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Leveraging social protection to advance climate-smart agriculture: evidence from Malawi. FAO Agricultural Development Economics Working Paper 21-04

In many developing countries the adoption of climate sustainable practices is hindered by resource and risk barriers. This paper 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. The underlying hypotheses to be tested are: (a) that participation in the MASAF programme reduce both the budget and the risk constraints to the adoption of sustainable management practices; and (b) the joint treatment effect of MASAF and CSA increases household farms’ productivity and welfare. Drawing on three waves of national panel household survey data, we find that participation in MASAF significantly increases the probability that farm households adopt all the CSA practices considered for this study.