nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2008‒02‒23
sixteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. The European Forest and Agriculture Optimisation Model -- EUFASOM By Uwe A. Schneider; Juraj Balkovic; Stephane de Cara; Oskar Franklin; Steffen Fritz; Petr Havlik; Ingo Huck; Kerstin Jantke; A. Maarit I. Kallio; Florian Klaxner; Alexander Moiseyev; Michael Obersteiner; Chrystalyn Ivie Ramos; Christine Schleupner; Erwin Schmid; Dagmar Schwab; Ratislav Skalsky
  2. Monitoring the Realization of the Right to Food: Adaptation and Validation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Insecurity Module to Rural Senegal By Susan Randolph; Ibrahima Gaye; Ibrahima Hathie; Rafael Perez-Escamilla
  3. End-Point versus Point of Sale Levying of Plant Breeding Royalties: An Economic Analysis using Optimal Control Theory By Beard, Rodney
  4. Biomass energy: new opportunity for agriculture and marginal areas? By M. Bruna Zolin
  5. Greenhouse gas emission mitigation through agriculture By Pushpam Kumar; Uwe A. Schneider
  6. Convergence in Bangladesh Agriculture By Rahmatullah Abul Bashar Md
  7. Banking Sector Reforms and Co-operative Credit Institutions in India By Shah, Deepak
  8. On-Site Costs and Benefits of Soil Conservation Among Hillside Farmers in El Salvador. By Boris Bravo; Horacio Cocchi
  9. EXPORT POTENTIAL OF INDIA IN LIVESTOCK SECTOR: STRATEGY, PROSPECTS AND POLICY ISSUES By Shah, Deepak
  10. EXPORT POTENTIAL OF INDIA IN LIVESTOCK SECTOR: STRATEGY, PROSPECTS AND POLICY ISSUES By Shah, Deepak
  11. National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme in India - A Review By Raghbendra Jha; Raghav Gaiha; Shylashri Shankar
  12. Institutional Credit through Cooperatives in Maharashtra: A Region-wise Analysis By Shah, Deepak
  13. Institutional Credit through Cooperatives in Maharashtra: A Region-wise Analysis By Shah, Deepak
  14. Contracting Food Safety Strategies in Hybrid Governance Structures By Gaetano Martino; Paolo Polinori
  15. Reporting Bias in Studies of the Food Stamp Program By Bruce Meyer; James Sullivan
  16. Optimal Resource Management in the Presence of a Deleterious Alien Species By Amitrajeet A. Batabyal; Peter Nijkamp

  1. By: Uwe A. Schneider (Research unit Sustainability and Global Change); Juraj Balkovic; Stephane de Cara; Oskar Franklin; Steffen Fritz; Petr Havlik; Ingo Huck; Kerstin Jantke; A. Maarit I. Kallio; Florian Klaxner; Alexander Moiseyev; Michael Obersteiner; Chrystalyn Ivie Ramos; Christine Schleupner; Erwin Schmid; Dagmar Schwab; Ratislav Skalsky
    Abstract: Land use is a key factor to social wellbeing and has become a major component in political negotiations. This paper describes the mathematical structure of the European Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model. The model represents simultaneously observed resource and technological heterogeneity, global commodity markets, and multiple environmental qualities. Land scarcity and land competition between traditional agriculture, forests, nature reserves, pastures, and bioenergy plantations is explicitly captured. Environmental change, technological progress, and policies can be investigated in parallel. The model is well-suited to estimate competitive economic potentials of land based mitigation, leakage, and synergies and trade-offs between multiple environmental objectives.
