Within-Season Producer Response to Warmer Temperatures: Defensive Investments by Kenyan Farmers
74 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2017 Last revised: 27 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 6, 2018
We present evidence that farmers adjust agricultural inputs in response to within-season temperature variation, undertaking defensive investments to reduce the adverse agroecological impacts of warmer temperatures. Using panel data from Kenyan maize growing households, we find that higher temperatures early in the growing season increase the use of pesticides, while reducing fertilizer use. Warmer temperatures throughout the season increase household weeding effort. These adjustments arise because greater heat increases the incidence of pests, crop diseases and weeds, compelling farmers to divert investment from productivity-enhancing technologies like fertilizer to adaptive, loss-reducing, defensive inputs like pesticides and weeding labor.
JEL Classification: O13, Q15, Q56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation