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Improving production and quality of life for smallholder farmers through a climate resilience program: An experience in the Brazilian Sertão.

  • Author(s): Gori Maia, Alexandre;
  • Burney, Jennifer Anne;
  • Morales Martínez, José Daniel;
  • Cesano, Daniele
  • et al.
Abstract

We use a combination of economic and wellbeing metrics to evaluate the impacts of a climate resilience program designed for family farmers in the semiarid region of Brazil. Most family farmers in the region are on the verge of income and food insufficiency, both of which are exacerbated in prolonged periods of droughts. The program assisted farmers in their milk and sheepmeat production, implementing a set of climate-smart production practices and locally-adapted technologies. We find that the program under evaluation had substantive and significant impacts on production practices, land management, and quality of life in general, using several different quasi-experimental strategies to estimate the average treatment effect on the treated farmers. We highlight the strengths and limitations of each evaluation strategy and how the set of analyses and outcome indicators complement each other. The evaluation provides valuable insights into the economic and environmental sustainability of family farming in semiarid regions, which are under growing pressure from climate change and environmental degradation worldwide.

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