New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2008‒08‒06
25 papers chosen by

  1. EU regulation concerning genetically modified products: an issue of food security or a measure of disguised protectionism? By Rui J. Lopes; Ana Santos; Jos‚ Caetano
  2. Sustaining linkages to high value markets through collective action in Uganda: The case of the Nyabyumba potato farmers By Kaganzi, Elly; Ferris, Shaun; Barham, James; Abenakyo, Annet; Sanginga, Pascal; Njuki, Jemimah
  3. On-site and off-Site long-term economic impacts of soil fertility management practices: The case of maize-based cropping systems in Kenya By Nkonya, Ephraim; Gicheru, Patrick; Woelcke, Johannes; Okoba, Barrack; Kilambya, Daniel; Gachimbi, Louis N.
  4. Water scarcity and the impact of improved irrigation management: A CGE analysis By Alvaro Calzadilla; Katrin Rehdanz; Richard S.J. Tol
  5. Community watershed management in semi-arid India: The state of collective action and its effects on natural resources and rural livelihoods By Shiferaw, Bekele; Kebede, Tewodros; Ratna Reddy, V.
  6. Exploring strategic priorities for regional agricultural R&D investments in East and Central Africa: By You, Liangzhi; Johnson, Michael
  7. Reforming the agricultural extension system in India: What do we know about what works where and why? By Raabe, Katharina
  8. The transformation of the Afar commons in Ethiopia: State coercion, diversification and property rights change among pastoralists By Hundie Bekele; Padmanabhan, Martina
  9. Understanding Persistent Food Insecurity: A Paradox of Place and Circumstance By Sheila Mammen; Jean W. Bauer; Leslie Richards
  10. Why did the First Farmers Toil? Human Metabolism and the Origins of Agriculture By Jacob Weisdorf
  11. Making market information services work better for the poor in Uganda: By Ferris, Shaun; Engoru, Patrick; Kaganzi, Elly
  12. Issues in Infrastructure for Export of Marine Products from India By Raghuram G.; Asopa V.N.
  13. Expanding the Focus of Cost-Benefit Analysis for Food Safety: A Multi-Factorial Risk Prioritization Approach By Julie A. Caswell
  14. Nutrient Trading in Lake Rotorua: Determining Net Nutrient Inputs By Suzi Kerr; Kit Rutherford
  15. The Benefits and Costs of Proliferation of Geographical Labelling for Developing Countries By Sven Anders; Julie A. Caswell
  16. Collective action initiatives to improve marketing performance: Lessons from farmer groups in Tanzania By Barham, James; Chitemi, Clarence
  17. Diversification and Livelihood Sustainability in a Semi-Arid Environment: A Case Study from Southern Ethiopia. By Wassie Berhanu; David Colman; Bichaka Fayissa
  18. Warfare and the Multiple Adoption of Agriculture After the Last Ice Age By SEABRIGHT, Paul
  19. Decentralization, pro-poor land policies, and democratic governance: By Meinzen-Dick, Ruth; Gregorio, Monica Di; Dohrn, Stephan
  20. Implications of bulk water transfer on local water management institutions: A case study of the Melamchi Water Supply Project in Nepal By Pant, Dhruba; Bhattarai, Madhusudan; Basnet, Govinda
  21. Unmaking the commons: Collective action, property rights and resource appropriation among (agro-) pastoralists in eastern Ethiopia By Beyene, Fekadu; Korf, Benedikt
  22. Economic implications of different cork oak forest management systems By António Cipriano Pinheiro; Nuno Almeida Ribeiro; Peter Surový; Alfredo Gonçalves
  23. Science-Policy Communication for Improved Water Resources Management: Contributions of the Nostrum-DSS Project By Carlo Giupponi; Yaella Depietri
  24. Fluctuating fortunes of a collective entreprise: The case of the Agroforestry Tree Seeds Association of Lantapan (ATSAL) in the Philippines By Catacutan, Delia; Bertomeu, Manuel; Arbes, Lyndon; Duque, Caroline; Butra, Novie
