Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-216
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-216

  23 Jul 2021

23 Jul 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Education, financial aid and awareness can reduce smallholder farmers’ vulnerability to drought under climate change

Marthe L. K. Wens1, Anne F. van Loon1, Ted I. E. Veldkamp2, and Jeroen C. J. H. Aerts1 Marthe L. K. Wens et al.
  • 1Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • 2Urban Technology, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands

Abstract. Analyses of future agricultural drought impacts require a multidisciplinary approach in which both human and environmental dynamics are studied. In this study, we applied the agent-based drought risk model ADOPT to assess the effect of various drought risk reduction interventions on smallholder farmers in the Kenyan drylands. Moreover, the robustness of these (non-)governmental interventions under different climate change scenarios was evaluated. ADOPT simulates water management decisions of smallholder farmers, and evaluates household food insecurity, poverty and emergency aid needs due to drought disasters. Model dynamics were informed by extensive field surveys and interviews from which decision rules were distilled based on bounded rational behaviour theories.

Model results suggest that extension services increase the adoption of low-cost, newer drought adaptation measures while credit schemes are useful for cost-effective but expensive measures, and ex-ante cash transfers allow the least wealthy households to adopt low-cost well-known measures. Early warning systems show more effective in climate scenarios with less frequent droughts. Combining all four interventions displays a mutually-reinforcing effect with a sharp increase in the adoption of measures resulting in reduced food insecurity, decreased poverty levels and drastically lower need for emergency aid, even under hotter and drier climate conditions. These nonlinear synergies indicate that a holistic perspective is needed to support smallholder resilience in the Kenyan drylands.

Marthe L. K. Wens et al.

Status: open (until 18 Nov 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-216', Christian Troost, 25 Aug 2021 reply
  • CC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-216', Dengxiao Lang, 07 Sep 2021 reply

Marthe L. K. Wens et al.

Marthe L. K. Wens et al.

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Short summary
In this manuscript, we present an application of the empirically calibrated drought risk adaptation model ADOPT for the case of smallholder farmers in the Kenyan drylands. ADOPT is used to assess the effect of various drought risk reduction interventions on individual and community drought risk. Moreover, the robustness of these (non-)governmental interventions under different climate change scenarios – wetter, hotter and dryer conditions – was evaluated.
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