New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2005‒07‒03
twenty-one papers chosen by

  1. Costing Dust: Quantifying and valuing land use change for Integrated Catchment Management evaluation in the Murray-Darling Basin 1996/97 - 2000/01 By Brett Bryan
  2. The Value of Habitat and Agriculture By Darla Hatton MacDonald
  3. Not guilty? Agriculture in the 1920s and the Great Depression By Giovanni Federico
  4. Reforming land rights in Africa By Ngaido, Tidiane
  5. Assuring food and nutrition security in the time of AIDs By Gillespie, Stuart; Kisamba-Mugerwa, Wilberforce; Loevinsohn, Michael
  6. Increasing the effective participation of women in food and nutrition security in Africa By Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Smith, Lisa C.
  7. Exploring market opportunities for African smallholders By Diao, Xinshen; Hazell, Peter
  8. Strengthening Africa's capacity to design and implement strategies for food and nutrition security By Babu, Suresh Chandra; Rhoe, Valerie; Temu, Andrew; Hendriks, Sheryl
  9. New risks and opportunities for food security By von Braun, Joachim; Rosegrant, Mark W.; Pandya-Lorch, Rajul; Cohen, Marc J.; Cline, Sarah A.; Brown, Mary Ashby; Bos, Maria Soledad
  10. Investing in Sub-Saharan African agricultural research By Beintema, Nienke M.; Stads, Gert-Jan
  11. Strengthening agricultural research in Africa By Jones, Monty
  12. Sustainable agricultural development strategies in fragile lands. By Scherr, Sara J.; Hazell, Peter B. R.
  13. The use of operations research as a tool for monitoring and managing food-assisted maternal/child health nutrition (MCHN) programs By Loechl, Cornelia; Ruel, Marie T.; Pelto, Gretel; Menon, Purnima
  14. Coping with the “coffee crisis” in Central America By Maluccio, John A.
  15. Indian agriculture and rural development By von Braun, Joachim; Gulati, Ashok; Hazell, Peter; Rosegrant, Mark W.; Ruel, Marie T.
  16. Outlook for Asian Dairy Markets: The Role of Demographics, Income, and Prices, By Dong, Fengxia
  17. Agricultural technology and poverty reduction: a micro-level anal ysis of causal effects By Mariapia MENDOLA
  18. Crop Substitution on UK Sugar Beet Farms and its Effects on the Environment: A Multi-Product Cost Function Approach By Cesar L. Revoredo Giha; Alan W. Renwick
  19. Contract Marketing in the US after the 2002 Farm Act: The Case of Peanuts By Cesar L. Revoredo Giha; Denis A. Nadolnyak; Stanley M. Fletcher
  20. Using a Choice Experiment to Estimate the Demand of Hungarian Farmers for Food Security and Agrobiodiversity During Economic Transition By Ekin Birol; Andreas Kontoleon; Melinda Smale
  21. Biodiscovery and Intellectual Property Rights: A Dynamic Approach to Economic Efficiency By Tom Dedeurwaerdere; Vijesh Krishna; Unai Pascual

  1. By: Brett Bryan (Policy and Economics Research Unit,CSIRO Land and Water)
    Abstract: This study provides a broad scale assessment of the distribution and dynamics of agricultural land use and the economic returns to agricultural use of land and water resources from 1996/97 to 2000/01 in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), Australia. The aim of this study is to provide a spatially explicit, comprehensive, integrated, basin-wide summary as baseline data for informing Integrated Catchment Management policy in the MDB.
    Keywords: Australia;agriculture;land;water
    JEL: Q0 Q1 Q2
    Date: 2004–11
  2. By: Darla Hatton MacDonald (Policy and Economics Research Unit,CSIRO Land and Water)
    Abstract: The report summarises the results of a non-market valuation study of Habitat and Agriculture in the Upper South East (Upper SE) of South Australia. A non-market valuation technique known as choice modelling was used to elicit values in the form of willingness to pay from people in the Upper SE, Adelaide and the rest of the State. The regional and state-wide preferences for the habitat improvement provide one more piece of information relating to the difficult issues around the configuration of the cleared and uncleared landscape in the Upper South East of South Australia.