  25. How Well Does the Price of Unleaded Gasoline Predict the Price of Ethanol? By Swenson, David A.

  1. By: Rui J. Lopes; Ana Santos (Universidade de vora); Jos‚ Caetano (CEFAGE-UE, Centro de Estudos e Forma‡Æo Avan‡ada em GestÆo e Economia, Universidade de vora)
    Abstract: The biggest producers and exporters of agricultural products have been adopting the genetic engineering in order to improve the factors productivity and the firms profits In the last decade, the United States of America (US) and the European Union (EU) have established a high divergent regulation on production, distribution and consumption of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Apparently, the EUïs complex legislative framework related to GMOs was intend to satisfy the European consumers which are concerned about food safety and whish to make more informed choice about the food they eat. The aim of this paper is to understand the potential motivations behind the different policies on GM products adopted by US and EU.
    Keywords: Genetically Modified Organisms; Consumers preferences; Food security; Technical barriers to trade.
    JEL: F13 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Kaganzi, Elly; Ferris, Shaun; Barham, James; Abenakyo, Annet; Sanginga, Pascal; Njuki, Jemimah
    Abstract: "Uganda's rapid urbanization, particularly in the capital city Kampala, offers new market opportunities for organized farmers to supply higher value produce for emerging growth markets such as multinational supermarket chains and fast food restaurants. Higher urban incomes allow consumers to shift from small shops and street food stalls to more formalized markets and modern food restaurants. These more formal market outlets provide both food safety and greater choice of produce. Supplying these outlets offers both higher income and improved business relations for farmers, but accessing these markets also requires significant upgrading in terms of product quality, more secure supply chains, and more efficient marketing and business management. To meet these conditions, farmers need to become organized for a marketplace that requires increased levels of bonding social capital to meet upgrade conditions and strengthened bridging social capital through partnerships with service providers and market chain actors to engage with these higher value markets in a long-term manner. One farmers' association in a remote rural area in Southwestern Uganda has successfully sustained market links through sales of high quality Irish potatoes to a fast food outlet in Kampala. To meet the volumes, frequency of supply, and quality parameters demanded by their client, the farmers have had to learn a series of new skills and integrate multiple innovations at the technical, organizational, financial, and marketing levels, and meet many of the classical conditions associated with collective action based on empowerment through social and human capital development. This paper outlines how the use of collective action combined with strong leadership and an iterative market-led learning process have enabled a smallholder farmer's association to supply a perishable crop to a modern food outlet market with stringent quality parameters. Success in this market linkage was possible through effective support from both development and research providers and the strong entrepreneurial drive from the farmer association." authors' abstract
    Keywords: Marketing, Potato, High value markets, Fast food, Entrepreneurial, Social cohesion, Innovation, Quality, Competitiveness,
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Nkonya, Ephraim; Gicheru, Patrick; Woelcke, Johannes; Okoba, Barrack; Kilambya, Daniel; Gachimbi, Louis N.
    Abstract: "This article analyzes the on-site and off-site economic impacts of various sustainable land management (SLM) practices in Kenya. Long-term trial data are used to establish the relationship between SLM practices and maize yield. The analysis of on-site effects focuses on the profitability of maize production at the farm level, while the examined off-site effects include carbon sequestration and siltation from maize farms, which increase the cost of potable water production. The major contribution of this study is the use of long-term experimental data to estimate the impacts of land management practices on crop yield and consider their off-site benefits and costs. The results of this study show that soil and water conservation (SWC) structures reinforced with leguminous plants are more profitable when the plants are used as fodder, as opposed to situations in which only SWC structures are used. SWC structures reinforced with vegetation had lower maintenance costs, whereas those that were not reinforced with leguminous trees were not profitable over the long-term period. These results suggest that complementary and multipurpose SWC practices are more likely to be adopted compared to non-complementary and/or single-purpose practices. Thus, SWC practices should be promoted as a package of complementary technologies. If it is not feasible to promote a mix of complementary enterprises, high value crops are likely to make SLM practices more profitable. In areas where SLM practices are not profitable, promotion of alternative livelihoods is necessary. Adoption of SLM also provides global environmental services worth 10% of the net present value of the SLM practices over the 50-year period addressed in the present study Finally, the results of this analysis suggest that farmers who offer significant environmental services should be compensated for their efforts." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Agroforestry, Land degradation, Soil erosion, Sustainable land management, Land management, Economic impacts, maize,
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Alvaro Calzadilla; Katrin Rehdanz; Richard S.J. Tol
    Abstract: We use the new version of the GTAP-W model to analyze the economy-wide impacts of enhanced irrigation efficiency. The new production structure of the model, which introduces a differentiation between rainfed and irrigated crops, allows a better understanding of the use of water resources in agricultural sectors. The results indicate that a water policy directed to improvements in irrigation efficiency in water-stressed regions is not beneficial for all. For water-stressed regions the effects on welfare and demand for water are mostly positive. For non-water scarce regions the results are more mixed and mostly negative. Global water savings are achieved. Not only regions where irrigation efficiency changes are able to save water, but also other regions are pushed to conserve water
    Keywords: Computable General Equilibrium, Irrigation, Water Policy, Water Scarcity, Irrigation efficiency