    Keywords: Land Use Change Optimization, Resource Scarcity, Market Competition, Welfare Maximization, Bottom-up Partial Equilibrium Analysis, Agricultural Externality Mitigation, Forest Dynamics, Global Change Adaptation, Environmental Policy Simulation, Integrated Assessment, Mathematical Programming, GAMS
    JEL: Q10
    Date: 2008–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:sgc:wpaper:156&r=agr
  2. By: Susan Randolph (University of Connecticut); Ibrahima Gaye (ENEA); Ibrahima Hathie (ENEA); Rafael Perez-Escamilla (University of Connecticut)
    Abstract: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights first formally recognized food security as a human right. This right was subsequently codified into international law in 1976 when the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, ICESCR, entered into the force of law. The ICESCR obligates states to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to food, but in the absence of reliable measures of food security, simply monitoring progress towards the realization of the right to food is problematic. Moreover, if duty bearers are to design effective policies and programs to fulfill the right to food, it is essential to have reliable information on who is food insecure. This paper assesses the validity of an adaptation of the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Insecurity Survey Instrument to the rural Senegalese context. The advantage of this instrument is that it is simple and inexpensive to administer, identifies the food security status of individual adults as well as children, and assesses the certainty, quality, and quantity aspects of food access. The USDA Food Insecurity Instrument has been successfully adapted to other developed countries and several developing countries as well. Adaptation to the Sub-Saharan context poses particular challenges given the complex household structure, the more limited reach of markets, the myriad of languages spoken within a limited geographic area, and the influence of seasonality on food access. Despite these challenges, this study demonstrates the validity of a reasonably straightforward adaptation of the USDA food insecurity instrument for rural Kaolack, Senegal, attesting to the promise of this approach for measuring food insecurity in developing countries in general and Sub-Saharan African countries in particular.
    JEL: D6 I1 I3 K33 O1 O55
    Date: 2007–10
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:uct:ecriwp:6&r=agr
  3. By: Beard, Rodney
    Abstract: Intellectual property rights for commercial crops have become in- creasingly controversial as plant breeders have sought to protect their investment through licensing and royalties, and farmers, in particular ecologically-oriented farmers, have promoted seed-saving as a conser- vation measure. Plant breeders have argued that seed saving reduces sales to breeders and that the imposition of royalties is necessary to maintain sales and to compensate them for the intellectual property invested in commercial varieties. These issues are explored here. In this paper, an optimal control model of seed purchase decisions in the presence of seed saving is developed. The model is used to analyze the impact of both point of sale royalties and end-point royalties on seed puchase decisions. The two approaches to levying royalties are then compared and policy conclusions drawn.
    Keywords: Agricultural economics; plant breeding; intellectual property; royalties
    JEL: Q16 C61 Q12
    Date: 2008–02–15
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:7178&r=agr
  4. By: M. Bruna Zolin (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: As it is well known, energy is essential for human activities. Despite the high level of technological progress, the increase of energy consumption, satisfied mainly by fossil fuels, raises a series of issues linked to the scarcity of oil reserves, and their growing cost, and to a delicate relationship (and dependence) with a restricted number of world regions and nations. A greater diversification of the energy supply is one of the solutions to solve these problems, especially in the field of renewable resources. Despite the fact that biofuels are still more expensive than fossil fuels, they present many advantages: they are not subject to a progressive exhaustion and their impact on the environment is very low, due to their inclusion in natural cycles. Among biofuels a relevant role is played by the biomass, a renewable resource, that is obtained from the fraction of products, waste and residues from agriculture, forestry and related industries, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste. This resource allows a relevant control of the greenhouse gas emission, a minor dependence from oil and gas resources and represents a way for the economic valorisation of local resources and a opportune utilisation of agricultural wastes. In this context, the aims of the paper are to highlight the opportunities and the bonds that the biomass utilisation involves, to analyse the main public policies adopted to boost a large-scale production and consumption, to measure the different degree of utilisation at national (Italy) and European levels and to draw future scenarios. Particular attention will be paid to the European policies starting from the 1992 reform process until nowadays, having in mind the shortage of cereals in the world market. Where possible and opportune, the situation of Italy and of the European union will be compared with that of India, mainly, as regards public decisions/programmes. The paper concludes with an analysis of the role that the biofuel production is expected to offer in terms of new opportunities to diversify income and employment in rural and marginal areas.
    Keywords: Biomass energy, rural and marginal areas, energy public policies
    JEL: O13 P28 Q18 Q41 Q42 Q48
    Date: 2008
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:ven:wpaper:2008_03&r=agr
  5. By: Pushpam Kumar; Uwe A. Schneider (Research unit Sustainability and Global Change)
    Keywords: agriculture, climate change
    JEL: Q54
    Date: 2008–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:sgc:wpaper:155&r=agr
  6. By: Rahmatullah Abul Bashar Md (American International University Bangladesh)
    Abstract: We address the issue of convergence in agricultural productivity among districts in Bangladesh. We employed cross-section convergence test, and convergence, and panel unit root convergence test. The coefficient of the initial productivity level is negative and significant in convergence test indicating convergence in agricultural productivity. The result of convergence test shows that there has been a decrease in the cross-districts dispersion of productivity in agriculture over the entire time period. The panel unit root test supports the conventional test, and therefore, we may conclude that dispersion of productivity is stationary providing strong evidence that the districts do exhibit long run convergence.
