Ex-ante and ex-post coping strategies for climatic shocks and adaptation determinants in rural Malawi uri icon

abstract

  • This paper assesses farmers' experiences with different climatic shocks as well as their ex-ante and ex-post coping strategies for climatic risks and shocks in rural Malawi. The paper is based on a comprehensive data set collected in 2013 from 1582 farm households located in three regions of Malawi (northern, central, and eastern). The study uses a bivariate probit model to examine the role of farm characteristics-including physical, human, social, and financial capital-in the household's decision to adapt to climatic shocks. The results revealed that farmers in the study area experienced droughts, floods, and crop pests and diseases as key climatic shocks. Additionally, some indirect climatic shocks reported by farmers include crop damages, increases in input and output prices, and reductions in farm profit. Farmers adopted more on-farm work, drought-tolerant varieties, early planting, and intercropping as key ex-ante adaptation strategies to reduce the adverse impacts of extreme climate events. Farmers adopted drought and disease-tolerant crops, diversified their crops, planted earlier, did more on-farm work, and changed their eating habits as key ex-post climatic shock coping strategies. Furthermore, social networks and capital were found to be important factors influencing farmers' adaptation decisions. The study suggests improving access to community resources, infrastructure, and information in order to improve household capacity to cope with climatic shocks.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020