    Keywords: Australia;habitat;agriculture;land
    JEL: Q0 Q1 Q2
    Date: 2005–02
  3. By: Giovanni Federico
    Abstract: Agricultural distress in the 1920s is routinely quoted among the causes of the Great Depression. This paper challenges the conventional wisdom. World agriculture was not plagued by overproduction and falling terms of trade. The indebtedness of American farmers, a legacy of the boom years 1919-1921, did jeopardize the rural banks, but the relation between their crises, the banking panic of 1930 and the Great Depression is tenuous at best.
    Date: 2005–05
  4. By: Ngaido, Tidiane
    Abstract: "Advocates of reforms in land rights and land markets frequently posit two important hypotheses: (1) African countries must grant land titles to farmers because titles increase land tenure security and facilitate access to input, land, and financial markets; and (2) land markets constitute the most efficient mechanism for allocating resources and improving access to productive resources by the poor, especially women and other marginalized groups... Research must focus on understanding the dynamics of land values in the different markets for land rights and devise ways to improve the marketability of customary rights through simple processes that also increase the demand for agricultural land and effectively contribute to the reform of land rights." from Text
    Keywords: Land rights ,Land markets ,Land tenure ,resource allocation ,Women ,Poor Africa ,Land values ,Agricultural policies ,
    Date: 2004
  5. By: Gillespie, Stuart; Kisamba-Mugerwa, Wilberforce; Loevinsohn, Michael
    Abstract: "The interactions between HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition insecurity are becoming clearer as research fills knowledge gaps. To address these gaps, different actors (from individual household members to national policymakers) need tools and processes to turn growing knowledge into appropriate action. One such tool is the HIV/AIDS lens. Through such mainstreaming of HIV/AIDS into food- and nutrition-relevant policy, evidence of what works is progressively built up, learning is enhanced, and people are ultimately better equipped to address the multiple threats of the pandemic." from Text
    Keywords: AIDS (Disease) ,HIV/AIDS Africa ,
    Date: 2004
  6. By: Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Smith, Lisa C.
    Abstract: What can be done to increase the effective participation of women in food and nutrition security in Africa? This brief advocates a two-pronged approach. First, eradicate discrimination against women, and second, promote catch-up by implementing more active measures in key areas such as control over land, water, and other assets, and investment in education, health, child care, and other services for women. Since the set of actions that are most appropriate in a given situation will be context specific, we present examples of approaches that have worked in Sub-Saharan Africa." from Text
    Keywords: Nutrition ,Property rights ,Child care ,Education ,Women ,Gender ,
    Date: 2004
  7. By: Diao, Xinshen; Hazell, Peter
    Abstract: "Wealthy countries' agricultural subsidies have also created unfair competition. African farmers not only have limited access to rich-country agricultural markets, but they also face unfair competition in their own domestic markets from subsidized imports of food staples. New challenges come from dramatically changed marketing chains that require African farmers to compete in markets that are more demanding in terms of product quality and food safety. What can be done to enhance market opportunities so that agriculture can become a more powerful engine of growth for the continent? Which markets and which products offer the greatest potential for raising incomes and food consumption? This brief addresses these questions and suggests policies that could help enlarge markets for African farmers." from Text
    Date: 2004
  8. By: Babu, Suresh Chandra; Rhoe, Valerie; Temu, Andrew; Hendriks, Sheryl
    Abstract: "Among the capacity-strengthening challenges the region faces are inadequate in-country capacity, institutional weaknesses, lack of multidisciplinary approaches to problem solving, expatriates' limited incountry experience, poor governance, and failure to monitor the sustainability of development efforts and to plan for future capacity generation....The current gaps in capacity are known, but as political, environmental, technical, and social contexts change, new needs will arise. Therefore, constant monitoring of organizational and human skills is essential for the identification of future requirements as they unfold. Unless the capacity to design and implement food and nutrition security policy in Africa is developed, strategies and programs will continue to fail and hunger and malnutrition will grow." from Text
    Keywords: Capacity building ,Governance ,Human capital ,
    Date: 2004
  9. By: von Braun, Joachim; Rosegrant, Mark W.; Pandya-Lorch, Rajul; Cohen, Marc J.; Cline, Sarah A.; Brown, Mary Ashby; Bos, Maria Soledad