    JEL: D58 Q17 Q25
    Date: 2008–07
  5. By: Shiferaw, Bekele; Kebede, Tewodros; Ratna Reddy, V.
    Abstract: "Spatial and temporal attributes of watersheds and the associated market failures that accelerate degradation of agricultural and environmental resources require innovative institutional arrangements for coordinating use and management of resources. Effective collective action (CA) allows smallholder farmers to jointly invest in management practices that provide collective benefits in terms of economic and sustainability gains. The Government of India takes integrated watershed management (IWM) as a key strategy for improving productivity and livelihoods in the rain-fed and drought-prone regions. This study investigates the institutional and policy issues that limit effective participation of people in community watershed programs and identifies key determinants for the degree of CA and its effectiveness in achieving economic and environmental outcomes. We use empirical data from a survey of 87 watershed communities in semi-arid Indian villages to identify a set of indicators of CA and its performance in attaining desired outcomes. Factor analysis is used to develop aggregate indices of CA and its effectiveness. Regression methods are then employed to test the effects of certain policy relevant variables and to determine the potential effects of CA in achieving desired poverty reduction and resource improvement outcomes. We find a positive and highly significant effect of CA on natural resource investments, but no evidence of its effects on household assets and poverty reduction outcomes. This may be attributable to longer gestation periods for realizing indirect effects from collective natural resource investments and the lack of institutional mechanisms to ensure equitable distribution of such gains across the community, including the landless and marginal farmers." authors' abstract
    Keywords: Collective action, Institutions, Property rights, Watershed management, Poverty, Environmental impacts,
    Date: 2008
  6. By: You, Liangzhi; Johnson, Michael
    Abstract: "Agriculture plays a dominant role in nearly all the countries of East and Central Africa, and many face similar agroecological, climatic, and development challenges. As a result, significant scale economies can be made through the regionalization of research and development (R&D) using networks such as the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa. The challenge for such networks, however, is to determine both regional and national research priorities with the highest potential rates of economic return. Methodology to assess regional research priorities is a critical input into this process, particularly when it comes to weighing likely complementarities among individual research programs, thus maximizing impact across countries at the regional level. This paper presents such an approach using spatial analysis and the Dynamic Research Evaluation for Management (Dream) modeling software, which was developed by the International Food Policy Research Institute to assess potential economic returns to agricultural R&D and guide resource allocation decisions. Dream is applied to the East and Central African region to estimate potential economic and technological spillovers from country- and regional-level R&D investments for select commodities based on future projections of supply and demand, trade flows between countries and world markets, and shared agroecologies and farming systems. The results of the study indicate significant potential for agricultural technology spillovers within the region. Countries will therefore reap greater economic benefits in their search for technology solutions if they pool their resources and pursue regional initiatives for the common good." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: DREAM, Technology spillovers, Priority setting, Economic surplus, Agricultural research,
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Raabe, Katharina
    Abstract: "In order to realize agricultural potential and to increase agricultural yields, India's extension system has experienced major conceptual, structural, and institutional changes since the late 1990s. This paper reviews existing reform programs and strategies currently existing in agricultural extension in India. It distinguishes strategies that have been employed to strengthen both the supply and demand sides of service provision in the area of agricultural extension, and it reviews the effects of the demand- and supply-side strategies on the access to and the quality of agricultural extension services. The ultimate objectives are (1) to gain a view on what works where and why in improving the effectiveness of agricultural extension in a decentralized environment; (2) to identify measures that strengthen and improve agricultural extension service provision; and (3) to reveal existing knowledge gaps. Although the range of extension reform approaches is wide, this paper shows that an answer to the question of what works where and why is complicated by the absence of sound and comprehensive qualitative and quantitative impact and evaluation assessment studies. Even evidence from the National Agricultural Technology Project and the Diversified Agricultural Support Project of the World Bank, the women empowerment programs of the Danish International Development Agency, the Andhra Pradesh Tribal Development Project, and the e-Choupal program of the Indian Tobacco Company is subject to methodological and identification problems. Conclusions regarding the importance (1) of implementing both decentralized, participatory, adaptive, and pluralistic demand- and supply-side extension approaches; (2) of involving the public, private, and third (civil society) sectors in extension service provision and funding; and (3) of strengthening the capacity of and the collaboration between farmers, researchers, and extension workers are necessarily tentative and require further quantification. The paper seeks to inform policymakers and providers of extension services from all sectors about the need to make performance assessments and impact evaluations inherent components of any extension program so as to increase the effectiveness of extension service reforms." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Demand-driven and supply-driven agricultural extension services' extension service reforms, Agricultural extension services, Reforms, Demand driven, Supply driven, Governance,
    Date: 2008
  8. By: Hundie Bekele; Padmanabhan, Martina
    Abstract: "The major economic activity for pastoralists is animal husbandry. The harsh environment in which herders raise their livestock requires constant mobility to regulate resource utilisation via a common property regime. In contrast to the mobile way of life characterizing pastoralism, agriculture as a sedentary activity is only marginally present in the lowlands of the Afar regional state in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, this study reveals a situation where the traditional land-use arrangements in Afar are being transformed due to the introduction of farming. In the past, the Imperial and the Socialist governments introduced large-scale agriculture in a coercive manner, thereby instigating massive resistance from the pastoralists. Currently, the recurrence of drought in the study areas has facilitated the subdivision of the communal land on a voluntary basis for the purpose of farming. Qualitative and quantitative analysis highlight the drivers, both coercive and non-coercive, of the transformation of traditional property rights of Afar pastoralists." authors' abstract
    Keywords: Pastoralism, livestock, Property rights, Rangeland management, Communal land, Environmental management,
    Date: 2008
  9. By: Sheila Mammen (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst); Jean W. Bauer (Department of Family Social Sciences, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN); Leslie Richards (Department of Human Development & Family Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR)
    Abstract: Survey data from a USDA-funded multi-state longitudinal project revealed a paradox where rural low-income families from states considered prosperous were persistently more food insecure than similar families from less prosperous states. An examination of quantitative and qualitative data found that families in the food insecure states were more likely to experience greater material hardship and incur greater housing costs than families in the food secure states. Families in the food insecure states, however, did not have lower per capita median incomes or lower life satisfaction than those in the food secure states. A wide range of strategies to cope with food insecurity reported by families in both food insecure and food secure states was examined using the Family Ecological Systems Theory. Families in the food insecure states used several risky consumption reduction strategies such as curbing their appetite and using triage. Families in the food secure states, on the other hand, employed positive techniques involving their human capital.
    Keywords: persistent food insecurity, rural low-income families, food coping strategies, Family Ecological systems, material hardship
    JEL: I32
    Date: 2008–07
  10. By: Jacob Weisdorf (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: Time-budget studies done among contemporary primitive people suggest that the first farmers worked harder to attain subsistence than their foraging predecessors. This makes the adoption of agriculture in the Stone Age one of the major curiosities in human cultural history. Theories offered by economists and economic historians largely fail to capture work-intensification among early farmers. Attributing a key role to human metabolism, this study provides a simple framework for analysing the adoption of agriculture. It demonstrates how the additional output that farming offered could have lured people into agriculture, but that subsequent population increase would eventually have swallowed up its benefits, forcing early farmers into an irreversible trap, where they had to do more work to attain subsistence compared to their foraging ancestors. The framework draws attention to the fact that, if agriculture arose out of need, as some scholars have suggested, then this was because pre-historic foragers turned down agriculture in the first place. Estimates of population growth before and after farming, however, in light of the present framework seem to suggest that hunters were pulled rather than pushed into agriculture.
