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Arslan A.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations | Cavatassi R.,Research and Impact Assessment Division | Alfani F.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations | Mccarthy N.,LEAD Analytics Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Development Studies | Year: 2017

Climate change is posing an increasingly severe challenge to agricultural livelihoods due to increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Livelihood diversification can play an important role in decreasing food insecurity and vulnerability under these challenges. This paper contributes to the literature on livelihood diversification and vulnerability under climate change to assess the role of diversification as part of a Climate-Smart Agriculture strategy by analysing the determinants of diversification, income and poverty in Zambia using panel data. We specifically focus on the roles of climate shocks and institutions in shaping these linkages to highlight policy insights to improve resilience. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group


Branca G.,University of Tuscia | Lipper L.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the un FAO | McCarthy N.,Lead Analytics Inc | Jolejole M.C.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
Agronomy for Sustainable Development | Year: 2013

Agriculture production in developing countries must be increased to meet food demand for a growing population. Earlier literature suggests that sustainable land management could increase food production without degrading soil and water resources. Improved agronomic practices include organic fertilization, minimum soil disturbance, and incorporation of residues, terraces, water harvesting and conservation, and agroforestry. These practices can also deliver co-benefits in the form of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and enhanced carbon storage in soils and biomass. Here, we review 160 studies reporting original field data on the yield effects of sustainable land management practices sequestering soil carbon. The major points are: (1) sustainable land management generally leads to increased yields, although the magnitude and variability of results varies by specific practice and agro-climatic conditions. For instance, yield effects are in some cases negative for improved fallows, terraces, minimum tillage, and live fences. Whereas, positive yield effects are observed consistently for cover crops, organic fertilizer, mulching, and water harvesting. Yields are also generally higher in areas of low and variable rainfall. (2) Isolating the yield effects of individual practices is complicated by the adoption of combinations or "packages" of sustainable land management options. (3) Sustainable land management generally increases soil carbon sequestration. Agroforestry increases aboveground C sequestration and organic fertilization reduces CO 2 emissions. (4) Rainfall distribution is a key determinant of the mitigation effects of adopting specific sustainable land management practices. Mitigation effects of adopting sustainable land management are higher in higher rainfall areas, with the exception of water management. © 2013 INRA and Springer-Verlag France.


Asfaw S.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations | McCarthy N.,LEAD Analytics Inc. | Lipper L.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations | Arslan A.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations | Cattaneo A.,Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations
Food Security | Year: 2016

This paper assesses farmers’ incentives and conditioning factors that hinder or promote adaptation strategies and evaluates their impact on crop productivity by using data from nationally representative sample households in Malawi. We employed multivariate probit (MVP) and multinomial treatment effect (MTE) techniques to model adoption decisions and their yield impact. Exposure to delayed onset of rainfall and greater climate variability was positively associated with the choice of risk-reducing agricultural practices such as tree planting, legume intercropping, and soil and water conservation (SWC) but reduced the use of inputs (such as inorganic fertilizer) whose risk reduction benefits are uncertain. Concerning household adaptive capacity, wealthier households were more likely to adopt both modern and sustainable land management (SLM) inputs and were more likely to adopt SLM inputs on plots that were under greater security of tenure. In terms of system-level adaptive capacity, rural institutions, social capital and supply-side constraints were key in governing selection decisions for all practices considered, but particularly for tree planting and both organic and inorganic fertilizer applications. A combination of practices gave rise to higher yields suggesting that this might be a course of action that would sustain growth of yield in Malawi in the future. © 2016 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and International Society for Plant Pathology


Arslan A.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations | McCarthy N.,LEAD Analytics Inc. | Lipper L.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations | Asfaw S.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations | Cattaneo A.,Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment | Year: 2014

This paper analyzes the determinants of farmer adoption of conservation farming practices using panel data from two rounds of the Rural Incomes and Livelihoods Surveys that were implemented in 2004 and 2008. Conservation farming (CF) has been actively promoted in seven of Zambia's nine provinces since the 1980s. CF has the technical potential to contribute to food security and adaptation to climate chan≥ however, rigorous analyses of the determinants of adoption/dis-adoption of these practices, are still scarce. This paper fills this gap by combining rich panel data with historical rainfall data to understand the determinants of adoption and intensity of two CF practices: minimum soil disturbance and crop rotations. Controlling for the confounding effects of household level unobservables, we find that extension services and rainfall variability are the strongest determinants of adoption, suggesting that farmers use these practices as an adaptation strategy to mitigate the negative effects of variable and delayed rainfall. Furthermore, our findings highlight the role of agro-ecological and socio-economic constraints in explaining adoption, as well as the potential role and effectiveness of interventions to support it. Eastern province shows a significantly different trend in terms of both adoption and the intensity of adoption, indicating that the long-established CF activities in the province have had some impact - though high dis-adoption rates are observed even in this province. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.


Mccarthy N.,LEAD Analytics Inc. | Kilic T.,The World Bank
Agricultural Economics (United Kingdom) | Year: 2015

Across the developing world, public goods exert significant impacts on the local rural economy in general and agricultural productivity and welfare outcomes in particular. Economic and social-cultural heterogeneity have, however, long been documented as detrimental to collective capacity to provide public goods. In particular, women are often underrepresented in local leadership and decision-making processes, as are young adults and minority ethnic groups. While democratic principles dictate that broad civic engagement by women and other groups could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of local governance and increase public goods provision, the empirical evidence on these hypotheses is scant. This article develops a theoretical model highlighting the complexity of constructing a "fair" schedule of individual contributions, given heterogeneity in costs and benefits that accrue to people depending, for instance, on their gender, age, ethnicity, and education. The model demonstrates that representative leadership and broad participation in community organizations can mitigate the negative impacts of heterogeneity on collective capacity to provide public goods. Nationally representative household survey data from Malawi, combined with geospatial and administrative information, are used to test this hypothesis and to estimate the relationship between collective capacity for public good provision and community median estimates of maize yields and household consumption expenditures per capita. The analysis shows that similarities between the leadership and the general population in terms of gender and age, and active participation by women and young adult in community groups, alleviate the negative effects of heterogeneity and increase collective capacity, which in turn improves agriculture productivity and welfare. © 2015 International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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