New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2008‒08‒14
seventeen papers chosen by

  1. Promising approaches to address the needs of poor female farmers: By Quisumbing, Agnes; Pandolfelli, Lauren
  2. Structural changes in the Philippine pig industry and their environmental implications: By Catelo, Ma. Angeles O.; Narrod, Clare A.; Tiongco, Marites
  3. Contract farming of swine in Southeast Asia as a response to changing market demand for quality and safety in pork: By Tiongco, Marites; Catelo, Maria Angeles; Lapar, Ma. Lucila
  4. Ethanol Expansion in the Food versus Fuel Debate: How Will Developing Countries Fare? By Elobeid, Amani; Hart, Chad E.
  5. Modernising Canada’s Agricultural Policies By Peter Jarrett; Shuji Kobayakawa
  6. Agriculture for development in Ghana: New opportunities and challenges By Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen; Thurlow, James; Al-Hassan, Ramatu M.
  7. Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation and Emission Intensities in Agriculture By Uwe A. Schneider; Pete Smith
  8. Farm Development and Rural Poverty Comparison among Villages in Kulon Progo Regency of Yogyakarta Special Province of Indonesia By Nasution, Zamal
  9. Determinants and implications of the growing scale of livestock farms in four fast-growing developing countries: By Delgado, Christopher L.; Narrod, Clare A.; Tiongco, Marites M.; Barros, Geraldo Sant'Ana de Camargo; Catelo, Maria Angeles; Costales, Achilles; Mehta, Rajesh; Naranong, Viroj; Poapongsakorn, Nipon; Sharma, Vijay Paul; de Zen, Sergio
  10. Access to irrigation and the escape from poverty: Evidence from Northern Mali By Dillon, Andrew
  11. Agricultural R&D capacity and investments in the Asia–Pacific region: By Beintema, Nienke M.; Stads, Gert-Jan
  12. Food Crises and Food Markets: Implications for Emergency Response in Southern Africa. By David Tschirley; T.S. Jayne
  13. Egypt's Household Expenditure Pattern: Does It Alleviate a Food Crisis? By Jacinto F. Fabiosa; Ibrahim Soliman
  14. Understanding the investment and abandonment behavior of poor households: An empirical investigation By Vargas-Hill, Ruth
  15. Evaluating alternative policy responses to higher world food prices: The case of increasing rice prices in Madagascar By Coady,David; Dorosh,Paul; Minten,Bart
  16. Border Barriers in Agricultural Trade and the Impact of their Elimination: Evidence from East Asia By Hayakawa, Kazunobu; Chang, Kuo-I
  17. Ensuring Rural Infrastructure in India: Role of Rural Infrastructure Development fund By Rajeev, Meenakshi

  1. By: Quisumbing, Agnes; Pandolfelli, Lauren
    Abstract: "Gender norms are an important constraint to increasing agricultural productivity. Inequality in the distribution of resources between men and women is linked with production inefficiency, yet interventions targeting smallholder farmers often fail to redress women's lack of access to, and control of, important agricultural resources. Women are often constrained in access to and control of land, water, and other natural resources; complementary inputs, such as seeds and fertilizer; new varieties and technologies; agricultural extension; labor; credit; markets; and social capital. Oftentimes, interventions will be designed to relieve one constraint, not realizing that gender norms—or constraints in other resources—are more binding and may affect the outcome of the intervention. Without specific attention to gender issues, programs and projects are likely to reinforce inequalities between women and men and may even increase resource imbalances. While individual projects cannot hope to redress these inequalities in the short term, at a minimum, interventions should do no harm, and ideally they should catalyze a change process for ending gender discrimination and securing women's access to key resources. This brief focuses on key agricultural resources needed by poor female farmers to generate incomes and ensure their families' food security. It is organized around key resources and promising approaches to increase poor women's control of those resources. One resource that is not included in this review is human capital. It must be emphasized that investing in women's education, health, and nutrition is an integral part of enabling women to guarantee their families'—and their own—well-being. These approaches were identified in the course of a review of projects and interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. However, while many of these interventions are innovative, most of them have not been rigorously evaluated. Where evaluations have been done, little attention has been paid to the differential impacts on men and women, or to which delivery mechanisms may be more effective in reaching different groups of women and men. Many of the approaches were also pilot projects, and without evaluations it is difficult to recommend which of them should be scaled up. Nevertheless, this brief suggests many promising strategies for channeling resources into the hands of female farmers to boost their agricultural productivity.." from Text
    Keywords: Women, Farmers, Gender, food security, Land policy, Water resources, Agricultural inputs, extension activities,
    Date: 2008
  2. By: Catelo, Ma. Angeles O.; Narrod, Clare A.; Tiongco, Marites
    Abstract: "Pig production in the Philippines has intensified in the urban and peri-urban areas in response to a radical structural change in the pig industry and a growing demand for pork products. Alongside this rapid growth is the emergence of societal concern about the increasing negative environmental externalities that the industry produces, particularly those related to the disposal of waste and dead animals. Pig producers are said to benefit from negative externalities when they do not bear the full social costs of their business enterprise. Non-internalization of such externalities occurs when pig producers receive payment for their output while not investing in pollution abatement or not making compensatory payments to surrounding communities affected by their production processes. In some cases, producers are able to recycle all nutrients from swine production on-farm through various cropping mechanisms. In other cases, pig production is so large that there is no land to properly dispose of such by-products without some environmental mitigation effort. Failure to implement any sort of measure will most likely lead to an environmental externality. To determine whether a farmer has the ability to utilize all manure produced on-farm, we use a mass balance calculation approach in this paper. Results for the mass balance calculations suggest that, in general, smaller farms generate less excess nutrients per hectare than larger farms. This is because most small-scale pig farms are mixed systems where some croplands are available for nutrient assimilation. Large commercial farms tend to be “pure land-intensive” systems. We used a Tobit regression analysis to determine the factors affecting environmental mitigation expenditures of pig farms. Results of the regression showed that smaller farms tend to respond to opportunities to make use of manure as fertilizer on their own farms and crops. For large farms, no single factor significantly influenced mitigation costs. An interpretation of why this is so or what this result implies apparently cannot be achieved without ambiguity. Thus, we do not attempt to do so and we leave the matter for further investigation. With respect to the effects of production arrangement on environmental capture, the factors that significantly influenced mitigation costs varied between independent and contract farms. Only the operation of croplands mattered for independent producers. For contract farms, lands that are classified as agricultural carried the expected positive coefficient sign. Further, farmers in the industrial pig sector, which is concentrated in peri-urban areas favored by market access or feed availability, may consider being located as close as possible to cropland that they can use to dispose of the wastes in pig production. Policy options include zoning, mandatory nutrient management plans, licensing or limiting the number of animals raised per production unit, and contractual agreements between livestock producers and crop farmers. The effectiveness of such regulations will depend largely on the degree to which they are enforced and whether they are accompanied by a well-developed system of education and extension with focus on proper manure management systems and dead animal disposal." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Environmental mitigation, Mass balance, Structural changes, Pig production, Water quality,
    Date: 2008
  3. By: Tiongco, Marites; Catelo, Maria Angeles; Lapar, Ma. Lucila
    Abstract: "Contract farming is conventionally thought of as a form of industrial organization that helps to overcome high monitoring, supervision, and environmental mitigation costs incurred from ensuring a reliable and uniform-quality supply (from the standpoint of integrators) and high capital and small-scale input and service purchase costs (from the standpoint of individual farmers). But contract farming is also a private sector vertical coordination response to the changing demand for certifying the use of quality inputs to produce quality outputs and of safe production procedures. This paper draws on lessons learned from experiences in the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam to illustrate how contract farming accomplishes that goal." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Contract farming, Changing demand, Pork quality, Food safety, Water quality,
    Date: 2008
  4. By: Elobeid, Amani; Hart, Chad E.
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of ethanol expansion in the United States, brought about by higher crude oil prices, on agricultural commodity prices. Given the United States's stature as a major producer and exporter of many agricultural commodities, the resulting increase in commodity prices has spillover effects into the global market. Using the price changes estimated within a multi-commodity, multi-country agricultural modeling system, this paper attempts to show how an increase in world commodity prices would affect the costs of food baskets around the world and how higher food costs will impact food security, particularly in developing countries. In general, we find that countries where corn is the major food grain experience larger increases in food basket cost while countries where rice is the major food grain have smaller food basket cost increases. Countries where wheat and/or sorghum are the major food grains fall in between. Consequently, the highest percentage increases are seen in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America where food basket costs are estimated to increase by at least 10%. The lowest percentage increases are seen in Southeast Asia, with cost increases of less than 2.5%.
    Keywords: ethanol, prices, commodity, food
    JEL: Q0 Q4
    Date: 2008–08–06
  5. By: Peter Jarrett; Shuji Kobayakawa
    Abstract: The agricultural sector in Canada is relatively large, compared to those in most other G7 countries. In recent years, the federal and provincial governments have undertaken a number of sectoral reforms to meet the competitiveness and environmental challenges that it faces. The federal government has tried to end a marketing monopoly in the barley market and may do so for wheat as well. The next generation of agriculture and agri-food policy is being finalised, and implementation of the first part of a new framework, Growing Forward, has begun. But a steady stream of ad hoc programmes in recent years has had significant budgetary costs and no doubt created moral hazard among farmers. There is scope for further liberalisation in supply-managed sectors, which are heavily protected and subsidised by consumers. Moreover, Canada’s bio-energy production, in particular the production of second-generation bio-ethanol (from cellulose), is under pressure in light of less costly bio-energy production overseas. Against this background, governments are striving to ensure the long-term viability of the sector. This Working Paper relates to the 2008 OECD Economic Survey of Canada ( <P>Moderniser la politique agricole du Canada <BR>Le Canada dispose d’un secteur agricole relativement important, par rapport à la plupart des autres pays du G7. Ces dernières années, des réformes ont été entreprises dans plusieurs domaines, au niveau fédéral et provincial, pour surmonter les problèmes de compétitivité et d’environnement auxquels est confrontée l’agriculture. Le gouvernement fédéral a tenté de mettre fin à un monopole sur la commercialisation de l’orge et pourrait envisager la même démarche pour le blé. La nouvelle politique agricole et agroalimentaire est en cours de finalisation et la mise en oeuvre de la première partie d’un nouveau cadre stratégique, Cultivons l'avenir, a commencé. Mais les programmes ad hoc qui se sont succédé depuis peu ont pesé lourdement sur le budget, non sans créer un aléa moral pour les agriculteurs. Il est possible d’aller plus loin dans la libéralisation des filières soumises à une gestion de l’offre, qui sont largement protégées et subventionnées par les consommateurs. Par ailleurs, la production canadienne de bioénergie, notamment de bioéthanol de seconde génération (à partir de cellulose), est concurrencée par une production bioénergétique étrangère moins coûteuse. C’est dans ce contexte que s’inscrivent les efforts déployés par les pouvoirs publics pour assurer la viabilité du secteur à long terme. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE du Canada, 2008 (
    Keywords: Canada, Canada, agriculture, agriculture, biofuels, supply management, bioéthanol, gestion de l’offre