    Keywords: agriculture; hunting-gathering; Malthus; metabolism; Neolithic revolution
    JEL: J22 Q56 O10
    Date: 2008–07
  11. By: Ferris, Shaun; Engoru, Patrick; Kaganzi, Elly
    Abstract: "There is growing pressure for farmers in countries such as Uganda to accelerate their efforts to commercialize production in the face of increasing market competition from neighboring countries and across the world. To assist farmers, a new generation of low cost market information services is being developed that takes advantage of information and communication technologies such as FM radios, mobile phones, and internet-based communications systems, to enable farmers to monitor and adjust to dynamic market conditions in local, national, and export markets. Although there is much interest in market information from farmers, other market chain actors, and service providers, there is skepticism from funding agencies to support such services over the long term, due to past failures. This study therefore aims to evaluate how farmers access and use market information to improve their market decision making. It also evaluates whether there are any advantages of collective action in using market information to improve marketing decisions. This is considered an important point of analysis as virtually all extension plans in Uganda currently use farmer groups as key element of their learning and intervention strategies. Survey results found that all farmers interviewed were able to access market information through radio and mobile phones. In Uganda, up to 94 percent of farmers interviewed owned a radio and 25 percent of farmers owned mobile phones. Up to 52 percent of farmers indicated that receiving Market Information Services (MIS) had a positive impact on their business, and 39 percent stated that it had a lot of impact in terms of decision making and stabilizing incomes." authors' abstract
    Keywords: Market Information Services, Group Marketing, Collective action, FM Radio, Mobile Phone, SMS, income,
    Date: 2008
  12. By: Raghuram G.; Asopa V.N.
    Abstract: Indian marine products are wanted internationally. There is potential for a higher market share in importing countries. Shrimp contributed 62% by value and 28% by volume of exports in 2002-03. The potential market for marine exports is in value added products (cooked, ready to eat and ready for table), freeze dried shrimps (wherever reduced transportation cost can bring in competitive advantage), surimi and canned fish. While infrastructural requirements are essential in the entire supply chain, the quality of infrastructure in the pre-processing stage is significantly lower than the processing and post-processing stages. This paper focuses on the scope of improving both quantum and quality of product including the primary product shrimp in the pre-processing stage from farming/harvesting to the processing unit through a whole range of regulatory and infrastructure measures. These include 1. Improving the quality of trawlers and smaller mechanized boats, to enable deep sea fishing 2. Regulating the capture during the spawning period 3. Achieving global standards at fishing harbors, landing centres and auction centres 4. Promoting aquaculture, but in properly zoned areas with a focus on managing an integrated set of activities 5. Licensing of ice factories, monitoring the quality of water they use, and if required, ensuring supply of quality water 6. Facilitating cold chains in both storage and transportation
    Date: 2008–07–15
  13. By: Julie A. Caswell (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: A pressing need in the area of food safety is a tool for making overall, macro judgments about which risks should be given priority for management. Governments often seek to base this prioritization on public health impacts only to find that other considerations also influence the prioritization process. A multi-factorial approach formally recognizes that public health, market-level impacts, consumer risk preferences and acceptance, and the social sensitivity of particular risks all play a role in prioritization. It also provides decision makers with a variety of information outputs that allow risk prioritization to be considered along different dimensions. Macro-level prioritization of risks based on multiple factors is an important expanded use of cost-benefit analysis to manage risk.
