New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒10‒14
29 papers chosen by

  1. Combining revealed and stated preference methods to assess the private value of agrobiodiversity in Hungarian home gardens: By Birol, Ekin; Kontoleon, Andreas; Smale, Melinda
  2. Occupational health hazards of agriculture: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Cole, Donald
  3. Farmer management of production risk on degraded lands: the role of wheat genetic diversity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia By Di Falco, Salvatore; Chavas, Jean-Paul; Smale, Melinda
  4. Agriculture, food safety, and foodborne diseases: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Todd, Ewen C. D.; Narrod, Clare
  5. A hedonic approach to estimating the supply of variety attributes of a subsistence crop: By Edmeades, Svetlana
  6. Overview: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie T.
  7. Conflict, food insecurity, and globalization: By Messer, Ellen; Cohen, Marc J.
  8. Removing border protection on wheat and rice: effects on rural income and food securities in China By Yinhua Mai
  9. Urban agriculture and health: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Lee-Smith, Diana; Prain, Gordon
  10. Agriculture and health in the policymaking process: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Benson, Todd
  11. An analysis of trade related international regulations of genetically modified food and their effects on developing countries: By Gruère, Guillaume P.
  12. Economies of Scale in the Canadian Food Processing Industry By Gervais, Jean-Philippe; Bonroy, Olivier; Couture, Steve
  13. The Impact of Access to Credit on the Adoption of hybrid maize in Malawi: An Empirical test of an Agricultural Household Model under credit market failure By Simtowe, Franklin; Zeller, Manfred
  14. Fish and health: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Roos, Nanna; Wahab, Md. Abdul; Chamnan, Chhoun; Haraksingh Thilsted, Shakuntala
  15. Philippine rice and rural poverty: an impact analysis of market reform using CGE By Cororaton, Caesar B.
  16. Policy distortions in the segmented rice market: By Rakotoarisoa, Manitra A.
  17. Agriculture, Aggregation, Wage Gaps, and Cross-Country Income Differences By Marla Ripoll; Juan Carlos Cordoba
  18. Livestock and health: understanding the links between agriculture and health By Catelo, Maria Angeles O.
  19. A gap analysis of confined field trial application forms for genetically modified crops in East Africa: evaluating the potential for harmonization By Linacre, Nicholas A.; Cohen, Joel I.
  20. An exploration of the potential benefits of integrated pest management systems and the use of insect resistant potatoes to control the Guatemalan Tuber Moth (Tecia solanivora Povolny) in Ventaquemada, Colombia: By Falck Zepeda, José; Barreto-Triana, Nancy; Baquero-Haeberlin, Irma; Espitia-Malagón, Eduardo; Fierro-Guzmán, Humberto; López, Nancy
  21. Food policy liberalization in Bangladesh: how the government and the markets delivered By Chowdhury, Nuimuddin; Farid, Nasir; Roy, Devesh
  22. Impacts of considering climate variability on investment decisions in Ethiopia: By Block, Paul J.; Strzepek, Kenneth; Rosegrant, Mark W.; Diao, Xinshen
  23. Restructuring Uganda ' s coffee industry : why going back to the basics matters By Baffes, John
  24. Insights from poverty maps for development and food relief program targeting: an application to Malawi By Benson, Todd
  25. Enforcing ‘Self-Enforcing’ International Environmental Agreements By David M. McEvoy; John K. Stranlund
  26. Within and Between Group Variation of Individual Strategies in Common Pool Resources: Evidence from Field Experiments By Maria Alejandra Velez; James J. Murphy; John K. Stranlund
  27. Local seed systems for millet crops in marginal environments of India: industry and policy perspectives By Nagarajan, Latha; Pardey, Philip G.; Smale, Melinda
  28. Price-Based vs. Quantity-Based Environmental Regulation under Knightian Uncertainty: An Info-Gap Robust Satisficing Perspective By John K. Stranlund; Yakov Ben-Haim
  29. Efficiency and distribution in contract farming: the case of Indian poultry growers By Ramaswami, Bharat; Birthal, Pratap Singh; Joshi, P.K.