    JEL: Q13 Q14 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2008–08–04
  6. By: Breisinger, Clemens; Diao, Xinshen; Thurlow, James; Al-Hassan, Ramatu M.
    Abstract: "This paper has been prepared in support of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) roundtable in Ghana. The study also takes a fresh perspective on the role of agriculture for development in light of the global food crisis. It addresses two main questions: what are the impacts of Green-revolution type agricultural growth to reach the CAADP goal in Ghana? Given the large investments required to achieve such productivity-led growth, what is the sector's contribution to the overall economy? Results from the dynamic computable general equilibrium model suggest that by closing the existing yield gaps in crop production and supporting essential growth in the livestock sector Ghana can achieve CAADP's 6 percent growth target. In this process, agriculture supports the rest of the economy through substantial and largely invisible monetary transfers to the nonagricultural sectors, which are primarily driven by the reduction of domestic food prices. Thus, CAADP growth benefits both rural and urban households, and reduces poverty by more than half within 10 years. However, widening regional disparities between the North and the rest of Ghana will increasingly pose a challenge for the development. Additional measures more targeted towards generating growth in the lagging North will be necessary to bridge the income gap and reach Ghana's poorest of the poor." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Agriculture, Poverty, Computable general equilibrium (CGE), Development strategies, Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP),
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Uwe A. Schneider; Pete Smith (Research unit Sustainability and Global Change)
    Abstract: Energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions are closely linked. This paper reviews agricultural options to reduce energy intensities and their impacts, discusses important accounting issues related to system boundaries, land scarcity, and measurement units, and compares agricultural energy intensities and improvement potentials on an international level. Agricultural development in the past decades, while increasing yields, led to lower average energy efficiencies between the sixties and mid eighties. In the last two decades, energy intensities in developed countries increased, however, with little impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Efficiency differences across countries suggest a maximum improvement potential of 500 million tons of CO2 annually.
    Keywords: Energy intensity, Agriculture, Greenhouse gas emissions, Mitigation potential, Fertilizer efficiency
    JEL: Q54
    Date: 2008–07
  8. By: Nasution, Zamal
    Abstract: Poverty has always been a concern in Indonesia. More than half of Indonesia's 235 million people are poor. The district of Kulon Progo is the second lowest district in Yogyakarta province both in economic growth and welfare level, so less developed among four others district. This research’s aim is to address factors influence the farm development in poverty alleviation and rural development in Kulon Progo Regency of Yogyakarta Special Province of Indonesia. Statistical data were retrieved from Indonesia’s Central Board of Statistic in range of 2003 through 2006. Primary data comprised of farm development by the government, rural poverty in each village, farmer experience in poverty allevation were derived by conducting direct audience with the government officials, head of villages, field farm officials, farmer group units, and field observation. Using purposive random sampling, this research divides Kulon Progo Regency into north zone, middle zone, and south zone; according to the lowest and highest poverty level of each village. Regression model is developed with classical normal linier regression model to reveal each variable share on rural poverty. Simultaneously, this linear regression model explains 70% of rural poverty caused by all variables. Numbers of farmer positively affects numbers of poor rural inhabitants, where the 1% increasing of numbers of farmer will raise 0.922% numbers of poor rural inhabitants. Irrigated land has a negative impact to rural poverty, where the increasing level of 1% irrigated land will eradicate 0.101% numbers of poor rural inhabitants. Numbers of household member is not significant to influence poor rural inhabitants. In contrary of common belief, the significant role of land ownership has a positive impact to influence rural poverty, where the 1% increasing size of land ownership will raise 0.177% poor rural inhabitants. Regression model results land ownership positively affects rural poverty. Taking interview with some key persons in the six villages compared to statistical data explains that poverty rate is affected by dry land productivity rather than wet land productivity. Based on geographic information system analysis, there are some run-off of water bodies in the north zone. These potential flows should be able to support farm development in the dry land.