    Keywords: cost-benefit analysis, food safety, risk prioritization
    JEL: I18 L51 Q18 K32 H11
    Date: 2008–07
  14. By: Suzi Kerr (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research); Kit Rutherford (National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research)
    Abstract: Lake Rotorua is experiencing increasing nutrient-related water quality problems. This paper is one in a series that explores the idea of creating a nutrient trading system as part of the ongoing policy response to this problem.1 Most of the current nutrient flows to the Lake come from non-point rural sources - measuring these emissions is challenging. We find that it is possible to monitor/model nutrient loss from a wide range of activities in the Rotorua catchment. The model OVERSEER combined with ROTAN and some other models for forestry, urban and geothermal activities and horticulture already exist. They are currently in a process of enhancement - a particular area of current weakness is knowledge of the groundwater lags from specific locations in the catchment. The land-based models need to be used in a specific form that relies on initialisation with verifiable data and uses easily collated and verified data on an annual basis. The form of the model should be fixed for each regulatory year to minimise uncertainty for landowners and regulators. The models need to be updated to reflect new science. The process for doing this needs to be strategic and credible (this will be discussed in a later paper on governance processes). Once changes are recommended they need to be implemented in a way that is perceived to be fair.
    Keywords: Water quality; monitor, verify, report, model, emissions trading
    JEL: Q53 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2008–04
  15. By: Sven Anders (Department of Rural Economy, University of Alberta, Alberta, Canada); Julie A. Caswell (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: Food product attributes related to geographical origins are a topical issue in global food trade. The provision of geographical labelling may occur through geographical indications under the mandated trade rules of the TRIPS Agreement, trademarks, or country-of-origin labelling. The overall effect of the expansion of geographical labelling on developing countries depends on a complex mix of market opportunities that may yield substantial benefits as well as implementation costs. Increasingly, the analysis of this overall effect will need to evaluate the joint impacts of different forms of geographical labelling on the market position of developing countries.
    Keywords: developing countries, geographical labelling, international trade, TRIPS
    JEL: F13 Q13 O19
    Date: 2008–07
  16. By: Barham, James; Chitemi, Clarence
    Abstract: "The primary inquiry of this study is to identify and understand the underlying factors that enable smallholder farmer groups to improve their market situation. The specific objective of this paper is to examine to what extent certain group characteristics and asset endowments facilitate collective action initiatives to improve group marketing performance. This objective is approached through an evaluation of a government-led program in Tanzania, which is attempting to increase smallholder farmers' incomes and food security through a market-oriented intervention. Findings suggest that more mature groups with strong internal institutions, functioning group activities, and a good asset base of natural capital are more likely to improve their market situation. Gender composition of groups also factors in group marketing performance. It acts as an enabling factor for male-dominated groups and as a disabling factor for female-only groups. Structural social capital in the form of membership in other groups and ties to external service providers, and cognitive social capital in the form of intragroup trust and altruistic behavior are not significant factors in a group's ability to improve its market situation." authors' abstract
    Keywords: Collective action, Agricultural marketing, Farmer groups, Social capital, Planned change initiatives, Gender, Marketing,
    Date: 2008
  17. By: Wassie Berhanu; David Colman; Bichaka Fayissa
    Abstract: This paper examines the recently growing adoption of non-pastoral livelihood strategies among the Borana pastoralists in southern Ethiopia. A large portion of the current non-pastoral participation is in petty and natural resource-based activities. Pastoral and crop production functions are estimated using the Cobb-Douglas model to analyse the economic rationale behind the growing pastoralist shift to cultivation and other non-pastoral activities. The low marginal return to labour in traditional pastoralism suggests the existence of surplus labour that can gainfully be transferred to non-pastoral activities. An examination of the pastoralist activity choices reveals that the younger households with literacy and more exposure to the exchange system display a more diversified income portfolio preference. The findings underscore the importance of human capital investment and related support services for improving the pastoralist capacity to manage risk through welfare-enhancing diversified income portfolio adoption.
    Keywords: Pastoralism, Dryland Farming, Diversification, Production Functions, Ethiopia.