  1. By: Birol, Ekin; Kontoleon, Andreas; Smale, Melinda
    Abstract: " Hungarian home gardens are small-scale farms managed by farm households using traditional management practices and family labor. They generate private benefits for farmers by enhancing diet quality and providing food when costs of transacting in local markets are high. Home gardens also generate public benefits for society by supporting long-term productivity advances in agriculture. In this paper, we estimate the private value to farmers of agrobiodiversity in home gardens. Building on the approach presented in EPTD Discussion Paper 117 (2004), we combine a stated preference approach (a choice experiment model) and a revealed preference approach (a discrete-choice, farm household model). Both models are based on random utility theory. To combine the models, primary data were collected from the same 239 farm households in three regions of Hungary. Combining approaches leads to a more efficient and robust estimation of the private value of agrobiodiversity in home gardens. Findings can be used to identify those farming communities, which would benefit most from agri-environmental schemes that support agrobiodiversity maintenance, at least public cost." Authors' abstract
    Keywords: Home gardens, Small-scale farmers, Diet quality, Agricultural productivity, Agrobiodiversity, Household surveys, Private value, Choice experiment model, Farm household model, Revealed and stated preference methods,
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Cole, Donald
    Abstract: "According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the agricultural sector is one of the most hazardous to health worldwide. Agricultural work possesses several characteristics that are risky for health: exposure to the weather, close contact with animals and plants, extensive use of chemical and biological products, difficult working postures and lengthy hours, and use of hazardous agricultural tools and machinery. This brief outlines the occupational health hazards of agriculture, presents a case study on the trade-offs between their health and economic impacts, and proposes responses... To effect change, the agriculture and health sectors should work together more closely. The agricultural sector should develop and build on ways of working with farmers to grow crops that promote healthier cultivation practices and reduce exposure to hazards. Health-sector staff, meanwhile, should document health problems and identify the greatest hazards, help explain the health reasons for such changes, and monitor changes in health with improved production methods." From text
    Keywords: Agriculture, Diseases, Sustainability, Environmental management, Agricultural technology, Agriculture-health linkages,
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Di Falco, Salvatore; Chavas, Jean-Paul; Smale, Melinda
    Abstract: "This paper investigates the effects of wheat genetic diversity and land degradation on risk and agricultural productivity in less favored production environments of a developing agricultural economy. Drawing production data from household survey conducted in the highlands of Ethiopia, we estimate a stochastic production function to evaluate the effects of variety richness, land degradation, and their interaction on the mean and the variance of wheat yield. Ethiopia is a centre of diversity for durum wheat and farmers manage complex variety mixtures on multiple plots. Econometric evidence shows that variety richness increases farm productivity. Variety richness also reduces yield variability but only for high levels of genetic diversity. Simulations with estimated parameters illustrate how planting more diverse durum wheat varieties on multiple plots contributes to improving farmer's welfare." Authors' abstract
    Keywords: Land degradation, Wheat production, productivity, Risk, Genetic diversity, Household surveys, Stochastic analysis,
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Todd, Ewen C. D.; Narrod, Clare
    Abstract: "To improve the ability of farmers in developing countries to reduce the burden of foodborne illness, government agencies need to take the following steps: (1) Implement a farm-to-table approach to agricultural health by focusing efforts on the prevention of potential food safety and agricultural health threats at all stages of the supply chain including production, processing, marketing, and retailing. (2) Raise awareness among decisionmakers, public servants, producers, traders, and consumers about the potential sources of food safety problems and ways to protect against such problems. (3) Encourage a multi-stakeholder approach to improving public health. (4) Strengthen surveillance and diagnostic capacity in all countries to improve measurement of prevalence and detection of outbreaks. (5) Strengthen risk analysis capacity to help decisionmakers in all countries to set strategies and priorities, to consider the many needs of the supply chain, and to increase their focus on the preharvest stage. (6) Switch from command-control policies to performance-based standards to meet national and international food safety goals. Command-control policies are often less flexible and have higher fixed costs, which may result in the displacement of poor producers from the market. (7) Improve infrastructure and access to cold storage facilities to ensure the delivery of highly perishable foods to distant markets. (8) Support efforts to improve supply chain management to improve food safety along the whole supply chain." From text
    Keywords: Agriculture-health linkages, Agriculture, Health and nutrition, Agricultural technology, Food safety, Diseases, Education, Supply chain management, Risk analysis,
    Date: 2006
  5. By: Edmeades, Svetlana
    Abstract: "The paper extends the household hedonic model, as a non-market valuation tool, by estimating a supply function for variety attributes of a subsistence crop in a developing country. The model is applied to bananas in Uganda, making use of disaggregated data on variety-specific farm-gate banana bunch prices and attributes. The hedonic analysis is applied at the farm-gate, the first link in the market chain, while accounting for the semi-subsistence nature of banana producing households. Within the framework of the agricultural household, where consumption and production decisions are non-separable, prices reflect the implicit marginal valuation of both consumption and production attributes jointly. The paper is motivated by the need to quantify the value of banana attributes in light of targeted efforts for variety improvement. Whether variety improvement will pay-off at the market level requires a more detailed examination of the relative worth of banana attributes within the structure of consumer preferences and production technologies related to bananas in Uganda. By revealing important price-attribute relationships, the findings provide guidance for future crop improvement efforts and diversification choices, while taking into account implicit market signals for output characteristics." Author's Abstract
    Keywords: small farms, Households Models, agricultural sector, Crops Economic aspects, Crop diversification, Variety attributes, Decision-making,
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie T.
