Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Friday, May 17, 2024

Evidence-Based Approaches to Building Small-Scale Farmers’ Climate Resiliency

17 May 2024
Evidence-Based Approaches to Building Small-Scale Farmers’ Climate Resiliency

A key component of USAID’s approach to climate adaptation and resilience for food and water security is centered on support for small-scale farmers in low- and middle-income countries. More frequent extreme weather events, like rainfall shocks, and slow-onset change, like warmer and drier conditions, are reducing farmers’ crop harvest stability. Global food production exacerbates these impacts, emitting approximately one quarter of greenhouse gas emissions annually. 

Building small-scale farmers’ resilience is complex, and stewarding environmental health and enhancing agricultural productivity have often been seen as at odds with each other in policy decisions. J-PAL will present findings from twenty rigorous and policy-relevant randomized and quasi-experimental evaluations of risk-reducing, climate-resilient agricultural technologies and practices from around the world. 

The presentation will share examples of findings from specific studies, and identify lessons across evaluations in multiple contexts that can inform USAID’s approach to supporting small-scale farmers in adapting to the evolving challenges of climate change.


The Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, in the southeast, and Gujarat, in the west, have large rural populations, drought-prone areas, and a high reliance on rain-fed agriculture. Gujarat is wealthier and more fertile than Andhra Pradesh.

Andhra Pradesh: Among households that received a visit from an insurance educator, take-up of the rainfall insurance product increased by 11 percentage points, relative to the comparison group take-up rate of 28.2 percent. Receiving a large cash reward (Rs. 100) for participating in the survey increased take-up by approximately 40 percentage points. 

Research papers:

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