Impact of Farm Households’ Adaptations to Climate Change on FoodSecurity: Evidence from Different Agro-ecologies of Pakistan

Publication Year : 2016

The study used data from 3298 food crop growers in Pakistan.Potential outcome treatment effects model was applied to evaluate theimpact of adaptations on household food security. A household FoodSecurity Index (FSI) was constructed applying Principle ComponentAnalysis (PCA). Adaptation strategies employed by the farmers inresponse to climate change were categorised into four groups namely:changes in sowing time (C1); input intensification (C2); water and soilconservation (C3); and changes in varieties (C4). Out of 15 mutuallyexclusive combinations constructed for evaluation, only 7 combinationswere considered for estimating the treatment effects models because oflimited number of observations in other cases. Results of only two ofthe 7 are discussed in the paper, as the other 5 had very small numberof adapters and the impact measures shown either insignificant resultsor had opposite signs. The first (C1234) combined all the four, whilethe second (C234) combined the last three strategies. The resultssuggest that the households which adapted to climate changes werestatistically significantly more food secure as compared to those whodid not adapt. The results further show that education of the male andfemale heads, livestock ownership, the structure of house—both brickedand having electricity facility, crops diversification, and non-farmincome are among the factors, which raise the food security of farmhouseholds and their impacts are statistically significant. Thevariables which are significantly negatively associated with the foodsecurity levels include age of the head of household, food expendituremanagement, households having less than 12.5 acres of land— defined asmarginal (cultivate <6.25 acres) and small (cultivate >6.25 to12.5 acres). Farmers of cotton-wheat, rice-wheat, and rain-fed croppingsystems are found to be more food secure as compared to the farmersworking in the mixed cropping systems where farm holdings are relativelysmall and high use of tube-well water adding to salinity of soils. It iscrucial to invest in the development of agricultural technologicalpackages, addressing issues of climate change relevant to differentecologies and farming systems; improve research-extension-farmerlinkages; enhance farmers‘ access to new technologies; improve ruralinfrastructure; development of weather information system linkingmeteorological department, extension and farmers; and establishment oftargeted food safety nets as well as farm subsidy programs for marginalfarm households.

Munir Ahmad Gattoo,

Ghulam Mustafa,

Muhammad Iqbal