Farmers’ vulnerability to climate shocks: insights from the Niger Basin of Benin

This paper investigates the vulnerability of farm-based livelihood systems to climate shocks in the Niger basin of Benin using a household survey dataset relative to the 2012-2013 agricultural year. The integrated approach is used to assess the vulnerability to climate shocks as function of exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity, and the indices are used as dependent variable in an Ordinary Least Squares regression. The findings reveal that 57.43% of the farm households are vulnerable to climate shocks, and highlight that the lowest adaptive capacity does not necessarily coincide with highest exposure and sensitivity to result in the highest vulnerability. The econometric estimations show that vulnerability levels increase differently with respect to the type of climate shock. Floods appear to be beneficial to the farm households as they negatively influence vulnerability to climate shocks. The simulations suggest that vulnerability to climate shocks will increase, in the absence of adaptation.