Climate Extremes and Rural Livelihood in Africa
African territory is a challenging environment for agriculture due to extreme climate events. These are likely to harm the development of rural communities. Crop diversification and off-farm activities are considered potential adaptation strategies to reduce the impacts of climate risk. We explored three main issues. The first one is the frequency and the intensity of climate shocks that push households to diversify their portfolio of livelihood options. The second one is about the market and the institutional factors that enhance the context where farmers can effectively diversify against adverse climate events. The last issue concerns the mix of crop and income diversification that minimises the welfare variability and the downside risk. To address these points, the study exploits several rounds of the LSMS Surveys and the SPEI climatic index to estimate a panel multinomial endogenous switching model. Results demonstrate that farmers' diversification response to the climate shocks is not linear. Moreover, the empirical analysis shows that a medium crop diversification maximises mean welfare, while a mix of high crop and income diversification generates the largest impact on the downside risk reduction. Social and human capital are crucial to improve the chance of an effective diversification-based adaptation.
Giacomo Pallante - University of Trento - SIS
Giacomo Pallante is assistant professor (with tenure track) in economics at the DSRS and SIS in the University of Trento. He worked for FAO, World Bank and IFAD focusing his research on the effectiveness of adaptation strategies to climate change and the welfare impacts of climate shocks on African rural communities. His researches are published on journals in the field of environmental and development economics. He was Italian delegate at the COP26 of the UNFCCC and the OECD WP on Environmental Performance and WP on Biodiversity, Water and Ecosystems.