Economic and Policy Analysis of Climate Change


Supporting climate adaptation in smallholder agriculture. Summarizing lessons learnt

Policy briefs

Supporting smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change is essential for achieving Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No poverty) and 2 (Zero hunger). This will require policies and programs that enable farmers with few resources to adopt farm practices and technologies that reduce sensitivity to rising temperatures, the spread of new pests and diseases, and increasingly erratic rainfall. This brief consolidates evidence and stylized facts to guide policy discussions on climate adaptation in smallholder agriculture, based on work carried out by [...]

Food aid supports climate-adaptive investments by farmers in sub-Saharan Africa

Policy briefs

This brief explores the evidence on the relationships between food aid transfers and investments in climate adaptive agriculture using data from Ethiopia, Malawi and United Republic of Tanzania. Four climate adaptive agricultural investments are considered, namely: adoption of cereal-legume intercropping, use of organic fertilizers such as manure and compost, construction of soil and water conservation structures in fields, and investments in livestock diversification. These practices differ in their levels of capital and labour intensity,and their appropriateness for farmers will vary [...]

The dual threat of extreme weather and the COVID-19 crisis: Anticipating the impacts on food availability

Policy briefs

The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound negative effect on the global economy and is occurring in the context of a rapidly changing climate. This year is expected to be the second hottest in recorded history. Weather forecasts for 2020 indicate a high probability that extreme weather will adversely affect food production in many countries. This brief draws on historical evidence and demonstrates that reductions in national food availability caused by severe weather events tend to be considerably larger in [...]

Reducing export restrictions on timber to sustain commercial forestry investments in Uganda

Policy briefs

Over the last 20 years, the Government of Uganda has implemented several policies to promote investments in commercial forest plantations. As a result of these policy efforts, the supply of commercially produced pine is set to increase dramatically over the next few years. This brief summarizes a cost-benefir analysis based on interviews carried out in July 2019. The findings highlights a significant challenge facing the sector. Without reforms to the current market situation in the country, plantation owners are unlikely [...]

Making the wheat sector in Bosnia and Herzegovina more competitive and resilient

Policy briefs

In Bosnia and Herzegovina wheat is a key staple, yet domestic production is small and low quality. Current policy environment tends to disadvantage wheat producers and makes them vulnerable in face of changing climate. Government interventions should focus on improving competitiveness of wheat producers and building resilience to climate change. Key reforms should encompass land consolidation, on-farm investments, access to high quality inputs and equipment, extension services and access to risk management tools.                  

Diversification is in the Detail: Accounting for Crop System Heterogeneity to Inform Diversification Policies in Malawi and Zambia

Journal articles

Crop diversification is a common agricultural policy objective. However, the determinants and impacts of crop diversification are heterogeneous and depend on a range of crop-specific characteristics. Index-based measurements of crop diversification, common in the agriculture economics literature, are unable to account for this heterogeneity. Using two national panel surveys from Malawi and Zambia, we develop a multinomial treatment effects model to examine the determinants of adopting seven discreet cropping systems and their impacts on maize productivity and crop income stability. [...]

Drought adaptation practices and profits in Sri Lanka’s rice sector: what is the missing link?

Policy briefs

It is projected that climate change will affect rainfall patterns in South Asia and will contribute to a decline in water availability for rice cultivation in the region. In Sri Lanka, where rice is both the staple food and the primary crop grown by farmers, reductions in water availability for rice cultivation has serious impacts on farmers’ welfare and national food security.   The Overarching Agricultural Policy in Sri Lanka recognizes the importance of adapting and building resilience to climate change in [...]

Leveraging social protection programmes to advance climate-smart agriculture in Malawi

Policy briefs

This brief details the three functional elements of climate vulnerability: risk exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity, in order to assess 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. Using three waves of national panel household survey data, we find that participation in MASAF significantly increases the likelihood that farm households adopt CSA practices. This suggests that MASAF participation improves farmers’ adaptive capacity by reducing [...]

Peatland mapping and monitoring

Technical papers

This state of the art report offers an overview of existing tools, methodologies and case studies to support countries with their peatland mapping and monitoring. The 35 expert authors from 14 countries stress the need for continuous and cost-effective peatland mapping and monitoring to maintain and prevent degradation of this important carbon storage in all regions. Contributions of authors from major tropical peatland countries such as Indonesia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Peru demonstrate the urgent need to [...]

Heterogeneous Effects of Sustainable Agriculture Practices: Micro-evidence from Malawi

Journal articles

Are the effects of sustainable agricultural practices heterogeneous across agroecologyand wealth in Malawi?Would a wealth-enhancing policy be associated withincreased effectiveness of these practices? Focusing on a nationally representativeset of Malawian agricultural households, the article answers the above questions byemploying plot-level panel data matched with a set of geo-referenced rainfall andtemperature records. The findings suggest a positive correlation between aggregateyield and the adoption of organic fertilizer. A similar result holds for legumeintercropping and for hybrid seeds, which are associated to reductions [...]