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Animal husbandry in Africa: Climate change impacts and adaptations


  • Seo, S. Niggol
  • Mendelsohn, Robert


This paper uses a cross-sectional approach to analyze the impacts of climate change on animal husbandry and the way farmers adapt. The study is based on surveys of almost 5000 livestock farmers across ten countries in Africa. A traditional Ricardian regression finds that the livestock net revenues of large farms in Africa are more sensitive to temperature than those of small farms. Cross-sectional analysis also reveals that large farms (but not small farms) have fewer animals per farm in warmer places. Farmers tend to select beef cattle and chickens in cool climates and goats and sheep in hot climates. Using the Ricardian results and examining climate scenarios for 2060 and beyond, the net revenues of small farms are predicted to increase as much as 120% (+USD6 billion) but those of large farms are predicted to fall by 20% (-USD12 billion). The impact estimates in any given period also depend on the rainfall predictions. The results suggest that large livestock farms in Africa are more sensitive to temperature than small ones, primarily because of their dependence on cattle.

Suggested Citation

  • Seo, S. Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2008. "Animal husbandry in Africa: Climate change impacts and adaptations," African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, African Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 2(1), March.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:afjare:56968

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    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Chung-Sil & Jung, Hye-Kyung & Lee, Sang-Ho & Park, Soo-Young & Takei, Atsuo, 2012. "An Analysis on Determinants of Farmers´ Adaptation to Climate Change in Korea," Journal of Rural Development/Nongchon-Gyeongje, Korea Rural Economic Institute, vol. 35(2), July.
    2. 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, vol. 3(3), September.
    3. Pham Khanh Nam, 2010. "Cooperative Behavior, Social Capital and Development: Evidence from the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam," EEPSEA Research Report rr2010125, Economy and Environment Program for Southeast Asia (EEPSEA), revised Dec 2010.
    4. Deressa, Temesgen Tadesse & Ringler, Claudia & Hassan, Rashid M., 2010. "Factors affecting the choices of coping strategies for climate extremes: The case of farmers in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1032, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Amsalu Woldie Yalew, 2016. "Economy-wide Effects of Climate Change in Ethiopia," EcoMod2016 9750, EcoMod.
    6. Assa, Maganga Mulagha & Gebremariam, Gebrelibanos G. & Mapemba, Lawrence D., 2013. "A cross-region study: climate change adaptation in Malawi's agro-based systems," 2013 AAAE Fourth International Conference, September 22-25, 2013, Hammamet, Tunisia 161304, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    7. Rapson, David, 2014. "Durable goods and long-run electricity demand: Evidence from air conditioner purchase behavior," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 141-160.
    8. Abayomi Samuel Oyekale, 2015. "Access to Risk Mitigating Weather Forecasts and Changes in Farming Operations in East and West Africa: Evidence from a Baseline Survey," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(11), pages 1-19, October.
    9. Mohamed Esham & Chris Garforth, 2013. "Agricultural adaptation to climate change: insights from a farming community in Sri Lanka," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 18(5), pages 535-549, June.
    10. S. Seo & Robert Mendelsohn & Ariel Dinar & Rashid Hassan & Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, 2009. "A Ricardian Analysis of the Distribution of Climate Change Impacts on Agriculture across Agro-Ecological Zones in Africa," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 43(3), pages 313-332, July.
    11. Seo, S. Niggol, 2010. "Is an integrated farm more resilient against climate change? A micro-econometric analysis of portfolio diversification in African agriculture," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 32-40, February.
    12. Hutchinson, Sharon & Gomes, Charmaine & Alleyne, Dillon & Phillips, Willard, 2013. "An assessment of the economic and social impacts of climate change on the agriculture sector in the Caribbean," Sede Subregional de la CEPAL para el Caribe (Estudios e Investigaciones) 38278, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
    13. Martina Bozzola & Emanuele Massetti & Robert Mendelsohn & Fabian Capitanio, 2017. "A Ricardian Analysis of the Impact of Climate Change on Italian Agriculture," Working Papers 2017.23, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    14. Di Falco, Salvatore & Bulte, Erwin, 2013. "The Impact of Kinship Networks on the Adoption of Risk-Mitigating Strategies in Ethiopia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 100-110.
    15. Seo, S. Niggol & McCarl, Bruce A. & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2010. "From beef cattle to sheep under global warming? An analysis of adaptation by livestock species choice in South America," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2486-2494, October.

    More about this item


    Climate change; Livestock; Impact; Adaptation; Africa; Livestock Production/Industries; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy; Q12; Q25;

    JEL classification:

    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water


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