Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Economics

First Advisor

Jesse Antilla-Hughues

Second Advisor

Solomon Asfaw

Abstract

Many regions of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are experiencing fast increases in human population pressure and urbanization. By 2050, feeding a planet of 9 billion people will require an estimated 50 percent increase in agricultural production. Farmers in in the Sahel are exposed to a highly variable weather over time, and to their limited adaptive capacity, therefore often use livestock as income generator, export earnings, and as insurance against weather risk. There is an increasing demand for livestock products, which increase pressure on crop residues use on the land. In this study, I use panel socio-economic data combined with village rainfall level from Niger to investigate how different types of weather shocks including drought and wet conditions influence farmer’s inputs adaption. Using cluster and year fixed effects estimations, I find that exposure to drought results in a strong and deep decrease in use of crop residues on the soil, which is particularly concerning because crop residue is crucial for soil protection, and fertility. I also find that one of the reasons poor Nigerien farmers remove crop residues on their land, is for livestock feeding purposes. This results in a bad synergy because removing crop residues could decrease long-term food production, and might keep households in poverty trap. Other determinants affecting inputs adoption on the land including temperature increase, income, farm size, and rainfall level of the previous year. I discuss policy recommendations.

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