    Date: 2008–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:aiu:abewps:24&r=agr
  7. By: Shah, Deepak
    Abstract: The credit cooperatives in Maharashtra have shown slower growth in their membership and institutional financing. On the other hand, a faster growth has been observed in outstanding against loan advances. A lackadaisical approach of Primary Agriculture Cooperative Credit Societies (PACS) has been observed towards SC/ST members, particularly in terms of their coverage, pattern of loan advances to them and recovery pattern. The study has identified several issues that need to be taken cognizance of to revitalize the rural credit delivery system through the cooperatives. One of these is wide variations in total and crop loan advances across various districts and regions of Maharashtra. A decline in the loan advances with rise in GCA in the Konkan region is another issue, but the most important one among all is the mounting overdues and nonperforming assets (NPAs) of the cooperatives operating in both forward and backward regions of Maharashtra. The viability of two central level credit institutions, viz. Sangli District Central Cooperative Bank and Buldana District Central Cooperative Bank, has been estimated. In order to rejuvenate the rural credit delivery system through cooperatives, the major problems facing the system, viz. high transaction cost, poor repayment performance, mounting NPAs, distributional aspect of credit, low coverage of SC/ST members, etc. need to be tackled with more fiscal jurisprudence reserving exemplary punishment for willful defaults, particularly by the large farmers.
    Keywords: Banking Sector Reforms Cooperative Credit Institutions
    JEL: G00
    Date: 2008
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:7274&r=agr
  8. By: Boris Bravo (Office of International Affairs and Department Of Agriculture and Resource Economics, University of Connecticut Storrs,CT,USA.); Horacio Cocchi (Office of International Affairs, University of Connecticut, Storrs,CT,USA.)
    Abstract: This study analyses the relationships between farm income, adoption of conservation technologies and output diversification among PAES participants by comparing their performance at two points in time, 2002 and 2005, and against non-participants (control group) in 2005. An endogeneity test confirms that conservation adoption and diversification are endogenous. Therefore, the diversification and adoption equations are estimated first and the predicted values of both endogenous variables are used in a second step as additional explanatory variables in the farm income equation where the latter is estimated using the Tobit technique. The Tobit results are then used to generate the net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) of the soil conservation and agroforestry component of PAES between 1998 and 2005. Crop diversification and soil conservation practices exhibit a strong positive association with the length of farmers’ involvement with PAES and their participation in social organizations. Soil conservation practices and crop diversification, measured by an entropy index, significantly increase farm income, which highlights the strategic role of diversification in fighting rural poverty. The positive association between conservation practices and income contrasts with the effects of conservation structures, which is negative but non-significant. A substantial body of literature increasingly recognizes that structures are expensive to build and maintain whereas they add little to the land productivity in the short run. Such drawbacks may clearly affect the profitability of these conservation technologies.Then we compare cost and benefit figures over the life-span of PAES (1998-2005) to compute the IRR and NPV. Average income gains per family per year amount to $280, while the NPV is $13,674,100 at a 12% discount rate with an IRR of 48.45%. These indicators clearly reveal that the soil conservation and agroforestry component of PAES has been highly profitable, which is in line with similar evaluations of natural resource management programs in Central America and elsewhere. Finally, the estimates of NPV and IRR are robust, according to diverse scenarios generated using bootstrapping and sensitivity analysis.
    Date: 2007–11
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:idb:ovewps:0407&r=agr
  9. By: Shah, Deepak
    Abstract: Despite constraints like rearing of livestock under sub optimal conditions due to low economic status of livestock owners, India has now become the largest producer of milk in the world. The development of Indian dairy sector is an unprecedented success story as it is based on millions of small producers. Government of India is making concerted efforts to raise the per capita availability of milk through increase in productivity of milch animals. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, assistance is being provided to the State Governments for controlling animal diseases, scientific management and upgradation of genetic resources, increasing availability of nutritious feeds and fodder, etc. In the present milieu, when production of dairy products to match international standards has become necessary to compete in international market of milk and milk products, steps need to be initiated to improve quality of Indian milk products with a view to boost export trade of these products in free trade regime and earn valuable foreign exchange as well as provide clean and quality milk to domestic population for their better health.
