Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



Food security and adaptation to climate change has been an important research and development agenda in most of the development organizations and in the national policy of developing countries. The most vulnerable population from climate change and food security problems are rural and agricultural households in the developing and low income countries. Weather and climatic factors and food security has a direct link with poverty because a large majority of poor live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. The primary focus of this dissertation is to analyze consumption and production aspects of the rural agricultural households. On one hand, demand for total food is increasing with increases in population. Failing to meet the demand for food, rural households face malnutrition and chronic hunger. On the other hand, production agriculture is highly affected by weather and climatic factors. In the absence of well-developed irrigation and infrastructures and insurance mechanisms, agricultural households in the rural areas of developing countries need to respond to higher weather risk and combat it through different adaptation strategies. The first essay of this dissertation studies an influence of income, relative prices, and relevant socioeconomic factors on food purchasing behavior, in total and by primary food categories, among rural Indian households with projections being made on future demand. The second essay investigates how intensity of land use and cropping is affected by an increase in weather risk. It analyzes farmers’ short- and long- run responses towards weather risk through land utilization for crops while controlling for changes in irrigation and infrastructure, introduction of high yielding varieties, and increased literacy in rural areas. The final essay focuses on farmers’ adjustment through risk-based food crop choice combinations when they are subject to higher weather risk in the area.



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Committee Chair

Mishra, Ashok K.