Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 558574
Title Cost and effectiveness of in-season strategies for coping with weather variability in Pakistan's agriculture
Author(s) Shah, Hassnain; Siderius, Christian; Hellegers, Petra
Source Agricultural Systems 178 (2020). - ISSN 0308-521X
Department(s) Water Resources Management
Water and Food
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2020
Keyword(s) Compounded impacts - Coping - Critical moments - Crop stages - Weather variability

Crops are vulnerable to weather hazards throughout the growth season, with periods of heightened risk described as critical moments. Farmers have a number of ex-ante and in-season options for coping with these events, and ex-post adjustments to farm-household portfolios to further limit the impact on livelihoods if these options fail. Adaptation-related research has focussed mainly on ex-ante or ex-post coping strategies, because in-season approaches tend to be seen as a given, meaning their cost effectiveness is ignored. Based on detailed survey data collected from 287 households in four of the main cropping systems in Pakistan, this study evaluates the impact pathways of hazards and the cost effectiveness of in-season coping strategies. Yield losses varied by 10–30% for 43% of the cases and by 31–50% for another 39%, with the most severe losses caused by the compounding effect of two hazards in one crop season or if both crops in a multi-crop rotation were affected simultaneously. In-season coping options were mostly restricted to the early crop stages and constrained by a short window of time for the response. The application of in-season coping strategies resulted in a yield recovery of 40–95%, with an additional cost of 4–34% of the value of recovered yield. The major critical moments identified were the harvest season, with farming often affected by un-seasonal precipitation, and the germination stage, with an additional high risk for low temperatures at high altitude. A better understanding of the differentiated risks and effectiveness of in-season coping strategies could support the promotion of sustainable crop production in similar agro-ecologies. Moreover, the effectiveness of present-day coping strategies, rather than the use of coping approaches itself, could signal a potential ability to adjust to future climate change.

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