    Keywords: Export Potential Livestock Sector India
    JEL: Q17
    Date: 2008
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:7276&r=agr
  10. By: Shah, Deepak
    Abstract: Despite constraints like rearing of livestock under sub optimal conditions due to low economic status of livestock owners, India has now become the largest producer of milk in the world. The development of Indian dairy sector is an unprecedented success story as it is based on millions of small producers. Government of India is making concerted efforts to raise the per capita availability of milk through increase in productivity of milch animals. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, assistance is being provided to the State Governments for controlling animal diseases, scientific management and upgradation of genetic resources, increasing availability of nutritious feeds and fodder, etc. In the present milieu, when production of dairy products to match international standards has become necessary to compete in international market of milk and milk products, steps need to be initiated to improve quality of Indian milk products with a view to boost export trade of these products in free trade regime and earn valuable foreign exchange as well as provide clean and quality milk to domestic population for their better health.
    Keywords: Marketing Livestock Products India
    JEL: F10
    Date: 2008
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:7147&r=agr
  11. By: Raghbendra Jha; Raghav Gaiha; Shylashri Shankar
    Abstract: This paper presents results on the participation of rural workers in the National Rural Employment Guarantee Program based on a pilot survey of three villages in Udaipur district, Rajasthan, India. Three villages (Dhundiya, Karanpur and Prithvisingh Ji Ka Khera) were covered. Total number of households interviewed in December, 2007, was 340. Here the focus is on participation in NREG of different socio-economic groups and the determinants of the participation of these groups. It is discovered that the mean participation was 59 days and that targeting was efficient with other labour, self employed in agriculture, SC and ST as well as those with smaller landholdings benefiting the most from the program. Thus the performance of the National Rural Employment Guarantee program has been far from dismal.
    Keywords: National Rural Employment Guarantee Program
    JEL: C25 C81 D69 I38
    Date: 2008
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pas:asarcc:2008-01&r=agr
  12. By: Shah, Deepak
    Abstract: In the era of financial sector reforms, sustainability, viability and operational efficiency of rural financial institutions (RFIs) are the major issues that need to be taken cognizance of in ensuring effective rural credit delivery system. However, the major problems plaguing the efficiency of rural credit delivery system are the mounting overdue and Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of RFIs. In the state of Maharashtra, the credit cooperatives have not only shown slower growth in their institutional finance coupled with much slower growth in their membership but also faster growth in outstanding loans as against their loan advances during the reform period. The reason for this dismal scenario can be associated with adverse environment created by the financial sector reforms, which have reduced the entire rural credit delivery through cooperatives to a moribund state. The financial sector reforms have accorded greater flexibility to cooperatives to invest in non-target avenues like shares and debentures of corporates, units of mutual funds, bonds of public sector undertakings, etc. This has affected credit flow from these major institutions operating in rural Maharashtra as most of their loans meant for farm finance are diverted to investments. The estimates of this study also show not only wide variation in total and crop loan advances of PACS but also their outstanding loans, overdue and per member borrowing across different regions of Maharashtra. The outstanding loan of PACS based on per hectare GCA is seen to have exceeded loan advances with a comfortable margin in all the regions of the state. Although increase in outstanding loan with rise in loan advances and GCA is another issue, the most important one among all is the mounting overdue and NPAs of cooperatives that sets a path where from there is no return and, which ultimately leads to inefficiency in cooperative credit delivery. In order to rejuvenate rural credit delivery system through cooperatives, the major problems facing the system, viz., high transaction cost, poor repayment performance, mounting NPAs, distributional aspect of credit, coverage of various social groups, etc., need to be tackled with more fiscal jurisprudence reserving exemplary punishment for willful defaults, particularly large farmers. In fact, insofar as the rural credit delivery system is concerned, the focus should be on strategies that are required for tackling issues such as sustainability and viability, operational efficiency, recovery performance, small farmer coverage and balanced sectoral development.
