Climate variability, agricultural productivity, and household welfare outcomes in Uganda

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Babyenda, Peter
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African Economic Research Consortium
Eighty-five percent of Ugandans depend largely on rain-fed agriculture to make a living. Thus, they are exposed to the effects of variability in climate. Evidence shows that changes in climate are taking place in all regions of Uganda with noticeable changes in precipitation and temperature including persistence of adverse weather occurrences such as prolonged drought, floods, landslides, and rising temperatures. According to the World Bank, climate variability is projected to cause a global agricultural production loss of about US$1.5 billion by the year 2050. This is likely to extend to Uganda’s main foreign exchange earning crops (such as coffee and maize) leading to combined economic losses among farm households of about US$1.4 billion by the year 2050. Against this backdrop, this thesis investigates the effect of variability in climate on the productivity of agriculture and the welfare outcomes of households in Uganda. The thesis further explores the factors influencing the decision of households to adapt to variability in climate and assesses welfare differences between the adapting and non-adapting households.