Handbook on Climate Change and Agriculture
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Handbook on Climate Change and Agriculture

Edited by Ariel Dinar and Robert Mendelsohn

This book explores the interaction between climate change and the agriculture sector. Agriculture is essential to the livelihood of people and nations, especially in the developing world; therefore, any impact on it will have significant economic, social, and political ramifications. Scholars from around the world and from various fields have been brought together to explore this important topic.
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Chapter 16: Reducing the Impact of Global Climate Change on Agriculture – the Use of Endogenous Irrigation and Protected Agriculture Technology

Aliza Fleischer and Pradeep Kurukulasuriya


Aliza Fleischer and Pradeep Kurukulasuriya INTRODUCTION Climate change is threatening agricultural production in various world regions and the livelihoods of millions of poor rural people are at risk, especially in the low latitudes (IPCC 2007; Parry et al., 2004). Large potential damages have been predicted by many agronomic studies (Rosenzweig and Parry, 1994; Parry et al., 2004; IPCC, 2007). However, these studies assume that farmers will not adapt to the new climate conditions. In contrast, studies that account for adaptation suggest smaller damages (Mendelsohn et al., 1994; Mendelsohn and Dinar 2003; Kurukulasuriya et al., 2006; Fleischer et al., 2008; Seo and Mendelsohn, 2007; Wang et al., 2009). There is a growing body of farm adaptation studies that identify what adaptation strategies farmers might make to mitigate potential damage. Specifically, farmers might invest in irrigation (Mendelsohn and Dinar, 2003; Kurukulasuriya et al., 2006; Mendelsohn and Seo, 2007), they might switch crop species (Kurukulasuriya and Mendelsohn, 2008a; Seo and Mendelsohn, 2008b) or they might switch livestock species (Seo and Mendelsohn 2007). Irrigation is the adaptation strategy that has received most attention in the literature. Several studies estimate separate response functions for rainfed and irrigated farms. These studies reveal that farmers who irrigate are less sensitive to climate changes (Schlenker at al., 2005; Kurukulasuriya and Mendelsohn, 2008a; Seo and Mendelsohn, 2008a). This type of analysis captures the effect of irrigation but it assumes that irrigation is exogenous. We claim that irrigation and the use of other technologies are likely to be sensitive to...

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