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The perception of and adaptation to climate change in Africa

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  • Maddison, David

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to determine the ability of farmers in Africa to detect climate change, and to ascertain how they have adapted to whatever climate change they believe has occurred. The paper also asks farmers whether they perceive any barriers to adaptation and attempts to determine the characteristics of those farmers who, despite claiming to have witnessed climate change, have not yet responded to it. The study is based on a large-scale survey of agriculturalists in 11 African countries. The survey reveals that significant numbers of farmers believe that temperatures have already increased and that precipitation has declined. Those with the greatest experience of farming are more likely to notice climate change. Further, neighboring farmers tell a consistent story. There are important differences in the propensity of farmers living in different locations to adapt and there may be institutional impediments to adaptation in some countries. Although large numbers of farmers perceive no barriers to adaptation, those that do perceive them tend to cite their poverty and inability to borrow. Few if any farmers mentioned lack of appropriate seed, security of tenure, or market accessibility as problems. Those farmers who perceive climate change but fail to respond may require particular incentives or assistance to do what is ultimately in their own best interests. Although experienced farmers are more likely to perceive climate change, it is educated farmers who are more likely to respond by making at least one adaptation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4308.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4308

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Related research

Keywords: Climate Change; Rural Poverty Reduction; Environmental Economics&Policies; Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems; Rural Development Knowledge&Information Systems;

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Cited by:
  1. Phiri, Innocent Pangapanga, 2011. "Modelling farmers’ choice of adaptation strategies towards climatic and weather variability: Empirical evidence from Chikhwawa district, Southern Malawi," Research Theses, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics 134489, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  2. Cook, Aaron M. & Ricker-Gilbert, Jacob E. & Sesmero, Juan P., 2013. "How do African households adapt to climate change? Evidence from Malawi," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C., Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 150507, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  3. Bryan, Elizabeth & Behrman, Julia A., 2013. "Community–based adaptation to climate change: A theoretical framework, overview of key issues and discussion of gender differentiated priorities and participation:," CAPRi working papers 109, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Sushenjit Bandyopadhyay & Limin Wang & Marcus Wijnen, 2011. "Improving Household Survey Instruments for Understanding Agricultural Household Adaptation to Climate Change : Water Stress and Variability," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12764, The World Bank.
  5. Acquah, H. de-Graft & Onumah, Edward E., 2011. "Farmers Perception and Adaptation to Climate Change: An Estimation of Willingness to Pay," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 3(4), December.
  6. Pangapanga, Phiriinnocent & Thangalimodzi, Lucy Tembo, 2012. "Participation in pro poor agro based enterprises in Malawi: do households’ poverty levels change automatically?," MPRA Paper 39446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Futoshi, Yamauchi & Hiroyuki, Takeshima & Reno, Dewina & Sony, Sumaryanto & Akiko, Haruna, 2012. "Climate Change, Perceptions and the Heterogeneity of Adaptation and Rice Productivity: Evidence from Indonesian Villages," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil, International Association of Agricultural Economists 126473, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  8. Ajao, A.O. & Ogunniyi, L.T., 2011. "Farmers’ strategies for adapting to climate change in Ogbomoso agricultural zone of Oyo state," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 3(3), September.
  9. Temesgen Tadesse Deressa, 2011. "Effects of climatic conditions and agro-ecological settings on the productive efficiencies of small-holder farmers in Ethopia," Working Papers 223, Economic Research Southern Africa.
  10. Murendo, Conrad & Keil, Alwin & Zeller, Manfred, 2010. "Drought impacts and related risk management by smallholder farmers in developing countries: evidence from Awash River Basin, Ethiopia," Research in Development Economics and Policy (Discussion Paper Series) 114750, Universitaet Hohenheim, Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences in the Tropics and Subtropics.
  11. Ayuya, Oscar Ingasia, 2010. "Evaluation Of Willingness To Accept And Adopt Clean Development Mechanism Projects Among Smallscale Farmers In Njoro District, Kenya," Research Theses, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics 117799, Collaborative Masters Program in Agricultural and Applied Economics.
  12. Ranganathan, C. & Palanisami, K. & Kakumanu, K. & Baulraj, A., 2011. "Mainstreaming the Adaptations and Reducing the Vulnerability of the Poor due to Climate Change," ADBI Working Papers 333, Asian Development Bank Institute.
  13. Samuel Codjoe & Lucy Atidoh & Virginia Burkett, 2012. "Gender and occupational perspectives on adaptation to climate extremes in the Afram Plains of Ghana," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 110(1), pages 431-454, January.

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