The impact of farmers’ adaptation to climate change on rice yields: implications for sustainable food systems

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Khan, Nasir Abbas ORCID: 0000-0002-6079-715X, Khanal, Uttam ORCID: 0000-0002-3946-0827, Wilson, Clevo, Shah, Ashfaq Ahmad ORCID: 0000-0001-9142-2441 and Tariq, Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman M ORCID: 0000-0002-0226-7310 (2022) The impact of farmers’ adaptation to climate change on rice yields: implications for sustainable food systems. Sustainability (Switzerland), 14 (23). ISSN 2071-1050


Remarkable agricultural productivity gains have been achieved during the last several decades as a result of green revolution (GR) technologies that have greatly increased food production and reduced hunger. However, climate change threatens to reverse the progress made so far in the fight against food insecurity. The agricultural sector in many developing countries, including the rice and wheat producers such as in Punjab (Pakistan and India), is highly vulnerable to climate change, which has serious implications for rural livelihoods and food security. Adaptation is considered a key tool to tackle climate challenges at the farm level and is, therefore, the focus of this study in terms of its impact on rice yields. A household survey was conducted in the Punjab province of Pakistan, and farmers were interviewed face-to-face. We employed a simultaneous equations model to assess the differential impacts of climate change adaptation on adapting and non-adapting farmers’ rice yields. Using the cross-sectional data of 480 rice growers, an endogenous switching regression model provided a means to estimate the selection bias of farmers’ attributes. The results show a significant positive impact of adaptations on rice yields. Specifically, the yield of farmers who adapted to climate change was 24% higher than the non-adapting farmers. The results further indicate that non-adapters can also benefit from the adaptation strategies if they decide to adapt. We also found a significant positive effect of farmers’ climate risk perceptions, literacy level, access to irrigation, ownership of livestock, and availability of farm advisory services on their adaptation decisions. These results, therefore, suggest that policymakers should take into account farmers’ local adaptation knowledge and farming practices when formulating adaptation policies.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.3390/su142316035
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4005 Civil engineering
Current > Division/Research > College of Science and Engineering
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities
Keywords sustainability, farming, rice crops, climate change
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