How China’S Farmers Adapt To Climate Change?
This paper examines how farmers have adapted to the current range of climates across China. A cross sectional method is used to analyze irrigation choice and crop choice across 8,405 farmers in 28 provinces in China. We find that both irrigation and crop choice decisions are climate sensitive. Chinese farmers are more likely to irrigate when facing lower temperatures and less precipitation. Farmers in warmer places are more likely to choose oil crops, maize, and especially cotton and wheat, and are less likely to choose vegetables, potatoes, sugar and especially rice and soybeans. In wetter locations, farmers are more likely to choose soybeans, oil crops, sugar, vegetables, cotton and especially rice, and they are less likely to choose potato, wheat and especially maize. The analysis of how Chinese farmers have adapted to current climate, provides insight into how they will likely adapt when climate changes. The analysis does not take into account other background changes that may well occur, including changes in prices, technology, and water availability. Policy makers should anticipate that adaptation is important, that the magnitude of changes depends on the climate scenario, and that the desired changes depend on the location of each farm.
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