Crop diversification and livelihoods of smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe: Adaptive management for environmental change
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© 2016 The Author(s). This paper demonstrates how crop diversification impacts on two outcomes of climate smart agriculture; increased productivity (legume and cereal crop productivity) and enhanced resilience (household income, food security, and nutrition) in rural Zimbabwe. Using data from over 500 smallholder farmers, we jointly estimate crop diversification and each of the outcome variables within a conditional (recursive) mixed process framework that corrects for selectivity bias arising due to the voluntary nature of crop diversification. We find that crop diversification depends on the land size, farming experience, asset wealth, location, access to agricultural extension services, information on output prices, low transportation costs and general information access. Our results also indicate that an increase in the rate of adoption improves crop productivity, income, food security and nutrition at household level. Overall, our results are indicative of the importance of crop diversification as a viable climate smart agriculture practice that significantly enhances crop productivity and consequently resilience in rural smallholder farming systems. We, therefore, recommend wider adoption of diversified cropping systems notably those currently less diversified for greater adaptation to the ever-changing climate.
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