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Farmers’ adaptation to climate change and water consumption in southwest of Iran: application of switching regression

Mostafa Mardani Najafabadi*, Masoumeh Forouzani, Syamak Nikmehr

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ABSTRACT: The effects of climate change on the agricultural sector in developing countries have been discussed to a considerable extent in scientific and political circles. This study focuses on the effect of climate change on the agricultural sector and investigates adaptation measures and their effects on agricultural water consumption. Specifically, this study investigates how farmers' adaptation measures to climate change affect water consumption. A choice model was first used to study the factors influencing the adoption of strategies to adapt to climate change by farmers. Then, an endogenous switching regression model and counterfactual analysis were applied to quantify the effect of adaptation strategies on water consumption. To assess the effectiveness of the model introduced, farmers of Bavi County in Khuzestan province, Iran were chosen as sample population. Data was collected by a survey of 335 farmers using a multi-stage random sampling method in 2022-2023. The findings indicated that education, access to extension services, age, and proximity to the market significantly influence the adoption of adaptation measures. Analysis of various scenarios demonstrated that farmers implementing adaptation strategies had notably lower average water consumption compared to those who did not. Specifically, water and soil management practices had the most substantial effect on reducing water usage by 2277 m3/ha. These results are valuable for informing the development of public policies and agricultural extension programs aimed at promoting successful adaptation strategies among farmers.