Assessing household vulnerability to climate change

The case of farmers in the Nile Basin of Ethiopia

E thiopia remains one of the least-developed countries in the world: 50 percent of the population lives in abject poverty, and average life expectancy is only 43 years. Agriculture—the main sector of the Ethiopian economy—employs about 80 percent of the population and is dominated by small-scale, mixed crop and livestock production with very low productivity, which can be attributed to obsolete farming techniques; soil degradation caused by overgrazing and deforestation; poor complementary services, such as extension, credit, markets, and infrastructure; and frequent droughts and floods. Climate change is expected to increase the frequency, intensity, and spatial coverage of droughts and floods. Assessing Ethiopian farmers’ vulnerability to climate change can help identify groups in particular need of support under a changing climate. This brief is based on a study that measures the vulnerability of farmers to climatic extremes, such as droughts, floods, and hailstorms.

Author: 
Deressa, Temesgen T.
Hassan, Rashid M.
Ringler, Claudia
Published date: 
2011
Publisher: 
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Series number: 
15-4
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