    Abstract: "The progressive policy actions scenario in this brief outlines several of the most important steps for assuring a food-secure world. National governments and the international community must adopt a new focus on agricultural growth and rural development, along with increasing their investments in education, health, and other social services. Policies to encourage synergistic growth in the nonfarm sectors are also needed to spur broad-based economic growth. A firm commitment to reducing hunger and improving the welfare of the world's undernourished people must underpin these strategies and research agendas. But investment in social services and growth-oriented policy actions alone will not be sufficient to reach the Millennium Development Goal of cutting hunger by half by 2015 or to end hunger soon thereafter. Only if policy actions include sustained investment in social safety nets will food and nutrition security be achieved in the foreseeable future.." From Text
    Keywords: Impact model ,Caloric intake ,Safety nets ,
    Date: 2005
  10. By: Beintema, Nienke M.; Stads, Gert-Jan
    Abstract: "Agricultural research capacity is an important factor in building food security and economic stability in Africa. Furthermore, new and better-targeted technologies are essential to this process, and a well-developed and wellsupported agricultural research system is a prerequisite not only for the design of these technologies but also for their dissemination and adoption...In view of the low, and often declining, level of agricultural R&D investments in SSA, both in real terms and as a ratio of agricultural output, attaining this goal will be extremely challenging." from Text
    Keywords: research funding ,
    Date: 2004
  11. By: Jones, Monty
    Abstract: "The current decline in per capita food production in Africa signals an urgent need to revitalize agricultural research. Accomplishing such a task will require addressing many issues, including demand-led approaches, accountability, building of critical mass, avoidance of duplication, sustainable financing, and capacity strengthening. This brief cannot address all these issues; instead it focuses on generating common Africa-wide goals and priorities and on collaboration for maximum impact, suggesting approaches for consideration by those responsible for African agricultural research policy and implementation." from Text
    Keywords: Sustainable agriculture ,Agricultural research Africa ,
    Date: 2004
  12. By: Scherr, Sara J.; Hazell, Peter B. R.
    Abstract: Current trends in demography, agricultural production and rural environment in the developing countries suggest that so-called "marginal lands" must play a larger and probably growing role in food supply and economic development for the foreseeable future. To fulfill this critical role, public policy towards these lands needs to be revised. A key policy focus should be to strengthen incentives for local land users to not only maintain, but to improve the natural resource base for food and fiber supply. Such "land-improving investments" are needed to reduce production and subsistence risks and permit more intensive use without degradation. Under population and market pressure, one can expect an endogenous process of intensification, through land improvements, tenurial and institutional changes and "re-ordering" of the landscape. But this process is not automatic. Factors influencing the pace and scale of land transformation include: farmer knowledge of degradation of the degrading resource; incentives for long-term investment; capacity to mobilize resources for land investment; level of economic returns to such investment; and factors affecting the formation and function of local groups to help mobilize resources and coordinate landscape-level change. Current policies often work to constrain, rather than support, this process. New research is needed to support policy change for "marginal" lands.
    Keywords: Land use Economic aspects. ,Investments. ,EPTD ,
  13. By: Loechl, Cornelia; Ruel, Marie T.; Pelto, Gretel; Menon, Purnima
    Abstract: "This report describes the methods and results of an operations research undertaken to assess the effectiveness of World Vision (WV)'s food assisted maternal and child health and nutrition (MCHN) program in the Central Plateau region of Haiti. The research had three main objectives: (1) to assess the effectiveness of implementation and operations of the program relative to plans; (2) to assess the quality of delivery of the various services; and (3) to explore the perceptions of different stakeholders (i.e., beneficiaries and field implementers) regarding program operations and service delivery and the motivational factors that may affect staff's performance and job satisfaction. The overall goal was to identify constraints to effective operations; it was more important to identify and implement corrective actions that will ensure smooth implementation of the program and its various components. The report is directed to program managers, researchers, and development professionals who are interested in applying operations research methods to evaluate and strengthen similar MCHN programs with a food aid component in developing countries." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Operations research ,Nutrition programs ,Food aid ,Children Health and hygiene Haiti ,Maternal and infant welfare Developing countries ,Assessment ,