    Abstract: "Good health and productive agriculture are both essential in the fight against poverty. In a rapidly changing world, agriculture faces many challenges, both old (natural resource constraints, extreme weather conditions, and agricultural pests) and new (globalization, environmental degradation, problems of maintaining production in conflict situations). At the same time, new global health threats emerge, such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, and avian influenza, while old ones persist. Not only do malaria, tuberculosis, diarrheal diseases, respiratory infection, and malnutrition continue to take a heavy toll, but the health sector is faced with increasing problems of chronic disease, drug and insecticide resistance, and a diminishing arsenal of effective interventions. And as the world becomes more integrated, so do the agricultural and health problems the world faces... The briefs in this series aim to communicate what is known about the linkages between agriculture and health in science and policy, thereby stimulating interest in and dialogue on agriculture and health. With a focus on the poor in developing countries, the briefs deal with the relationship between agricultural producers, systems, and outputs and the world's leading causes of death and disease. They examine the various trade-offs involved and set out some of the approaches needed to create improved synergies between the agricultural and health sectors." From text
    Keywords: Agriculture, Agroforestry, Health and nutrition, Agricultural technology, Food safety, Diseases, Sustainability, Biodiversity, Agrobiodiversity, Environmental management,
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Messer, Ellen; Cohen, Marc J.
    Abstract: "For more than two centuries, proponents and critics of an open global economy have debated whether the free flows of goods, services, and capital make the world more peaceful and food secure or instead exacerbate inequalities and hardships, fanning interclass or interethnic violence motivated by grievance and greed. Food security and pri-mary agricultural commodities have been largely left out of these discussions; the authors begin to fill these gaps... the paper recommends four agendas for further food policy consideration: first, more attention to equitable outcomes in food distribution and food production and trade programs, so that such food security programs do not further contribute to ethnic divisions favoring violence-prone grievance and greed. Second, more careful scrutiny of national marketing and financial policies that influence farmer and middlemen income, and who benefits from agricultural export crops. Third, the design of some type of compensation fund for sudden or certain “losers” in globalization, who face loss of livelihood and recruitment to violence when cash crops like coffee fail to deliver expected livelihoods. Fourth, and in sum, more systematic use of livelihood-security and rights-based frameworks that address local-level food security in the context of national food policy planning " from Text
    Keywords: Hunger, Conflict, war, Globalization, Crops, exports, coffee, Cotton, Human rights, Right to food, Fair trade,
    Date: 2006
  8. By: Yinhua Mai
    Abstract: In this paper, I use the Monash Multi-Country (MMC) model - a dynamic CGE model of China, Australia and the Rest of the World - to analyse the effects of removing border protection on wheat and rice in China. The analysis points to the possibility that removing border protection on wheat and rice may lead to an increase in rural income in China. This is due mainly to the following two factors. First, while removing border protection on wheat and rice leads to a contraction in agricultural activities, it also leads to an expansion in manufacturing and services activities. Second, on average, rural households in China obtain over half of their income from manufacturing and services activities.
    Keywords: China, Wheat and rice, CGE modelling, rural income
    JEL: C68 F14 Q17
    Date: 2006–05
  9. By: Lee-Smith, Diana; Prain, Gordon
    Abstract: "With half the world's population living in cities and towns, many poor urban dwellers face problems gaining access to adequate supplies of nutritionally balanced food. For many urban populations, an important source of food is urban and peri-urban agriculture (UPA). Production and processing of crops—particularly horticultural crops—and livestock is frequently part of urban and peri-urban livelihood strategies, and the food produced forms a large part of informal sector economic activity. This brief examines the benefits and problems of UPA for the nutrition and health of poor urban and peri-urban populations... An adequate health-impact assessment of urban agriculture is still incomplete.Research questions remain concerning the level of chronic disease risk posed by contamination of urban food from air pollution, as well from industrial effluents. Further assessment is needed of the health risks of using biological wastes as fertilizer. Research questions also remain regarding the infectious disease risks posed by urban livestock keeping... Adequate waste treatment systems and sanitation need to be provided to poor countries' urban areas, but the technologies should be designed to capture the nutrients in waste for increased food production. Control of discharges into soil, air, and water by industries, whether large factories or small kiosks, is likewise essential. Existing environmental legislation needs to be made effective by proper implementation through both community action and government support in urban neighborhoods." From text
    Keywords: Health and nutrition, Urban population, Nutritional status, Urban agriculture, Peri-urban areas, Crop production, Horticultural crops, livestock, Livelihoods, Informal sector (Economics), Chronic diseases, Fertilizers, Agriculture-health linkages, Sanitation, environmental policies,
    Date: 2006
  10. By: Benson, Todd