    JEL: I31 Q01 A10 I32
    Date: 2008–06–26
  9. By: Delgado, Christopher L.; Narrod, Clare A.; Tiongco, Marites M.; Barros, Geraldo Sant'Ana de Camargo; Catelo, Maria Angeles; Costales, Achilles; Mehta, Rajesh; Naranong, Viroj; Poapongsakorn, Nipon; Sharma, Vijay Paul; de Zen, Sergio
    Abstract: "The rapid growth in consumer demand for livestock offers an opportunity to reduce poverty among smallholder livestock farmers in the developing world. These farmers' opportunity may be threatened, however, by competition from larger-scale farms. This report assesses the potential threat, examining various forms of livestock production in Brazil, India, the Philippines, and Thailand. Findings show that the competitiveness of smallholder farms depends on the opportunity cost of family labor and farmers' ability to overcome barriers to the acquisition of production- and market-related information and assets. Pro-poor livestock development depends, therefore, on the strengthening of institutions that will help smallholders overcome the disproportionately high transaction costs in securing quality inputs and obtaining market recognition for quality outputs. These and other findings make this report a useful guide for researchers and others concerned with the opportunities and risks of smallholder livestock farming." from Authors' Summary
    Keywords: Developing countries, Economic aspects, Industrialization, Profit efficiency, Environmental externalities, Smallholder competitiveness, Livestock productivity, Livestock Industrialization, Scaling up,
    Date: 2008
  10. By: Dillon, Andrew
    Abstract: "Significant changes in the agricultural sector in northern Mali suggest that irrigation has made a large contribution to welfare increases over the past eight years. Using difference-in-differences, propensity score matching, and matched difference in differences with a small panel, this study estimates the impact of access to irrigation on poverty, production, and nutrient intakes. The findings suggest that gains in agricultural production value do not transfer uniquely to household consumption. The paper tests two alternative hypotheses about the distribution of agricultural gains: (1) the gains in agricultural production induced by irrigation yield higher household savings, or (2) intra-village transfers from irrigators to non-irrigators contribute to informal social insurance. The paper provides evidence of both saving and sharing within villages as complimentary strategies for consuming gains in agricultural production. This finding suggests that estimating the effects of a program, relying solely on household consumption, may underestimate the welfare gains of irrigation investment by ignoring the household's savings and informal insurance network." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Irrigation, Informal insurance, Development strategy,
    Date: 2008
  11. By: Beintema, Nienke M.; Stads, Gert-Jan
    Abstract: "Science and technology (S&T) are major contributors to food security, poverty reduction, and economic growth, as has been proven in Asia since the early-1970s through the Green Revolution in agriculture. Continuing to secure such gains, however, is becoming an increasingly complex undertaking. More than ever, quantitative data are vital for measuring, monitoring, and benchmarking the performance of agricultural S&T systems, including their inputs and outcomes. This brief reviews major institutional developments and investment and human resource trends in agricultural research and development (R&D) in 11 countries of the Asia–Pacific region. The brief draws on a set of country briefs, reports, and underlying datasets developed by the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative. ASTI worked with regional partners to collect detailed quantitative and qualitative information on research capacity and investment trends within agricultural R&D agencies. These data were then linked with investment and human resource data from the Chinese government and other secondary sources to provide a broader regional and global context." from text
    Keywords: Agricultural research, Agricultural development, Research and development, Capacity, Investments,
    Date: 2008
  12. By: David Tschirley (Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University); T.S. Jayne (Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University)
    Abstract: Southern Africa is an increasing focus of humanitarian concern. The rate of perceived food crises in the region has increased sharply during this decade, with identified crises in 2001/02, 2002/03, and 2005/06. The world commodity price boom that started 18 months ago has accentuated concerns about the potential severity of future crises. This Policy Synthesis summarizes the findings of detailed analysis (Tschirley and Jayne 2007) about the current staple food situation in the region and about how governments have behaved towards markets and regional trade during food crises over the past decade. We then ask whether these responses show evidence of learning from past mistakes. Lastly, we consider how the commodity price boom affects the role of regional trade during food crises and the likely stance of governments in the region towards trade. The analysis concludes that the breach between actual and needed government policy during food crises threatens to become wider than ever as a result of the price boom, and suggests ways in which empirical policy analysis might contribute to closing this gap.
