Farm Income, Gender Differentials and Climate Risk in Cameroon: Typology of Male and Female Adaptation Options across Agroecologies

Citation:

Molua, Ernest L. 2011. “Farm Income, Gender Differentials and Climate Risk in Cameroon: Typology of Male and Female Adaptation Options across Agroecologies.” Sustainability Science 6: 21-35. 

Author: Ernest L. Molua

Abstract:

This paper explores the response to risk of smallholder agricultural producers in the face of variable and changing climate in Cameroon. The low rainfall distribution in some regions of the country and the high inter-seasonal variability of rainfall makes crop production, on which the livelihood of rural inhabitants is based, a risky enterprise. Women farmers in Cameroon are an important group for whom risk aversion influences production outcomes and welfare. This study identifies and analyses the effect of climate risks on the productive activities and the management options of male and female farmers. Women-owned farms, on average, record profits of US$ 620 per hectare to about US$ 935 for crop enterprises across the different agroecological zones. Comparatively static results indicate that increases in climate variability and the uncertainty of climate conditions have an explicit impact on farm profit. The impacts of increased uncertainty in climate and risk aversion are ambiguous depending on the agroecology. Ex-ante and ex-post risk management options reveal that female-owned farms in the northern Sahel savannah zone rely on more sophisticated strategies to reduce the impact of shocks. While adapting to uncertain climate positively influences profit levels, risk measured as the variance of rainfall or temperature per unit variation in profit is significant. This analysis stresses the increased importance of climate risk management as a prelude to the panoply of adaptation choice in response to expected climatic change. 

Keywords: Cameroon, agriculture, female-owned farm, climate, uncertainty, risk aversion

Topics: Agriculture, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Livelihoods Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2011

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