    Abstract: "Earlier briefs in this series make the case that there is added value for the agricultural and health sectors in working more closely together to address problems of human well-being that fall at the intersection of the two sectors. Yet the divisions between the two sectors are wide and difficult to bridge. Building the space and providing sufficient incentives and resources for collaborative activities between them will require changes in government policy—itself not a straightforward endeavor. Moreover, the sharp human and financial resource constraints in developing countries compound the challenge. This brief describes some of the important barriers to effective collaboration between the two sectors and suggests ways to overcome them. First, though, why does policy matter in this context? Policy states how government intends to prioritize the allocation of resources under its control for what is perceived to be the best interest of society. Poor health and stagnant or declining agricultural productivity are among the most fundamental challenges to improved human welfare and economic growth. Government has the responsibility for providing many of the institutions, infrastructure, and resources — key public goods — without which many farmers, in particular, will remain unhealthy, unproductive, and mired in poverty. Thus the policies and actions of government are a critical component in enabling individuals, particularly in rural areas, to live healthier and more productive lives." From text
    Keywords: agricultural sector, Health services, Quality of life, Government policy, Government spending policy, economic growth, Public goods, Public health,
    Date: 2006
  11. By: Gruère, Guillaume P.
    Abstract: "This paper reviews current trade–related regulations of genetically modified (GM) food and discusses their effects on developing countries. There is a large heterogeneity in current import approval and marketing policies of GM food worldwide. At the international level, the harmonization efforts are led by the Codex Alimentarius Commission, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the World Trade Organization. While internationally harmonized guidelines for safety approval have been finalized, we show that there is no clear consensus on labeling regulations for GM food, and there is an increasing risk of conflicts among international agreements. We analyze the GM food regulations of two large rich importers, Japan and the European Union (EU) and discuss their differences and their potential impact on international trade. We also show that the effects of international and domestic trade related regulations critically depend on the type of traded products and their intended use: food and unprocessed products are subject to more stringent regulations than animal feed and processed products. Finally, we identify the main spillover effects of national and international regulations on developing countries' policy making, and suggest four policy arrangements on GM food to enable developing countries to satisfy production, consumption, international trade, and risk management objectives simultaneously while complying with their international obligations.
    Keywords: Genetically modified food Developing countries, Biosafety, Trade regulation, Labeling, International trade, Tariff,
    Date: 2006
  12. By: Gervais, Jean-Philippe; Bonroy, Olivier; Couture, Steve
    Abstract: Cost functions for three Canadian manufacturing agri-food sectors (meat, bakery and dairy) are estimated using provincial data from 1990 to 1999. A translog functional form is used and the concavity property is imposed locally. The Morishima substitution elasticities and returns to scale elasticities are computed for different provinces. Inference is carried out using asymptotic theory as well as bootstrap methods. In particular, the ability of the double bootstrap to provide refinements in inference is investigated. The evidence suggests that there are significant substitution possibilities between the agricultural input and other production factors in the meat and bakery sectors. Scale elasticity parameters indicate that increasing returns to scale are present in small bakery industries. While point estimates suggest that increasing returns to scale exist at the industry level in the meat sector, statistical inference cannot rule the existence of decreasing returns to scale. To account for supply management in the dairy sector, separability between raw milk and the other inputs was introduced. There exists evidence of increasing returns to scale at the industry level in the dairy industries of Alberta and New Brunswick. The scale elasticity for the two largest provinces (Ontario and Quebec) is greater than one, but inference does not reject the null hypothesis of increasing returns to scale.
    Keywords: Translog cost function; Canadian food processing industry; returns to scale; double bootstrap
    JEL: C30 D24
    Date: 2006–08
  13. By: Simtowe, Franklin; Zeller, Manfred
    Abstract: A substantial amount of the literature has reported on the impact of access to credit on technology adoption, and many studies find that credit has a positive impact on adoption. However, most existing studies have failed to explicitly measure and analyze the amount of credit that farm households are able to borrow and whether they are credit constrained or not. They overlooked the fact that credit access can be a panacea for non-adoption only if it is targeted at households that face binding liquidity constraints. Guided by the frame work of a household model under credit market failure, this paper aims at investigating the impact of access to credit on the adoption of hybrid maize among households that vary in their credit constraints. The data used in the study is from Malawi collected by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).Using the direct elicitation approach, households are classified into constrained and unconstrained regimes. We start by estimating the probability of being credit constrained, followed by an estimation of the impact of access to credit for the two categories of households (credit constrained and unconstrained), while accounting for selection bias. The impact of access to credit is estimated using a switching regression in a Double-Hurdle model. Results reveal that while access to credit increases adoption among credit constrained households, it has no effect among unconstrained households. Results also show that factors that affect adoption among credit constrained households are different from those that that affect adoption among unconstrained household. Landholding size, for example, has opposite effects on adoption in the two regimes of households. The policy implication is that microfinance institutions should consider scaling up their credit services to ensure that more households benefit from it, and in so doing maize adoption will be enhanced.
