Supporting Farmers on the Frontlines of the Climate Crisis: Kelsey Jack on Technology Adoption for Climate Adaptation

Voices in Development: A Podcast from Yale's Economic Growth Center

Dec 7 2023 • 18 mins

The vast majority of climate financing is directed towards mitigating, reducing, or preventing greenhouse gas emissions. However, there is a vital need for climate financing aimed at adaptation, protecting the lives and livelihoods of the people most affected by climate change. Low-income countries are disproportionately suffering from climate breakdowns, particularly among the poorest and most vulnerable people within these countries.

In this episode of Voices in Development, Kelsey Jack, Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, discusses her recently completed study focusing on rainwater harvesting techniques in rural Niger, where intensive agriculture practices have degraded soil quality, making the population particularly vulnerable to climate shocks. Jack studied the impact that rainwater collection has on increasing soil quality through the digging of demi-lunes, which are semicircular basins that farmers dig into the earth to collect rainwater. Jack’s team organized a training period conducted by the Ministry of Agriculture that led to massive adoption of the demi-lunes.

The podcast also features interviews with Rohini Pande, Henry J. Heinz II Professor of Economics and Director of the Economic Growth Center, placing mitigation in the larger climate agenda; Gregory Lane, an Assistant Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, on how innovations in weather forecasting can impact farming practices in India; and Islamul Haque, a Postdoctoral Associate at Yale Research Initiative on Innovation and Scale (Y-RISE), on identifying the “low hanging fruit” in climate adaptation technology.

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