The effect of climate change adaptation strategy on farm households welfare in the Nile basin of Ethiopia: Is there synergy or tradeoffs?

FA Asmare, Hailemariam Teklewold, Alemu Mekonnen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study aims to examine the effect of crop diversification (CD), as a climate change adaptation strategy, on farm household’s welfare in terms of farm income and demand for labor. It explores whether adoption of CD is a win-win strategy on household income and demand for on-farm labor. It also examines the determinants of rural household’s net farm income and family labor demand.

A household-plot level data were collected in 2015 from 929 rural farm households and 4,778 plots in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia. The data comprise farm and household characteristics accompanied by geo-referenced climate data such as long-term average temperature and amount and variability of growing season rainfall. The authors estimate an endogenous switching regression model to measure the effect of CD on the farm household’s welfare, using net farm income and household labor demand as a welfare indicator.

The results indicate heterogeneous effects of climate variables on farm income between adopters and non-adopters of CD. The study also confirms the win-win effect of adoption of CD with a positive and significant effect on farm income and a reduction in demand for on-farm labor. The results suggest that adoption of CD helps improve the well-being of farm households and build a resilient agricultural system.

Research limitations/implications
As the study used a cross-sectional data, it is limited to show the time effect of practicing CD on the household’s welfare.

First, the authors investigate, to their knowledge for the first time, the existence of synergy or tradeoff in the effect of CD on two dimensions of rural households’ welfare (net farm income and labor demand). Second, they investigate the heterogeneous effect of climate change adaptation strategies on the farm household’s welfare between adopters and non-adopters. This is unlike previous studies that consider climate change adaptation strategies as having a homogeneous effect. However, this approach is inappropriate since the effect of adaptation strategies is different for adopters and non-adopters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)518-535
JournalInternational Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPrint publication - 12 Aug 2019


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