    Keywords: Cooperative Credit Region-wise Analysis
    JEL: G00
    Date: 2008
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:7275&r=agr
  13. By: Shah, Deepak
    Abstract: In the era of financial sector reforms, sustainability, viability and operational efficiency of rural financial institutions (RFIs) are the major issues that need to be taken cognizance of in ensuring effective rural credit delivery system. However, the major problems plaguing the efficiency of rural credit delivery system are the mounting overdue and Non Performing Assets (NPAs) of RFIs. In the state of Maharashtra, the credit cooperatives have not only shown slower growth in their institutional finance coupled with much slower growth in their membership but also faster growth in outstanding loans as against their loan advances during the reform period. The reason for this dismal scenario can be associated with adverse environment created by the financial sector reforms, which have reduced the entire rural credit delivery through cooperatives to a moribund state. The financial sector reforms have accorded greater flexibility to cooperatives to invest in non-target avenues like shares and debentures of corporates, units of mutual funds, bonds of public sector undertakings, etc. This has affected credit flow from these major institutions operating in rural Maharashtra as most of their loans meant for farm finance are diverted to investments. The estimates of this study also show not only wide variation in total and crop loan advances of PACS but also their outstanding loans, overdue and per member borrowing across different regions of Maharashtra. The outstanding loan of PACS based on per hectare GCA is seen to have exceeded loan advances with a comfortable margin in all the regions of the state. Although increase in outstanding loan with rise in loan advances and GCA is another issue, the most important one among all is the mounting overdue and NPAs of cooperatives that sets a path where from there is no return and, which ultimately leads to inefficiency in cooperative credit delivery. In order to rejuvenate rural credit delivery system through cooperatives, the major problems facing the system, viz., high transaction cost, poor repayment performance, mounting NPAs, distributional aspect of credit, coverage of various social groups, etc., need to be tackled with more fiscal jurisprudence reserving exemplary punishment for willful defaults, particularly large farmers. In fact, insofar as the rural credit delivery system is concerned, the focus should be on strategies that are required for tackling issues such as sustainability and viability, operational efficiency, recovery performance, small farmer coverage and balanced sectoral development.
    Keywords: Institutional Credit Cooperatives Region-wise Analysis
    JEL: G21
    Date: 2008–02
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pra:mprapa:7140&r=agr
  14. By: Gaetano Martino; Paolo Polinori
    Abstract: The study consider the relationship between food safety strategies and organizational choice. The poultry sector provides an insightful example to illustrate and to analyse this field. Furthermore, European Union regulation requires change in safety related technologies (i.e., the ban of Antibiotic Growth Promoters), positing several research questions: the focus here is on the possibilities of adoption of new productive techniques when the link between the growing stage and the processing stage is based on contractual relationship. The choice of governance structure is examined and the causal nexus between contract performance and food safety outcomes is stressed. An empirical analysis of growers’ preferences for contract attributes is proposed as a support for the negotiation and the realization of food safety strategies.
    Keywords: Hybrid form, food safety, contract choices, choice experiments
    JEL: D81 D23 C25 Q18
    Date: 2007–12–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:pia:wpaper:20071201&r=agr
  15. By: Bruce Meyer; James Sullivan
    Abstract: Benefit receipt in major household surveys is often underreported. This understatement has major implications for our understanding of the economic circumstances of disadvantaged populations and the distributional effects of government programs. This paper examines underreporting of food stamps by combining administrative microdata for the Food Stamp Program (FSP) and nationally representative survey data. We provide a new econometric method for estimating the determinants of reporting that uses two data sources with overlapping demographic characteristics rather than requiring matched individual data. This method compares the characteristics of those who report receipt in the survey to the characteristics of recipients in the administrative data to determine the influence of those characteristics on reporting. Our estimates using this two sample estimation procedure indicate that observable characteristics are related to underreporting. We then show how these results can be used to correct for underreporting bias in studies of FSP participation or the distributional effects of the FSP. Our results also have implications for studies that use FSP receipt as an explanatory variable.
    Keywords: food stamp, reporting bias, poverty
    Date: 2008–01
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:har:wpaper:0801&r=agr
  16. By: Amitrajeet A. Batabyal (Rochester Institute of Technology); Peter Nijkamp (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Various plants and resources such as orchards are vulnerable to the detrimental effects of successful invasions by alien animal or plant species. To outline an appropriate policy response, we first use renewal theory to construct a stochastic model of optimal orchard management in the presence of a deleterious alien species. Next, we derive the orchard manager’s long run expected cost (LREC) of orchard management per unit time. Finally, we show that when confronted with a successful biological invasion, the optimal number of trees that need to be removed and replanted in order to keep the orchard under study sustainable in the long run minimizes the LREC function mentioned above.
    Keywords: Alien Species; Long Run Expected Cost; Orchard Management; Uncertainty
    JEL: Q24 C44
    Date: 2007–11–06
    URL: http://d.repec.org/n?u=RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20070085&r=agr

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