Climate shock adaptation for Kenyan maize-legume farmers: choice, complementarities and substitutions between strategies uri icon

abstract

  • Crop failure due to climate shocks increases the risk of hunger for small-scale farmers. This paper identifies the major climate shocks affecting maize-legume farmers in Kenya, and the factors associated with their decision to adapt including the specific adaptation strategies to employ. During 2000-2010 surveyed farm households reported drought, crop pests and excessive rainfall as the most frequent and severe climate shocks. Probit regression results show that previous experiences of drought reduce the likelihood of adaptation to drought and excessive rainfall. Female-headed households are more inclined than male-headed households to adapt to excessive rainfall. Next, multivariate probit regression results identify farm adjustment (e.g. use of improved varieties and replanting) to be a substitution strategy for selling assets and borrowing for drought adaptation, while reducing consumption seems to be a complementary strategy for borrowing. To adapt to crop pests, farm adjustment seems to be a substitution strategy for selling assets and reducing consumption; however, selling assets is a complementary strategy for borrowing. Policy to encourage adaptation should incorporate implication of multiple shocks and target assistance to poor, food-insecure and female-headed households as these are often disadvantaged in terms of asset endowment and access to the technology necessary for adaptation.

publication date

  • 2019
  • 2019