    JEL: D00 I3 J2 O12
    Date: 2008–07
  18. By: SEABRIGHT, Paul
    Date: 2008–04
  19. By: Meinzen-Dick, Ruth; Gregorio, Monica Di; Dohrn, Stephan
    Abstract: "Decentralized approaches to development are gaining increasing prominence. Land tenure reform policy has been affected by many different types of decentralization. However, the literature on land tenure reform rarely explicitly addressed the implications of decentralization, and vice versa. This paper provides a review of how the issues of decentralization are linked to land tenure reform, in theory and practice. Both decentralization and land tenure reform each encompass a number of different, but related concepts and approaches. We begin with clarifying some key terms related to these different approaches, then look in more detail at contending perspectives on decentralization, and how these relate to the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) pillars of democratic governance. We then review the different types of land tenure reform in terms of the role of centralized and decentralized institutions, illustrating the strengths and weaknesses, gaps and challenges with experience from a range of developing countries. The final section turns to conclusions and policy recommendations, considering how decentralized approaches to land tenure reform can contribute to goals such as gender equity, social cohesion, human rights, and the identity of indigenous peoples." authors' abstract
    Keywords: Decentralization, Land, Tenure reform, Democratic governance, Rights, Registration, Redistribution, Restitution, Recognition, Devolution,
    Date: 2008
  20. By: Pant, Dhruba; Bhattarai, Madhusudan; Basnet, Govinda
    Abstract: "To mitigate a drinking water crisis in Kathmandu valley, the Government of Nepal initiated the Melamchi Water Supply Project in 1997, which will divert water from the Melamchi River to Kathmandu city's water supply network. In the first phase, the Project will divert 170,000 cubic meters of water per day (at the rate of 1.97M3/sec), which will be tripled using the same infrastructure as city water demand increases in the future. The large scale transfer of water would have farreaching implications in both water supplying and receiving basins. This paper analyzes some of the major changes related to local water management and socioeconomics brought about by the Project and in particular the changes in the local water management institutions in the Melamchi basin. Our study shows that traditional informal water management institutions were effective in regulating present water use practices in the water supplying basin, but the situation will vastly change because of the scale of water transfer, and power inequity between the organized public sector on one side and dispersed and unorganized marginal water users on the other. The small scale of water usage and multiple informal arrangements at the local level have made it difficult for the local users and institutions to collectively bargain and negotiate with the central water transfer authority for a fair share of project benefits and compensation for the losses imposed on them. The process and scale of project compensation for economic losses and equity over resource use are at the heart of the concerns and debates about the Melamchi water transfer decision. The Project has planned for a one-time compensation package of about US$18 million for development infrastructure related investments and is planning to share about one percent of revenue generated from water use in the city with the supplying basin. The main issues here are what forms of water sharing governance, compensation packages, and water rights structures would emerge in relation to the project implementation and whether they are socially acceptable ensuring equitable distribution of the project benefits to all basin communities. In addition, these issues of the Melamchi project discussed in this paper are equally pertinent to other places where rural to urban water transfer projects are under discussion." authors' abstract
    Keywords: Institutional Impacts, Water transfer, Melamchi Water Supply Project, Urban water supply, Water rights, Local water management institutions, Kathmandu, Environmental management, Devolution,
    Date: 2008
  21. By: Beyene, Fekadu; Korf, Benedikt
    Abstract: "In Ethiopian development policies, pastoralist areas have recently attracted more attention. However, much debate and policy advice is still based on assumptions that see a sedentary lifestyle as the desirable development outcome for pastoralist communities. This paper investigates current practices of collective action and how these are affected by changing property rights in the pastoralist and agro-pastoralist economies of three selected sites in eastern Ethiopia. We describe forms of collective action in water and pasture resource management and analyze how changing property rights regimes affect incentives for collective action. We illustrate the distributional effects these practices are having on (agro-) pastoralist communities and how these practices are being influenced by the broader political and economic dynamisms of the area." authors' abstract
    Keywords: Pastoralism, Collective action, Property rights, Conflict, Water management, Rangelands management, Environmental management,
    Date: 2008
  22. By: António Cipriano Pinheiro (Department of Fitotecnic, University of Évora); Nuno Almeida Ribeiro (Department of Fitotecnic, University of Évora); Peter Surový (Department of Fitotecnic,University of Évora); Alfredo Gonçalves (Department of Engineering, University of Évora)
