Adoption and impact of climate smart maize varieties in southern Africa

The economy of many African countries depends on the agricultural sector. However, the sector has performed poorly in recent years, posing challenges to countries’ development goals of ensuring food security and reducing poverty. This is due in part to over-dependence on rain-fed agriculture, as well as climate change and variability. Droughts can severely impact crop >> Read more

Discussion Paper 1546: The Economic Value of Seasonal Forecasts Stochastic Economy wide Analysis for East Africa

There is growing interest within the climate change and development community in using seasonal forecast information to reduce the losses to agriculture resulting from climate variability, especially within food-insecure countries. However, forecast systems are expensive to establish and maintain, and therefore gauging the potential economic return to investments in forecast systems is crucial. Most studies >> Read more

Working Paper 14: Household resilience to drought: The case of Salima District in Malawi

This study identifies factors that affect resilience to drought among smallholder farmers in Salima, one of the districts frequently affected by drought in Malawi. The study contributes to the existing literature by constructing a drought resilience index (DRI) and uses it to determine the effect of drought resilience on the welfare of farming households. Principal >> Read more

Working Paper 8: Modeling potential impacts of future climate change in Mzimba District Malawi, 2040-2070

Historical data in Malawi indicates there has been climate change in the past and that farmer households have been affected. Climate models predict further changes in precipitation and temperature over Malawi in the future. However, most studies to understand the impacts of climate change in Malawi have focused on ex post assessments of weather events. >> Read more

Policy Note 6: Weather Insurance for Smallholder Tobacco Farmers in Malawi

Agriculture is the backbone of Malawi’s economy: it accounts for about 34 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), over 90 percent of export earnings, and employment of 85 percent of the population through farming, processing, transportation, and marketing. Given this, and that most farming in Malawi is rain-fed, both Malawi’s economy and smallholder farmers are >> Read more

Policy Note 2: Economic Losses and Poverty Effects of Droughts and Floods in Malawi

Droughts and floods are a capricious part of life for many Malawians. The country depends heavily on rain-fed agriculture and so it is crucial that we understand the implications of these climate events. Not only are rural livelihoods affected, but urban households are also vulnerable to food shortages and rising prices. This brief examines ways >> Read more