Crop productivity and adaptation to climate change in Pakistan

Produced as part of the Enabling rapid transitions in mitigation and adaptation CCCEP research programme theme

How effective adaptation practices in response to climate change are is a crucial question confronting farmers across the world. Using detailed plot-level data from a specifically designed survey conducted in 2013, this paper investigates whether there are productive benefits for farmers who adapt to climate change in Pakistan. The impact of implementing on-farm adaptation strategies is estimated for three of the most important crops grown across Sindh and Punjab provinces: wheat, rice, and cotton. This study finds that there exists significant positive benefits from adaptation for most of the farmers in the sample. For those that actually adapted, productive benefits are positive for wheat and cotton, but not significantly different from zero for rice. For those that did not adapt, the gains from adapting to climate change for all crops are predicted to be large. These findings provide evidence that the use of strategies to adapt to climate change can have a positive impact on food security. The large estimated gains for non-adapters, however, point to the existence of barriers to the adoption of these strategies. Policies aimed at reducing these barriers would be likely to both increase short term production of households and enable them to better prepare for the potential impacts of climate change.