    Keywords: credit constraints; double-hurdle; hybrid maize; adoption; Malawi
    JEL: Q12
    Date: 2006–09–30
  14. By: Roos, Nanna; Wahab, Md. Abdul; Chamnan, Chhoun; Haraksingh Thilsted, Shakuntala
    Abstract: "Fish production is an important source of livelihoods among the world's poor, and fish consumption has long been known to have nutritional benefits. The dynamics of the world's fisheries—and fish consumption—are changing, bringing health-related challenges. This brief describes the various links and the challenges they present... The importance of fish for the health of consumers and producers demands policy attention. For poor riparian and coastal populations, national and local fisheries management policies need to incorporate the need for access to fish, especially nutrient-dense small fish species, and fisheries by these groups. Thus, it is critical to develop and disseminate sustainable aquaculture technologies that are suitable for adoption by the rural poor, such as making use of rice paddies, irrigation canals, and seasonal ponds to produce fish both for sale and for consumption. In addition, aquaculture in these water bodies can promote human health by controlling mosquitoes, and thereby malaria, as well as snails that bear schistosomiasis parasites. For growing urban populations, measures are needed to increase fish intake as a means of curbing the rise of chronic diseases. To cope with urban demand, intensification of aquaculture is thought to be the way forward. This entails the use of technologies (breeding, management, and biotechnology) to raise productivity and requires large private and public sector investments... [T]he overexploitation of fish and fisheries to satisfy demand for fish consumption, fish meal, and fish oil and to generate economic and income growth has resulted in serious risks to the health and well-being of the poor, the environment, wild fish stocks, the quality of fish, and the viability and sustainability of the fisheries sector.
    Keywords: Agriculture-health linkages, Health and nutrition, Food safety, Sustainability, Environmental management, Technology adoption, Chronic diseases, Urban population, productivity,
    Date: 2006
  15. By: Cororaton, Caesar B.
    Abstract: "This paper looks at how Philippine trade reform which consists of tariff reduction and elimination of quantitative restrictions (QR) on rice imports will affect poverty within two world trade scenarios: Doha and free world trade. The impact of Doha is very small and generates biased effects against agriculture. The impact of Philippine trade reform within the Doha agenda magnifies this biased effect, making rural households worse-off compared to urban households. However, eliminating rice QR generates a set of effects where consumer price reduction dominates nominal income decline. Thus, real income improves and poverty declines across household groups, but the net effects are lower in rural than in urban households. The impact of a free world trade economy is favorable in terms of higher export prices and export demand for agriculture and agriculture-related manufacturing industries. This mitigates the biased effects against agriculture, and is therefore favorable to rural households. However, if Philippine trade reform is added to the analysis, the result switches back to the previous biased effects on agriculture and on rural households." Author's Abstract
    Keywords: rice, Impact analysis, Agriculture, Poverty, Computable general equilibrium (CGE), Trade reform, Doha agreement, Free trade, Rural households, Urban households, consumer prices,
    Date: 2006
  16. By: Rakotoarisoa, Manitra A.
    Abstract: "High production and export subsidies in developed countries and high protection in both developed and developing countries have distorted rice trade. This study estimates the impact of rice policy distortions on developing countries' rice production and trade potential. Because rice markets are highly segmented, major rice types are differentiated to estimate the impact of current and likely policy reforms. Analysis in long-grain, high-quality rice focuses on rice import and export markets in Latin America and shows that reduction of direct and implicit export subsidies in the US will benefit regional suppliers such as Argentina and Uruguay. Analysis of Indonesia's import market of ordinary long-grain rice, where protection is high, reveals that tariff hikes in this large importing country are in part a response to increased support from the exporting side. Level of domestic stocks also determines tariff movements. In the short/medium grain rice market, this study focuses on the highly supported and protected rice market in Japan and find that only aggressive rates of increase in import tariff-rate quota and reduction in production subsidies would have significant impact on import volume and price. Prices and trade would also be affected by a reduction of the high over-quota tariff." from Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: exports, subsidies, Rice trade, Rice markets, tariffs, Imports,
