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Ephias Makaudze, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics

Dr. Ephias Makaudze is an established researcher in the areas of climate forecasts, agricultural risk management and micro-insurance for poor smallholder farmers in developing communities. His work focuses on ground-breaking research that explores usage of remote sensing technology and satellite derivatives for purposes of crop growth monitoring, food insecurity mapping and risk-protection mechanisms for resource-poor farmers. Of late he has expanded his research work to include the exploration of ICT innovations and their potential role in agricultural development and poverty alleviation from smallholder farmers’ perspective.

Ohio State University
Ph.D., Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, 2005

  • Agricultural Risk Management
  • Economics
  • Climate Forecasts
  • Institute for Water Studies : Researcher

Do seasonal climate forecasts and crop insurance really matter for smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe? Using contingent valuation method and remote sensing applications, Ohio Department of Higher Education
Makaudze, Ephias M, 2005
As smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe face inevitable drought, the need to develop drought-mitigation strategies and risk transfer mechanisms becomes an important and challenging task for policy makers. Rather than treating drought as a natural disaster that warrants emergency declarations whenever it strikes, countries in Southern Africa could alter their policy to embrace drought as an integral part of their national policy framework. Although drought cannot be eliminated, its impact can be reduced through implementation of pro-active and pro-poor risk management policy programs. This study explored two potential policy programs. One program proposes wide-scale adoption of improved seasonal forecasts by smallholder farmers as a drought mitigation strategy, and the second program proposes implementation of area-yield drought-indexed insurance as a risk-transfer and risk-protection mechanism for the smallholder farmers. To investigate whether adoption of seasonal forecasts and drought insurance is possible in Zimbabwe this dissertation explored three hypotheses: First, do seasonal forecasts really matter to smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe? Second, given the prevalence of food-aid in Zimbabwe, does drought insurance really matter for smallholder farmers? Third, given drought is a catastrophic risk, will a drought-index insurance scheme intended for smallholder farmers be viable and/or feasible? The first two questions were empirically investigated via surveys based on the contingency valuation method (CVM). More than 1,000 smallholder farmers were surveyed throughout Zimbabwe’s agro-ecological regions II-V where willingness-to-pay (WTP) for the proposed programs was elicited. With respect to the first hypothesis, results showed that for the improved seasonal forecasts program, estimated WTP (Z$) based on a single-bound model ranged from Z$2,427 to Z$4,676. For a double-bound model, WTP ranged from Z$2,532 to Z$4,225. A distinct differential pattern in WTP was observed across districts and natural regions, where households in wet districts revealed WTP that was consistently lower than those in drier districts.
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