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Effects of Weather Variability on Crop Abandonment

International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)-HarvestPlus, C/O WorldFish Center, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Zambia, Lusaka 10101, Zambia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Sustainability 2015, 7(3), 2858-2870;
Received: 22 September 2014 / Revised: 30 January 2015 / Accepted: 2 March 2015 / Published: 9 March 2015
PDF [711 KB, uploaded 9 March 2015]


In Zambia, every year some parts of the maize fields are abandoned post-planting. Reasons for this are not clearly known. In this paper, we examine the influence of soil and climatic factors on crop abandonment using a six-year (2007–2012) panel data by modeling the planted-to-harvested ratio (a good indicator of crop abandonment) using a fractional and linear approach. Therefore, for the first time, our study appropriately (as supported by the model specification tests that favour fractional probit over linear) models the fractional nature of crop abandonment. Regression results, which are not very different between the two specifications, indicate that, more than anything, high rainfall immediately after planting and inadequate fertilizer are the leading determinants of crop abandonment. In the agro-ecological region where dry planting takes place, low temperature during planting months negatively affects the harvested area. The results have implications on the sustainability of farming systems in the face of a changing climate. View Full-Text
Keywords: crop abandonment; weather variability; fractional probit; Zambia crop abandonment; weather variability; fractional probit; Zambia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Mulungu, K.; Tembo, G. Effects of Weather Variability on Crop Abandonment. Sustainability 2015, 7, 2858-2870.

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