Climate Instability and Agricultural Productivity in Africa: Cross-Country Evidence

This paper analyzes the impact of rainfall instability on crop yield in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using a large panel of African countries over a sufficiently long period and relying on a very large dataset assembled for the agricultural sector in Africa, the paper tests whether agricultural research and development, and modern infrastructure provide such dampening effects in a context of rising climate instability and stagnating farm productivity in Africa. The results demonstrate a key and robust effect of greater investments in agricultural science and technology in dampening the effect on the link between rainfall instability on crop yield volatility in Sub-Saharan Africa. Effort should therefore be on boosting the availability of researchers specialized in agricultural science and technology and on agricultural infrastructure such as irrigation to help farmers cope better with the increased risks stemming from global warming.