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Conservation Agriculture and Climate Resilience


  • Michler, J.
  • Baylis, K.
  • Arends-Kuenning, M.
  • Mazvimavi, K.


Climate change is predicted to increase the number and severity of extreme rainfall events, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. In response, development agencies are encouraging the adoption of `climate-smart' agricultural techniques, such as conservation agriculture (CA). However, little rigorous evidence exists to demonstrates the effect of CA on production or climate resilience, and what evidence there is, is hampered by selection bias. Using panel data from Zimbabwe, we test how CA performs during extreme rainfall events - both shortfalls and surpluses. We control for the endogenous adoption decision and find that while CA has little, or if anything, a negative effect on yields during periods of average rainfall, it is effective in mitigating the negative impacts of rainfall shocks. Households that practice CA tend to receive higher yields compared to households using conventional methods in years of both low and high rainfall. We conclude that the lower yields during normal rainfall seasons may be a proximate factor in low uptake of CA. Policy should focus promotion of CA on these climate resiliency benefits. Acknowledgement :

Suggested Citation

  • Michler, J. & Baylis, K. & Arends-Kuenning, M. & Mazvimavi, K., 2018. "Conservation Agriculture and Climate Resilience," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277458, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae18:277458
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.277458

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    More about this item


    Environmental Economics and Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • Q12 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Micro Analysis of Farm Firms, Farm Households, and Farm Input Markets
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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