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Panel threshold effect of climate variability on agricultural output in Eastern African countries

Mubenga-Tshitaka, Jean-Luc and Gelo, Dambala and Dikgang, Johane and Mwamba, Muteba (2021): Panel threshold effect of climate variability on agricultural output in Eastern African countries.

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Abstract

Recent scientific literature shows that in many developing countries, variability in rainfall and temperature in growing season has distortional effects on agricultural output, especially when the variability is high. At what degree or threshold are these variabilities harmful to agricultural output in certain regions of Africa? In this study, we answer this research question using a dynamic panel threshold model on a panel dataset of East African countries for the period 1961 to 2016. We incorporate climate variables disaggregated into growing and non-growing seasons like in Abraha-Kahsay and Hansen (2016). The empirical results indicate that growing rainfall variability has significant effects on agricultural output. More specifically, we found a significant negative effect from rainfall variability in spring and summer, when precipitation exceeds thresholds of -0.533ml and -0.902ml respectively. We found no significant effect in fall. In the case of growing-season temperature variability, we found no significant effects. Policy implications are discussed.

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