    Date: 2006
  17. By: Marla Ripoll; Juan Carlos Cordoba
    Date: 2005–01
  18. By: Catelo, Maria Angeles O.
    Abstract: "The linkages between livestock and health are significant, particularly for the poor, whether as livestock raisers or as consumers of meat and milk, or even as users of the environment. The processes of livestock production and consumption bring both benefits and problems for human health... Livestock production and consumption can lead to four main types of human health risks: (1) diseases transmitted from livestock to humans; (2) environmental pollution; (3) foodborne diseases and risks; and (4) diet-related chronic diseases. Zoonoses are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans via bacteria, parasites, viruses, and unconventional agents. The more common and serious zoonoses caused by infectious agents include salmonellosis, swineherds' disease caused by Leptospira species, brucellosis, the hepatitis E virus (HEV), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), Rift Valley fever (RVF), adult meningitis caused by Streptococcus suis, and the influenza virus... In developing countries, smallholders have only rudimentary methods of protecting themselves from diseases and preventing their spread to neighboring farms and communities. There may be a need to rethink the trends toward wholesale privatization of animal health services and public disinvestment in these services and to look more deeply into public and private partnerships." From text
    Keywords: health, Meat consumption, Food safety, Public-private partnerships, Environmental management, Chronic diseases,
    Date: 2006
  19. By: Linacre, Nicholas A.; Cohen, Joel I.
    Abstract: "The regulatory approval of genetically modified crops in the field initially requires small, restricted experimental trials known as confined field trials. These small scale experiments provide researchers with important information on environmental interactions and agronomic performance of the crop in a safe and contained manner. To authorize confined field trials regulatory review is required, with formats for obtaining relevant information differing from country to country. In this paper, a Gap Analysis is used to identify informational gaps and potential for harmonization of confined field trial application processes in three East African countries – Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. The basic principle behind gap analysis is a comparison of the status quo to an ideal with the identification of the differences or gaps and the difficulty involved provides a potential basis for harmonization of confined field trial application processes between countries leading to potential efficiency gains." Authors' abstract
    Keywords: biotechnology, Biosafety, Bioconfinement, Confined field trials, Gap analysis, Harmonization, Genetically modified crops,
    Date: 2006
  20. By: Falck Zepeda, José; Barreto-Triana, Nancy; Baquero-Haeberlin, Irma; Espitia-Malagón, Eduardo; Fierro-Guzmán, Humberto; López, Nancy
    Abstract: "CORPOICA and IFPRI implemented a research project in Ventaquemada, Colombia. The project's goal was to asses the benefits of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices and the potential of Genetically Modified insect resistant (Bt) potatoes to manage damage caused by the Guatemalan Tuber Moth (Tecia solanivora Povolny). The Guatemalan Tuber Moth is particularly destructive because field spraying on the adult stage is ineffective and there exists damage specificity to the tubers. Excessive pesticide sprays have resulted in resistance to several insecticides. Insect resistant (Bt) potatoes has been shown an effective means to control other members of the Tuber Moth complex. Thus a Bt potato may play a role in managing Tecia in Colombia. This is an ex ante study as there are no Bt potatoes currently under field conditions in Colombia.. To examine this issue, we conducted a survey in 2003 of 78 farmers in the region to estimate a baseline of traditionally and IPM managed systems. The first year survey was supplemented with focus groups to examine damage and production costs in 2003 and 2004. We also implemented activities such as field verification of IPM practices and damage, a Farmer Field School and other participatory methods. Our analysis uses methods such partial budgeting analysis, a production function input abatement expectations model, and an economic surplus model augmented by stochastic simulations. Results of the analysis presented here outlines estimated losses under field and storage conditions, likely range of benefits accrued by farmers in the region due to the potential adoption of a portfolio of IPM management practices and Bt potatoes. Results from the survey conducted in 2003 show that producers in the area have endured significant field and storage losses within the previous 10 years, but were low in that particular year. Initial results where confirmed by results of focus groups in 2003 and 2004 which show very low field and storage damage. Sustained precipitation explains the observed low levels of damage by the Tuber Moth. Low levels of damage induced zero (or even negative) cost differences between conventional and IPM management. In contrast, using the proposed expectation model to estimate expected payoffs to IPM investments show that even with low levels of damage it still pays for producers to invest in IPM practices. The economic surplus estimates show that even considering variability of field and storage losses, as well as of other critical parameters, the use of Bt potatoes in Colombia creates a positive return to investment to Bt potato research, assuming that damage is present under field conditions. We finalize by discussing some of the institutional and strategic considerations for the potential use of Bt potatoes in the country." Authors' abstract
