International Journal of Irrigation and Water Management

International Journal of Irrigation and Water Management ISSN 2756-3804 Vol. 9 (1), pp. 001-007, January, 2022. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Economic impacts of climate change on agriculture and implications for food security in Zimbabwe

Nhemachena Charles

Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius st, Pretoria 0002, South Africa.

Accepted 06 November, 2021


This study measured the economic impacts of climate change on agriculture in Zimbabwe based on a cross-section survey of over 700 farming households. We applied the Ricardian approach to analyse the response of net revenue from crop and livestock agriculture across smallholder farming systems in the country to changes in climate normals (that is, mean rainfall and temperature). The sensitivity of net farm revenues was used to make inferences on the food security implications of climate change in the country. Results show that net farm revenues are affected negatively by increases in temperature and positively by increases in precipitation. The results from sensitivity analysis suggest that agricultural production in Zimbabwe's smallholder farming system is significantly constrained by climatic factors (high temperature and low rainfall). Farms with irrigation are more resistant to changes in climate, indicating that irrigation is an important adaptation option to help reduce the impact of further changes in climate. Dryland farming predominantly typical in Zimbabwe is the most vulnerable to warming and lower rainfall, whereas the irrigated systems are the most tolerant. These results have important policy implications especially for the need to support dryland smallholder adaptation strategies for agricultural development in the country in light of expected climate changes. For example, irrigation offered better adaptation options for farmers against further warming and drying predicted under various future climate scenarios.

Key words: Economic impacts, climate change, food security, policy implications, Zimbabwe.