Agricultural Markets & Climate Change: Adaptation to Climate Extremes
Charlotte Janssens (KU Leuven)
Séminaire du LGENS/CERES.
The mild winters and dry summers do not leave any doubt: our climate is changing. Can agricultural markets help us adapt to climate change? And can they help limit future global warming? In this seminar I will give an overview of the body of literature on these research questions and the contributions from my PhD research. I will present in particular the final research chapter of my PhD, which investigates adaptation to climate extremes through agricultural trade and storage. The research context is Sub-Saharan Africa, where climate extremes pose severe food security challenges.
The study develops a novel dynamic modelling framework that integrates household-level consumption smoothing with market-based trade and storage. Numerical simulations lead to three qualitative model predictions regarding the impact of trade and storage on household food security in a volatile environment. The model predictions are empirically validated using historical data of climate extremes, food insecurity, and market access at sub-national and intra-annual resolution, spanning 12 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa from 2009 to 2016.
Consistent with the theoretical predictions, we find that in areas where households face larger market transaction costs, approximated by longer travel times to the closest large city, extreme dry conditions have a larger negative impact on food insecurity. Dry extremes also affect food insecurity to a larger extent in areas with longer travel times to ports.
While international imports and storage are found to be partly substitutes in buffering food insecurity impacts of climate extremes, they are complementary under specific conditions. Policies that combine different market-based mechanisms, and that implement complementary measures for the households and regions with lower market access, may become essential in buffering future climate extremes. I will conclude the seminar with discussing promising areas of further research.
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