    Keywords: Potatoes Economic aspects, Genetically modified crops, Economic surplus model, Risk, Research and development, Bt-potatoes,
    Date: 2006
  21. By: Chowdhury, Nuimuddin; Farid, Nasir; Roy, Devesh
    Abstract: "Three factors, advent of new technology (HYV), development of infrastructure and market liberalization working in tandem have delivered favorable food security outcomes for Bangladesh. Bangladesh's food-policy has benefited from a liberalized trade regime and a consistent downsizing of the government, all with favorable effects on poverty and nutrition. Post liberalization, the findings suggest a perceptible increase in the cost-effectiveness of the public food grain distribution system (PFDS). The favorable effects of liberalization are also evident in growths in outputs, market size, the size of private stocks, the emergence of a two peak harvest seasonality, and finally in declining real rice prices. The government has moreover downsized the PFDS, making poverty-reduction a priority basis for grain allocation. While imports relative to total availability have remained virtually unchanged during the last 25 years, public issue relative to the availability has fallen by about a half. Average food grain consumption has fallen slightly during the 1990s but in face of rising incomes, this could partly be driven by diversifying tastes. Comparing the efficiency of the private and the public sector, the private marketing margin is slightly higher. In spite of the significant advantage(s) enjoyed by the public sector, the margin being thin is significant. In order to account for the expected global changes under the Doha round, simulations using competitive spatial-equilibrium models for the world's rice and wheat markets forecast increase in prices for rice and wheat by 21.7% and 10.1% respectively by 2013. USDA global CGE models (2001) show figures of increase in wheat prices by 18.1%, and rice prices by 10.1%. These estimates are used in a multi-market model for Bangladesh as estimates for global price shocks. Sensitivity analysis shows that over a range of values involving both an upper and a lower limit, small declines will occur in real incomes and caloric levels of both urban poor and rural landless households, while large farms will experience a small gain in their real incomes. Based on values corresponding to the lower limit, overall effects on food security are however quite small." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Food policy, Liberalization, Government policy, Markets, food security,
    Date: 2006
  22. By: Block, Paul J.; Strzepek, Kenneth; Rosegrant, Mark W.; Diao, Xinshen
    Abstract: "Extreme interannual variability of precipitation within Ethiopia is not uncommon, inducing droughts or floods and often creating serious repercussions on agricultural and non-agricultural commodities. An agro-economic model, including mean climate variables, was developed to assess irrigation and road construction investment strategies in comparison to a baseline scenario over a 12-year time horizon. The motivation for this work is to evaluate whether the inclusion of climate variability in the model has a significant effect on prospective investment strategies and the resulting country-wide economy. The mean climate model is transformed into a variable climate model by dynamically adding yearly climate-yield factors, which influence agricultural production levels and linkages to non-agricultural goods. Nine sets of variable climate data are processed by the new model to produce an ensemble of potential economic prediction indicators. Analysis of gross domestic product and poverty rate reveal a significant overestimation of the country's future welfare by the mean climate model method, in comparison to probability density functions created from the variable climate ensemble. The ensemble is further utilized to demonstrate risk assessment capabilities. The addition of climate variability to the agro-economic model provides a framework, including realistic ranges of economic values, from which Ethiopian planners may make strategic decisions." Authors' abstract
    Keywords: Climate variability, Water, Droughts, Flooding, Irrigation Economic aspects, Road construction Economic aspects, Investments, Economic situation, Agro-economic model,
    Date: 2006
  23. By: Baffes, John
    Abstract: After experiencing a boom during the mid-1990s, the performance of Uganda ' s coffee industry has been disappointing. Most existing analyses see the sector ' s problems as quality deterioration, poor marketing position in the global market, weak regulatory framework, and poor infrastructure. Recommendations range from setting up a coffee auction to increasing the share of specialty coffees. This paper concludes that such advice has been largely inconsistent with the stylized facts of the Ugandan coffee industry. It argues that the coffee wilt disease and the effectiveness of the coffee replanting program are the two key issues on which policymakers and the donor community should focus their activities and allocate their resources.