    Abstract: The agro-silvopastoral system “montado” dominates the landscape of the south-western Iberian Peninsula, occupies approximately 3.1 million hectares of woodland in Spain and 1.2 million hectares in Portugal. The forest system “montado” is mostly dominated by Mediterranean evergreen oaks such as cork oak (Quercus suber L.) and holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia). The “montado” production system management aims the maintenance of a balanced sustainable land use to cope with the Mediterranean climate variability. One important issue in cork oak forests is the control shrub growth in order to prevent forest fire hazard, which is of high risk in Mediterranean climate. The two most common ways of controlling the shrub component is by mechanical destruction with soil disking (that implicates soil mobilization) or by shrub cutting (that is done with minimum impact on soil). The two referred techniques have different costs and different impacts on cork production and other goods and services (multifunctionality) of cork oak forests. In this paper, the two shrub control systems are compared and the results show that, although soil disking is more profitable than shrub cutting, the results are reversed, if one considers the carbon sequestration. This means that besides the great economic sustainability of cork oak dependence on the price of cork, the profitability of different shrub control methods depend also on the way society valuates other goods and services provided by cork oak forest
    Keywords: Cork oak; sustainability; woodlands; NPV
    JEL: Q23 Q57
    Date: 2008
  23. By: Carlo Giupponi (Universita' Ca’Foscari di Venezia); Yaella Depietri (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)
    Abstract: The Nostrum-DSS EU funded Co-ordination Action (CA) aims at contributing to the achievement of improved governance and planning in the field of sustainable water management within the Mediterranean Basin by establishing a network between the science, policy, and civil society spheres and through the development and dissemination of Best Practices Guidelines (BPGs) for the design and implementation of DSSs for IWRM in the Mediterranean Area. Decision Support Systems (DSS) have a great theoretical potential as tools for the identification of optimal water resource management regimes in the Mediterranean basin, thus helping policy makers (PMs) to bring the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) into practice. However, such tools are only episodically exploited outside the academia. This article presents the outcomes of project activities targeting the development of more effective communication strategies, in order to facilitate the development of research products with greater potential for been up taken by the expected end-users, i.e. the community of policy makers, and their staffs, advisors, consultants, etc., in the Mediterranean Region.
    Keywords: Science-Policy Interface, Policy Making, Water Resources Management, Mediterranean Region
    JEL: Q2 H7 O2 R5
    Date: 2008–02
  24. By: Catacutan, Delia; Bertomeu, Manuel; Arbes, Lyndon; Duque, Caroline; Butra, Novie
    Abstract: "The Agroforestry Tree Seeds Association of Lantapan (ATSAL) in Bukidnon province, southern Philippines was organized in 1998, facilitated by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). Farmers were trained on germplasm collection, processing and marketing of agroforestry tree seeds and seedlings. ATSAL has been marketing various tree seeds and seedlings with apparent success, and has provided training on seed collection and nursery management to farmers, government technicians, and workers from non-government organizations (NGOs). This paper reports on the initial results of an on-going study to assess the effectiveness of ATSAL's marketing strategy, including group dynamics, and the issues and challenges the group faces. It was found that during the first two years, ATSAL's market share of greatly demanded timber tree species increased significantly, thus helping to disseminate widely these important species among farmers. ICRAF's technical back-up was an advantage, increasing the Association's market credibility. Subsequently, ATSAL extended its market to the central Philippines, but failed to meet the demand for seeds due to organizational limitations. Market competition exists, where a nonmember was able to take a larger market share than was the group. Nonetheless, ATSAL has established its name as a viable community-based seed and seedling producer, maintaining a stronghold in local and regional markets. Collective action is important for smallholders to break in, and gain market access, but is unlikely to sustain without effective leadership and some facilitation (in some cases even ongoing), thus requiring expenditures on repairs and maintenance through continuous technical and leadership training for the collective, and technical back-up and facilitation by an intermediary. Finally, facilitating smallholder collective action is essentially an arduous task, requiring the supporting agency to hold a firm grasp of market realities, to invest in the maintenance of collective action, to provide continuous technical back-up, and to ascertain the conditions that make collective action succeed." authors' abstract
    Keywords: Collective action, Niche marketing, Agroforestry seeds, Community-based entreprise,
    Date: 2008
  25. By: Swenson, David A.
    Abstract: This paper looks at the historical relationship of unleaded gasoline prices relative to ethanol prices. It uses several basic measures to determine the usefulness of wholesale unleaded gasoline price as a determinant of ethanol price, and it looks at the stability of that simple model over this decade.
    JEL: Q4
    Date: 2008–07–31

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.