Knowing is half the battle: seasonal forecasts, adaptive cropping systems, and the mediating role of private markets in Zambia

Maggio, Giuseppe and Sitko, Nicholas (2019) Knowing is half the battle: seasonal forecasts, adaptive cropping systems, and the mediating role of private markets in Zambia. Food Policy, 89. a101781. ISSN 0306-9192

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Abstract

This paper examines how smallholders living in regions where a drought is forecasted adapt their farm practices in response to receiving seasonal forecast information. The article draws on a unique longitudinal dataset in Zambia, which collected information from farm households before and after a significant drought caused by the 2015/2016 El-Niño Southern Oscillation. It finds that farmers residing in areas forecasted to be drought-affected and receiving seasonal forecast information are significantly more likely to integrate drought tolerant crops into their cropping systems compared to similar households not receiving this information. Moreover, the probability that a farmer implements these adaptive farm management strategies in response to seasonal forecast information is found to increase substantially as the number of private grain buyers in the farmers’ village increases. This suggests that climate change adaptation and resilience strategies that integrate the generation and dissemination of weather information with agricultural market development can achieve greater impact on farmers’ adaptive responses than approaches that treat these activities in isolation.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Geography
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic theory. Demography > HB0251 Wealth Including distribution of wealth
Depositing User: Giuseppe Maggio
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2019 08:13
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2019 14:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/88648

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