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Unpublished Paper
Conservation Agriculture and Climate Resilience
  • Jeffrey Michler, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Kathy Baylis
  • Mary Arends-Kuenning, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Kizito Mazvimavi, International Crop Research Institute in the Semi-Arid Tropics
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.
  • Conservation agriculture,
  • Zimbabwe,
  • Climate change,
  • Maize,
  • Rainfall shocks
Publication Date
Citation Information
Jeffrey Michler, Kathy Baylis, Mary Arends-Kuenning and Kizito Mazvimavi. "Conservation Agriculture and Climate Resilience" (2016)
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