustainable Agriculture initiative (PROSA) is a framework that seeks to complement ongoing efforts on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and particularly indicator 2.4.1, to support country-level assessments using data already available at the national level. Making agriculture more sustainable – productive, environmentally friendly, resilient and profitable is fundamental, as agriculture remains the main source of livelihood for the majority of the world’s poor and hungry. The pathway towards sustainable agriculture must ensure increasing output, but also make [...]

Evidence and policy options on migration, cash crop production and deforestation in Uganda

Policy briefs

This policy brief, prepared by the FAO Economic and Policy Analysis of Climate Change (EPIC), aims to analyse the relationships and policy options in regard to migration, cash crops and deforestation in Uganda. In particular, it shows that: – the expansion of cash crop activities significantly drives deforestation in Uganda; - migrants who produce cash crops contribute to deforestation significantly more than locals; - improving coordination between interventions on forests, agriculture and land use, and securing land rights is crucial in order to [...]

Harvesting trees to harvest cash crops: The role of internal migrants in forest land conversion in Uganda

Working papers

In this work, we merge socio-economic data with data on deforestation to explore the interrelationship between rural migration, the development of commercial agricultural sector, and forest cover loss. Specifically we test the role of cash crop producers and inter-district migrants on the tree loss in the parish of residence, while controlling for several other household-level and parish-level contributing factors of deforestation, including population density, proximity to markets and protected areas. Also, we investigate the agricultural channel, specifically producing cash crops, [...]

Leveraging social protection to advance climate-smart agriculture: An empirical analysis of the impacts of Malawi’s Social Action Fund (MASAF) on farmers’ adoption decisions and welfare outcomes

Journal articles

This article assesses the interactions between participation in Malawi’s largest public works programme, the Malawi Social Action Fund (MASAF), and three widely promoted climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices. Drawing on three waves of national panel household survey data, we find that participation in MASAF significantly increases the probability that farm households adopt the resource intensive CSA practices of building soil water conservation structures and applying organic fertilizers. Moreover, participation in MASAF contributes to a sustained adoption of these practices over [...]

Assessing the profitability and feasibility of climate-smart agriculture investment in Southern Malawi

Working papers

This working paper analyses the financial cost and benefit of adopting two different bundles of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices, which are tailored for the diverse conditions that prevail in southern Malawi. The results show the integration of CSA practices, including soil conservation, agroforestry, and livestock diversification, into conventional maize-legume and maize monocrop systems is profitable for farmers. Moreover, the profitability of these systems increases under extreme weather conditions that occur with increasing frequency in the region. However, the upfront costs [...]

Adapting to High Temperatures: Effect of Farm Practices and Their Adoption Duration on Total Value of Crop Production in Uganda

Journal articles

In this article, we use spatially granular climate data merged with four waves of household survey data in Uganda to examine empirically the relationships among high temperatures, total value of crop production, and the adoption and adoption duration of two sustainable agricultural practices (organic fertilizer adoption and maize–legume intercropping). We do this using a fixed-effect model with instrumental variables to address potential endogeneity issues. Our findings indicate that the adoption of these practices has a positive effect on the total [...]

Public expenditure analysis for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agricultural sector – A case study of Uganda

Working papers

This paper presents a methodology for public expenditure review and analysis for climate change adaptation and mitigation in the agricultural sector. It outlines the basic methodological concepts, including the classification of public expenditures in the context of their links to climate change adaptation and mitigation. It also illustrates how such analysis can usefully contribute to policy decision making to better achieve the climate change adaptation and mitigation goals using the case study of Uganda. The proposed classification allows for analysing [...]