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Can farmers’ climate change adaptation strategies ensure their food security? Evidence from Ethiopia

ABSTRACT Climate change poses a significant threat to the sustainability of agricultural production among smallholder farm households in Ethiopia. To reduce the adverse effects of climate risks, farm households have sought to adopt different adaptation strategies. This study investigates factors influencing farm households’ choice of climate adaptation strategies and associated effects on their food security in Ethiopia using data collected from 516 farm households from three regions. A multivariate probit and propensity score matching models were used to analyze data. Major adaptation strategies adopted by the farm households in the study area are planting drought-tolerant crop varieties (60%), changing the planting dates (53%), growing diversified crops (49%), and diversifying the sources of household income (45%). Results suggest that older farm household heads are more likely to use drought-tolerant crop varieties to reduce climate risks. Farm households with larger farmland size and those with more years of experience in farming are more likely to use drought-tolerant crop varieties and crop diversification strategies. Farm households with larger family size are more likely to use crop and income diversification strategies and change the planting dates against the backdrop of a high risk of climatic shocks. Membership in input supply cooperatives, frequency of contact with extension agents, and access to information on expected rainfall and temperature are positively associated with different adaptation practices adopted by farm households. Farm households who have adopted climate adaptation strategies have higher food security status (by 2.3–2.8%) compared to those who have not. Thus, the farm households’ climate adaptation practices have positive food security effects in Ethiopia.

Drivers of rural households’ food insecurity in Ethiopia: a comprehensive approach of calorie intake and food consumption score

ABSTRACT Most food insecurity studies in developing countries, including Ethiopia, use a single food security indicator to determine the food insecurity status, thus overlooking the multidimensional nature of food security. Using cross-sectional data collected from 408 households in three districts of East Hararghe Zone, Ethiopia, this study combined two food security indicators namely calorie intake and Food Consumption Score (FCS) so as to gain more insights on the multidimensional nature of food security and to categorise households into different food insecurity groups. The study further sought to identify factors influencing the households’ food insecurity status. The research findings based respectively on the per capita calorie intake and the FCS indicate that 36.03 and 49.02 percent of the sampled households were food insecure. However, the findings reveal that when the two indicators were combined, 22.06 and 40.93 percent of the households were completely food insecure and transitory food insecure respectively. These findings also suggest that the 40.93 percent (26.96 and 13.97 percent) of households categorised as food secure based on single indicators (i.e., per capita calorie intake and FCS respectively) was unrealistic. Furthermore, findings from the bivariate probit model indicate that food insecurity incidences decreased with the adoption of soil and water conservation, access to irrigation, livestock, access to fertilisers, and household income. It increased with the age of the household head, the household size, and the coping strategy index. Therefore, policies and strategies combating food insecurity should consider a combination of food security indicators.

Total factor productivity growth in livestock production in Botswana: what is the role of scale and mix efficiency change in beef production?

ABSTRACT It is well established that improving livestock productivity has the potential to boost food security, income, and employment for rural communities. While the technical efficiency of the livestock sector has been extensively studied in both developing and developed countries, few studies have analysed total factor productivity (TFP) and its components (technical change, technical, scale, and mix efficiency changes). To fill this gap this study specifically analyses the TFP growth of 26 beef cattle producing districts in Botswana using the Färe-Primont index. This index does not only allow us to understand how TFP varies amongst the districts but also how it has changed over time (between 2007 and 2014) as well as examining what has been driving that change. We also employ a feasible generalised least squares estimator for panel data to identify sources of productivity and efficiency growth. Results show that livestock TFP increased during the study period, and that this was driven by technological change, whilst efficiency change (TFPE) decreased. Further, we found that the decline in scale-and mix efficiency change (OSME) was largely responsible for the slowdown of TFPE, with a relatively smaller decline in technical efficiency change (OTE) also contributing. Districts with foot and mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks and restricted access to export markets had lower TFP growth whilst proximity to livestock advisory centres (LAC), off-farm income, education and herd size were shown to enhance productivity and efficiency growth.