Jul 3, 2015

Direct and indirect effects of climate on agriculture: an application of a spatial panel data analysis to Tunisia

Oussama Zouabi, Nicolas Peridy
Climatic Change
  • States that North African countries (NACs) are particularly concerned with climate change because of their geographical position (close to deserts) and their economic dependence on agriculture
  • The study aims to provide additional insight into the impact of climate on agriculture for NACs, through the example of Tunisia
  • Uses disaggregated data, both at the geographical level (for 24 regions in Tunisia) and at the product level (cereals, olives, citrus fruit, tomatoes, potatoes and palm trees)
  • Explores both the time and spatial dimensions of the data using spatial panel data analysis
  • The model not only includes direct climate variables, such as temperature and precipitation, but also indirect climate-related variables such as the stock of water in dams and groundwater
  • Results show that Tunisian agriculture is strongly dependent on the direct effects of temperature and precipitation for all the products considered at the regional level
  • Finds the presence of dams and groundwater generally has a positive effect on agricultural production for irrigated crops with interesting spillover effects with neighboring regions
  • Finds, however, this impact is still considerably lessened in the case of detrimental climate conditions (indirect effect)
  • The results raise the question of the sustainability of the growth in agricultural production in Tunisia in the case of significant climate change