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2017-08-04 | Peer Reviewed

The tilling of land in a changing climate: Empirical evidence from the Nile Basin of Ethiopia

Teklewold, Hailemariam and Alemu Mekonnen. 2017. “Land Use Policy.” Science Direct 67: 449-459.
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Using household-plot level panel data from the Nile Basin of Ethiopia, this article applies a random effects ordered probit endogenous switching regression model to empirically investigate the impact of weather events and other conditioning factors on farmers’ choice of tillage intensity and the effect of changing tillage frequencies on differences in farm returns. Results indicate that, while low frequency tillage is more likely in drier areas, plot-level shocks (such as pests and diseases) are key variables in the choice of high-frequency tillage. Adoption of a low-till approach leads to increasing farm returns in low-moisture areas but high-frequency tillage provides higher returns in high-rainfall areas. Understanding how farmers’ tillage options correlate with climatic conditions and farm economies is salient for developing effective adaptation and mitigation plans.