A quantitative analysis for determining socio-economic factors conferring crop drought vulnerability


Drought events have significant impacts on agricultural production in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), as agricultural production in most of the countries relies on precipitation. Socio-economic factors have a tremendous influence on whether a farmer or a nation can adapt to these climate stressors. This study aims to examine the extent to which these factors affect maize vulnerability to drought in SSA. To differentiate sensitive regions from resilient ones, we defined a crop drought vulnerability index (CDVI) calculated by comparing recorded yield with expected yield simulated by the Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model during 1990–2012. We then assessed the relationship between CDVI and potential socio-economic variables using regression techniques and identified the influencing variables. The results show that the level of fertilizer use is a highly influential factor on vulnerability. Additionally, countries with higher food production index and better infrastructure are more resilient to drought. The role of the government effectiveness variable was less apparent across the SSA countries due to being generally stationary. Improving adaptations to drought through investing in infrastructure, improving fertilizer distribution, and fostering economic development would contribute to drought resilience.