Modeling farm-household livelihoods for estimating the adoption impacts of selected policy instruments on agriculture and climate change in south-eastern Cameroon.

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Ngaiwi, Mary Eyeniyeh
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African Economic Research Consortium
With climate change already compounding the socio-economic and biophysical constraints to development in Central Africa, the adoption of conservation agriculture (CA) is one mainstreamed opportunity to improve food and livelihood security in the region. Despite the rapid advancements in CA, research on CA has been superficially addressed in Cameroon. This study therefore seeks to ex ante estimate the adoption impacts of policy instruments (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation REDD+ and CA)(REDD+) on the livelihood security of small holder farmers in the face of climate change in south-eastern Cameroon. To accomplish this herculean task, a multistage purposive random sampling technique was employed arriving at a sample of 351 respondents. Primary and secondary data were employed in this study. An impact analysis was conducted on smallholder farmers of this area, using a multinomial logit regression analysis with treatment effects. This research was grounded by the utility maximization theory and thus Heckman two-stage regression and the multivariate probit regression analysis were also employed for this study. The results from this analysis indicated that among the conservation practices employed by farmers, cover crops, mulching, minimum tillage, and crop rotation are the most used though agroforestry and intercropping have some conservation attributes and employed by most farmers. Furthermore, adoption of these policy instruments is determined by institutional, socio-demographic and farm level characteristics with gender playing a great significance. This therefore implies that adaptation to climate change is dependent on socio-demographic and plot level characteristics which should be paid thorough attention when formulating adaptation strategies and policies. Farmers of this area will greatly be positively affected in their livelihoods if they adopt mulching, intercropping, agroforestry, and cover crops. Thus, agroforestry and intercropping can be incorporated fully in conservation agriculture and scaled to attain climate change mitigation.