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How do farm size and perceptions matter for farmers’ adaptation responses to climate change in a developing country? Evidence from Nepal


  • Koirala, Pankaj
  • Kotani, Koji
  • Managi, Shunsuke


Farm size and climatic perceptions are important economic and cognitive factors for farmers’ activities. However, little is known about how these factors are related to farmers’ responsiveness to climate change. This research addresses what matters for farmers’ responses to climate change, hypothesizing that farm size, climatic perceptions and the interplay between the two are key determinants. We conduct a questionnaire survey with 1000 farmers in Nepal, collecting data on their adaptation responses, farm size, climatic perceptions and sociodemographic information. With the data, the statistical analysis is conducted by employing an index to reflect the farmers’ effective adaptation responses. The results reveal that farmers take adaptations as the farm size becomes small, or when they have good climatic perceptions & social networks with other farmers. The results also show that small-sized farmers tend to adapt much more in response to their climatic perceptions than large-sized farmers. Overall, this research suggests that agriculture may be losing responsiveness to climate change, as large-sized farmers become dominant by holding a majority of land in developing countries. Thus, it is advisable to reconsider the tradeoff between productivity and responsiveness to climate change regarding farm size as well as how large-sized farmers can be induced to adapt through their cognition, policies, social networking and technology for food security.

Suggested Citation

  • Koirala, Pankaj & Kotani, Koji & Managi, Shunsuke, 2022. "How do farm size and perceptions matter for farmers’ adaptation responses to climate change in a developing country? Evidence from Nepal," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 188-204.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecanpo:v:74:y:2022:i:c:p:188-204
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eap.2022.01.014

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