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Climate variability, vulnerability and effectiveness of farm-level adaptation options: the challenges and implications for food security in Southwestern Cameroon

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 July 2002

Ernest L. Molua
Affiliation:
Department of Agricultural Economics, Georg-August University Goettingen, Platz der Goettinger Sieben 5, 37073 Goettingen Germany. Tel: +49 551 394811. Fax: +49 551 399866. Email: emolua@uni-uaao.gwdg.de

Abstract

The risks associated with increasing climate variability pose technological and economic challenges to societies which are dependent on agriculture for their livelihood. In Southwestern Cameroon the natural variability of rainfall and temperatures contribute to variability in agricultural production and food insecurity. This paper explores the impact of climate variability in Southwestern Cameroon on food availability. It examines farm household's vulnerability to food availability relating to climate, and reviews the interplay of climate, agriculture, and prospects for food security in the region. An econometric function directly relates farm income and precipitation, in order to statistically estimate the significance of farm-level adaptation methods. The results reveal that precipitation during growing and adaptation methods through changes in soil tillage and crop rotation practices have significant effects on farm returns. An essential precondition for food security and overall agricultural development in Southwestern Cameroon is a dynamic agricultural sector brought about both by steady increase in agricultural production and by greater efforts in farmer support, to enable farm households to take advantage of the opportunities and to minimize the negative impacts of climate variation on agriculture.

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© 2002 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

The author greatly appreciates the comments of Stephan von Cramon-Taubadel, Manfred Zeller, the Editor of this journal and the three anonymous reviewers for their detailed comments that helped improve the earlier draft.
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