    Keywords: Crops & Crop Management Systems,Markets and Market Access,Access to Markets,Water and Industry,Economic Theory & Research
    Date: 2006–10–01
  24. By: Benson, Todd
    Abstract: "This study aims to assess the value of poverty mapping to public-works projects undertaken by the World Food Programme (WFP) with the government of Malawi in its Food for Assets and Development (FFASD) program....Poverty mapping is a useful decisionmaking tool in targeting relief and development programs, and it provides objective and nonpolitical information that is also helpful in prioritizing areas for poverty alleviation projects and emergency food aid relief." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Poverty mapping, food security, Malawi, Food relief, Targeting,
    Date: 2006
  25. By: David M. McEvoy (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst); John K. Stranlund (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: Theoretical analyses of international environmental agreements (IEAs) have typically employed the concept of self-enforcing agreements to predict the number of parties to such an agreement. The term self-enforcing, however, is a bit misleading. The concept refers to the stability of cooperative agreements, not to enforcing these agreements once they are in place. Most analyses of IEAs simply ignore the issue of enforcing compliance by parties to the terms of an agreement. In this paper we analyze an IEA game in which parties to an agreement finance an independent enforcement body with the power to monitor the parties’ compliance to the terms of the IEA and impose penalties in cases of noncompliance. This approach is broadly consistent with the enforcement mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol under the Marrakesh Accords. We find that costly enforcement limits the circumstances under which international cooperation to protect the environment is worthwhile, but when IEAs do form they will involve greater participation than IEAs that do not require costly enforcement. Consequently, costly enforcement of IEAs is associated with higher international environmental quality. Moreover, under certain conditions, aggregate welfare is higher when IEAs require costly enforcement. These conclusions are accentuated when monitoring for compliance to IEAs is inaccurate.
    Keywords: International environmental agreements, self-enforcing agreements, compliance, enforcement
    JEL: Q5 H41 C72 F53
    Date: 2006–09
  26. By: Maria Alejandra Velez (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst); James J. Murphy (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst); John K. Stranlund (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: With data from framed common pool resource experiments conducted with artisanal fishing communities in Colombia, we estimate a hierarchical linear model to investigate within-group and between-group variation in individual harvest strategies across several institutions. Our results suggest that communication serves to effectively coordinate individual strategies within groups, but that these coordinated strategies vary considerably across groups. In contrast, weakly enforced regulatory restrictions on individual harvests (as well as unregulated open access) produce significant variation in the individual strategies within groups, but these strategies are roughly replicated across groups so that there is little between-group variation.
    Keywords: common pool resources, field experiments, communication, regulation, hierarchical linear models
    JEL: C93 H41 Q20 Q28
    Date: 2006–09
  27. By: Nagarajan, Latha; Pardey, Philip G.; Smale, Melinda
    Abstract: "Changes in India's seed regulations during the 1990s favored the growth of privately- as compared to publicly-funded sectors. Most advances have been made in the major millet crops, sorghum and pearl millet, as compared to finger millet and other minor millet crops, which in many ways dependent on local markets for seed purposes. In this study, we have analyzed the evolving interactions between formal systems related to the delivery of modern varieties and informal systems for maintaining traditional seeds in the semi-arid regions of India. It is evident that in these marginal environments, crop and variety use decisions, and the crop biodiversity levels take place within the context of local seed markets and a national seed industry. The outcome of the study would help to identify potential entry points for millet crop improvement and related seed system interventions for marginal environments of India." Authors' abstract
    Keywords: Seed systems, Seed industry and trade, Seed supply, Diversity, Markets, Local markets, Formal seed sector,
    Date: 2006
  28. By: John K. Stranlund (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst); Yakov Ben-Haim (Mechanical Engineering Technion, Israel Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom among environmental economists is that the relative slopes of the marginal social benefit and marginal social cost functions determine whether a price-based or quantity-based environmental regulation leads to higher expected social welfare. We revisit the choice between price-based vs. quantity-based environmental regulation under Knightian uncertainty; that is, when uncertainty cannot be modeled with known probability distributions. Under these circumstances, the policy objective cannot be to maximize the expected net benefits of emissions control. Instead, we evaluate an emissions tax and an aggregate abatement standard in terms of maximizing the range of uncertainty under which the welfare loss from error in the estimates of the marginal benefits and costs of emissions control can be limited. The main result of our work is that the same criterion involving the relative slopes of the marginal benefit and cost functions determines whether price-based or quantity-based control is more robust to unstructured uncertainty. Hence, not only does the relative slopes criterion lead to the policy that maximizes the expected net benefits of control under structured uncertainty, it also leads to the policy that maximizes robustness to unstructured uncertainty.
    Keywords: emissions control, environmental regulation, info-gap, Knightian uncertainty, robustness, satisficing
    JEL: D81 L51 Q58
    Date: 2006–07
  29. By: Ramaswami, Bharat; Birthal, Pratap Singh; Joshi, P.K.
    Abstract: "This paper is an empirical analysis of the gains from contract farming in the case of poultry production in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. The paper finds that contract production is more efficient than noncontract production. The efficiency surplus is largely appropriated by the processor. Despite this, contract growers still gain appreciably from contracting in terms of lower risk and higher expected returns. Improved technology and production practices as well as the way in which the processor selects growers are what make these outcomes possible. In terms of observed and unobserved characteristics, contract growers have relatively poor prospects as independent growers. With contract production, these growers achieve incomes comparable to that of independent growers." Authors' Abstract
    Keywords: Contract farming, Poultry, Vertical integration,
    Date: 2006

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.