    Date: 2005
  14. By: Maluccio, John A.
    Abstract: "This study examines the effect of a safety-net program on households' well-being and work activities during an economic downturn. It considers (1) how rural Nicaraguan households without the Red de Protección Social (RPS) program fared over the period 2000–02, and (2) whether households benefiting from the program were better able to protect household expenditures and other aspects of well-being than their control counterparts during the same period.... While not designed as a traditional safety net program, RPS has performed like one, protecting most those in greatest need. It provided a cushion for per capita expenditures and protected coffee laborers from working additional hours. It also safeguarded investment in children. Thus RPS played a significant role in helping poor, rural Nicaraguans weather the coffee crisis." From Text
    Keywords: conditional cash transfer program ,coffee crisis ,social safety nets ,
    Date: 2005
  15. By: von Braun, Joachim; Gulati, Ashok; Hazell, Peter; Rosegrant, Mark W.; Ruel, Marie T.
    Abstract: In this brief, the authors suggest five areas for action to put rural India on a higher growth trajectory that would cut hunger, malnutrition, and unemployment at a much faster pace than has been the case so far. The five areas for action are interlinked and would best work if pursued in conjunction. The authors emphasize investments with a human face that include and reach out to the rural poor and a reorientation of subsidies toward such investments: 1. India should increase investments in rural infrastructure including transport and information technology that connects villages) and agricultural R&D (leading to improved technologies for farmers). 2. India should reorient its social safety nets to create more employment in rural areas; help strengthen the human resource base through education, nutrition, and empowerment of women; and build physical infrastructure. 3. Water is going to be increasingly scarce. Investing large sums in new mega-irrigation schemes may not be the best course of action, but it is important to complete those in which a lot of money has already been invested. 4. India must liberalize its marketing and trade policies to encourage vertical coordination between farms, firms, and forks (supermarkets); facilitate increased flow of rural credit, especially to smallholders, through, say, nonbanking financial intermediaries; and withdraw any special concessions in support of foodgrain policies. 5. Trade liberalization in agriculture has the potential to bring rich dividends to developing countries, including India. To realize this potential, India must work toward establishing and strengthening a rules-based multilateral trading system through WTO negotiations. from Text
    Keywords: Social safety nets ,Human capital ,High value agricultural products ,
    Date: 2005
  16. By: Dong, Fengxia
    Abstract: The paper first presents a 10-year outlook for major Asian dairy markets (China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam) based on a world dairy model. Then, using Heien and Wessells’s technique, dairy product consumption growth is decomposed into contributions generated by income growth, population growth, price change, and urbanization and these contributions are quantified. Using the world dairy model, the paper also analyzes the impacts of alternative assumptions of higher income levels and technology development in Asia on Asian dairy consumptions and world dairy prices. The outlook projects that Asian dairy consumption will continue to grow strongly in the next decade. The consumption decomposition suggests that the growth would be mostly driven by income and population growth and, as a result, would raise world dairy prices. The simulation results show that technology improvement in Asian countries would dampen world dairy prices and meanwhile boost domestic dairy consumption.
