Information provision, policy support, and farmers’ adaptive responses against drought: An empirical study in the North China Plain
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As an important agricultural production region in China, the North China Plain (NCP) is an ecologically vulnerable region that frequently is hit by drought. Faced with drought and other extreme climate events, policy makers have given top priority to the formulation and implementation of adaptation policies. This paper assessed the effectiveness of adaptation policies, including the provision of early warning information and policy supports, on farmers' adaptive decisions regarding the planting of the wheat crop in the NCP. Based on a unique dataset from a large-scale village and farm survey in five provinces in the NCP, an econometric model of farmers' adaptation practices is estimated. Results show that when faced with a more severe drought, farmers change their management practices to mitigate its effects by adjusting seeding or harvesting dates and enhancing irrigation intensity. The provisions of early warning and prevention information and policy supports against drought facilitate farmers to make farm management adaptations. However, the effectiveness of early warning and prevention information or policy supports differs by their provision channels or types. The findings of this study have policy implications in coping with the rising frequency and seriousness of extreme weather events in China as a whole and in ecologically more vulnerable NCP in particular. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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