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Endogenous irrigation : the impact of climate change on farmers in Africa

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  • Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep
  • Mendelsohn, Robert

Abstract

Previous Ricardian analyses of agriculture have either omitted irrigation or treated irrigation as though it is exogenous. In practice, it is a choice by farmers that is sensitive to climate. This paper develops a choice model of irrigation in the context of a Ricardian model of cropland. The authors examine how climate affects the decision to use irrigation and then how climate affects the net revenues of dryland and irrigated land. This Ricardian"selection"model, using a modified Heckman model, is then estimated across 8,400 farmers in Africa. The analysis explicitly models irrigation but controls for the endogeneity of irrigation. The authors find that the choice of irrigation is sensitive to both temperature and precipitation. Simulations of the welfare impacts of several climate scenarios demonstrate that a model which assumes irrigation is exogenous provides a biased estimate of the welfare effects of climate change. If dryland and irrigation are to be estimated separately in the Ricardian model, irrigation must be modeled endogenously. The results also indicate that African agriculture is sensitive to climate change. Many farmers in Africa will experience net revenue losses from warming. Irrigated farms, on the other hand, are more resilient to temperature change and, on the margin, are likely to realize slight gains in productivity. But any reduction in precipitation will be especially deleterious to dryland farmers, generally the poorest segment of the agriculture community. The results indicate that irrigation is an effective adaptation against loss of rainfall and higher temperatures provided there is sufficient water available. This will be an effective remedy in select regions of Africa with water. However, for many regions there is no available surface water, so that warming scenarios with reduced rainfall are particularly deleterious.

Suggested Citation

  • Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2007. "Endogenous irrigation : the impact of climate change on farmers in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4278, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4278
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Seo, S. Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert, 2008. "A structural ricardian analysis of climate change impacts and adaptations in African agriculture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4603, The World Bank.
    2. 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.
    3. Isaure Delaporte & Mathilde Maurel, 2018. "Adaptation to climate change in Bangladesh," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 49-62, January.
    4. Wang, Jinxia & Mendelsohn, Robert & Dinar, Ariel & Huang, Jikun, 2008. "How China's farmers adapt to climate change," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4758, The World Bank.
    5. De Salvo, Maria & Raffaelli, Roberta & Moser, Riccarda, 2013. "The impact of climate change on permanent crops in an Alpine region: A Ricardian analysis," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 23-32.
    6. Seo, Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert & Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep & Dinar, Ariel & Hassan, Rashid, 2008. "Differential adaptation strategies to climate change in African cropland by agro-ecological zones," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4600, The World Bank.
    7. Seo, Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert & Dinar, Ariel & Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep & Hassan, Rashid, 2008. "Long-term adaptation : selecting farm types across agro-ecological zones in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4602, The World Bank.
    8. Wang, Jinxia & Mendelsohn, Robert & Dinar, Ariel & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Zhang, Lijuan, 2008. "Can China continue feeding itself ? the impact of climate change on agriculture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4470, The World Bank.
    9. Mora-Rivera, José Jorge, 2013. "efectos del cambio climático sobre la renta de la tierra de guatemala: un enfoque ricardiano," eseconomía, Escuela Superior de Economía, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, vol. 0(38), pages 7-38, segundo t.
    10. Seo, S. Niggol & Mendelsohn, Robert & Dinar, Ariel & Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep, 2008. "Differential adaptation strategies by agro-ecological zones in African livestock management," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4601, The World Bank.
    11. Nanda Kaji Budhathoki, 2017. "Climate Change: Perceptions, Reality and Agricultural Practice: Evidence from Nepal," Working Papers id:11903, eSocialSciences.
    12. Abdulai, Awudu & Owusu, Victor & Bakang, John-Eudes A., 2011. "Adoption of safer irrigation technologies and cropping patterns: Evidence from Southern Ghana," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1415-1423, May.

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    Keywords

    Climate Change; Environmental Economics&Policies; Water Supply and Systems; Water Resources Assessment; Global Environment Facility;

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