    Date: 2005–06–28
  17. By: Mariapia MENDOLA
    Abstract: Agricultural technology opens great opportunities of increasing f ood grain production in land scarce countries. But questions are raised about the potential adverse or favourable impact of new te chnology on economic conditions of the poor. This study is aimed at contributing to the debate about the relative importance of ‘d irect effects’ of agricultural technology adoption in poverty all eviation strategies. It does so through an empirical investigatio n of the relationship between technological change, of the Green Revolution type, and wellbeing of smallholder farm households in two rural Bangladeshi regions. The paper tackles a methodological issue in assessing the “causal effect” of technological change o n farm-household wellbeing through the non-parametric p-score mat ching analysis. It pursues a targeted evaluation of whether adopt ing a modern seed technology causes resource-poor farmers to impr ove their income and decrease the propensity to fall below the po verty line. It finds a robust and positive effect of agricultural technology adoption on farm household wellbeing suggesting that there is a large scope for enhancing the role of agricultural tec hnology in ‘directly’ contributing to poverty alleviation.
    Keywords: Farm household behaviour, Technology adoption, Poverty alleviation, Propensity score matching
  18. By: Cesar L. Revoredo Giha (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK); Alan W. Renwick (Scottish Agricultural College)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the effect that the imminent reform of the EU sugar beet regime will have on United Kingdom (UK) sugar beet farms. Specifically, we estimate a multi-product cost function to analyze the effect the changes on the sugar beet price support and quota will have on the crop allocation of sugar beet farms and their aggregate use of inputs. Based on these estimates we discuss the implications that changes in the crop patterns may have on farm environmental variables such as soil loss and groundwater pollution.
    Keywords: Multi-product cost function, UK sugar beet production, CAP reform
    Date: 2005–06
  19. By: Cesar L. Revoredo Giha (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK); Denis A. Nadolnyak (Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Georgia, USA); Stanley M. Fletcher (Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Georgia, USA)
    Abstract: The elimination of the marketing quota system that regulated the peanut market since the 1930s has been accompanied by the emergence of marketing contracts between farmers and peanut buyers (mainly peanut shellers). Two types of contracts have been observed, forward contracts for delivery at harvest or at a later date and “option to purchase” contracts. We analyze the clauses of contracts used by major shellers in order to infer the motivation behind these contracts (i.e., risk sharing, reduction of transaction costs, improve coordination, exercise of market power, etc.). The analysis points out that the main role of the contracts is to replace the marketing structure existing prior the 2002 Farm Act, where peanut marketing was quite regulated. In this sense, the reduction of transaction costs associated to the need for coordinating a continuous supply of homogeneous quality seems to be the most plausible explanation.
    Keywords: US agriculture, agricultural marketing, peanuts, economics of agricultural contracts
    Date: 2005–06
  20. By: Ekin Birol (Homerton College, University of Cambridge, UK); Andreas Kontoleon (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK); Melinda Smale (International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington DC, USA and International Plant Genetic Resources Institute, Rome, Italy)
    Abstract: Hungarian home gardens are small farms that are repositories of agrobiodiversity and provide food security during economic transition. We use a choice experiment to test the hypothesis that farmer demand for home gardens will decrease as markets develop with European Union accession. Data represent 22 communities with varying levels of market and social infrastructure. We find that farmers located in more economically developed communities choose to be less dependent on small farms for food and prefer lower levels of agrobiodiversity. Findings indicate that the survival of small farms is jeopardized by economic change, but point to some conservation policy options.
    Keywords: food security, agrobiodiversity, home gardens, choice experiment, multi-functional agriculture
    Date: 2005–06
  21. By: Tom Dedeurwaerdere (Centre de Philosophie du Droit (CPDR), Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium); Vijesh Krishna (Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Hohenheim, Germany); Unai Pascual (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, UK)
    Abstract: This paper examines the use the use of economic incentives for knowledge generation through biodiscovery, in the particular case of the use of a highly valuable biogenetic resource stock from the South for industrial/research input. The focus is on a dynamic approach to contracting and property rights building upon insights from institutional and ecological economics. Two important conclusions come out of this analysis. First, it highlights the necessity to go beyond standard market approaches to economic valuation in order to address the issues of future possibilities of use and innovation and the integration of the different stages in the process of value creation. Second, it shows the necessity of developing alternatives to the current intellectual property rights regime, including systems for appropriate protection of the traditional knowledge of local communities.
    Keywords: food security, Bioprospection, genetic resources, traditional knowledge, Kani model, benefit sharing
    Date: 2005–06

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