Conservation Agriculture and Climate Resilience

Michler, J and Baylis, K and Arends-Kuenning, M and Mazvimavi, K (2016) Conservation Agriculture and Climate Resilience. Unpublished. pp. 1-49.

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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 nega-tive effect on yields during periods of average rainfall, it is effective in mitigating the negative impacts of rainfall shocks. Farmers who practice CA tend to receive higher yields compared to conventional farmers 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.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : East & Southern Africa
Uncontrolled Keywords: Conservation Farming; Technology Adoption; Agricultural Production; Resilience, Weather Risk; Zimbabwe; Climate change; Conservation Agriculture
Subjects: Others > Agriculture
Others > Climate Change
Depositing User: Mr Ramesh K
Date Deposited: 29 May 2017 05:17
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2018 10:34
Official URL:
Acknowledgement: The authors owe a particular debt to Albert Chiima, Tarisayi Pedzisa, and Alex Winter-Nelson. This work has benefited from helpful comments and criticism by Anna Josephson, David Rohrbach, David Spielman, and Christian Thierfelder as well as seminar participants at the AAAE conference in Addis Ababa. We gratefully acknowledge financial support for the data collection from the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) through the Protracted Relief Program (PRP) in Zimbabwe, 2007-2011. Additional funding support is from the Standing Panel on Impact Assessment of the CGIAR.
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