    Keywords: Africa, food security, food policy, Emergency Response, markets, southern africa
    JEL: Q18
    Date: 2008
  13. By: Jacinto F. Fabiosa (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI)); Ibrahim Soliman
    Abstract: We estimated a system of Engel functions for two survey periods, 1999/2000 and 2004/2005, to quantify the impact of changes of income on household expenditure behavior and to investigate how expenditure responsiveness changes with income. We found that rural households have a higher expenditure share for food categories but a lower share for non-food categories compared to urban households. The expenditure share did not change so much between the two survey periods, with only a slight decline in the share of cereals-bread and the non-food category and an increase in the meat-fish-dairy category. All estimates have a good fit, and the total expenditure explanatory variable is significant in all equations. In general, households with lower incomes are more responsive to changes in income for food categories, and less responsive for non-food categories. This is evident with the higher income elasticity of lower-income rural households compared to urban households for food categories. Moreover, elasticities in the 2004/2005 survey period are higher compared to the 1999/2000 period. Per capita real income declined by 37.2% in 2004/2005. This consumption expenditure pattern has an alleviating effect on the impact of a food crisis since a lower real income associated with a food crisis is accompanied by greater responsiveness of households to reduce their demand for food as their real incomes shrink. This adjustment behavior is most obvious in the case of bread and cereals in rural areas, in which the expenditure elasticity increased from 0.50 to 0.91 as per capita income declined.
    Keywords: Engel function, household consumption pattern, income elasticity.
    Date: 2008–08
  14. By: Vargas-Hill, Ruth
    Abstract: "This paper uses models of irreversible investment under uncertainty to examine the investment and abandonment behavior of poor rural households. It considers the decision of Ugandan coffee-farming households to invest in or abandon coffee trees. The observed levels of investment and abandonment are found to be consistent with models of investment that allow for irreversibility, uncertainty, fixed costs and liquidity constraints. The findings highlight the importance of addressing volatility, irreversibility, fixed costs and liquidity constraints in order to increase households' responsiveness to changes in the fundamentals, and to enable households to recover from shocks to their capital stock." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: Investment, Uncertainty, Fixed costs, Shocks, Models of friction, High-value agriculture,
    Date: 2008
  15. By: Coady,David; Dorosh,Paul; Minten,Bart
    Abstract: "Higher world food prices have led many governments in developing countries to adopt policy measures to mitigate the adverse impact on low-income households. This paper sets out a partial equilibrium framework to evaluate the relative efficiency, distributional, and revenue implications of alternative policy responses. The model is applied to Madagascar data to evaluate the net welfare impact of reductions in rice tariffs and to compare this to the alternative policy of targeted transfers. Lowering tariffs is not a cost-effective approach to protecting low-income households due to substantial leakage of benefits to higher income households and an adverse impact on poor net rice producers even when the substantial efficiency gains from such tariff reductions are incorporated into the analysis. Developing a system of well-designed and -implemented targeted direct transfers to poor households is thus likely to be a substantially more cost-effective approach to poverty alleviation, especially if these can be linked to productivity-enhancing investments. Such an approach should be financed by switching revenue raising from rice tariffs to more efficient tax instruments. These policy conclusions are likely to be robust to the incorporation of general equilibrium considerations." from Author's Abstract
    Keywords: rice, Import tariffs, Targeted transfers, Welfare impacts, Globalization, Markets, Food prices,
    Date: 2008
  16. By: Hayakawa, Kazunobu; Chang, Kuo-I
    Abstract: Abstract: By means of a GTAP based-CGE model, we investigate the impact of the elimination of import tariffs and non-tariff policy barriers (NTPBs) on agricultural trade towards East Asian FTAs. To do that, we first measure the NTPBs by employing a widely-used method derived from the literature on border effects. Next, by adding into the GTAP database our estimates on the NTPBs, which the original GTAP database by its nature does not succeed in incorporating, we compute the impact of the entire elimination of policy barriers (the complete reduction of import tariffs and of NTPBs) on GDP.
    Keywords: Border barrier, Agricultural trade, GTAP, East Asia
    JEL: F13 F14 Q17
    Date: 2008–06
  17. By: Rajeev, Meenakshi
    Abstract: Inclusive economic growth is the most talked about issue in India. This is due to the fact that the impacts of the recent spectacular growth have not been able to percolate down to various segments of population, most importantly to the rural population. Rural infrastructure in India have still remained far from satisfactory and amongst others, lack of funds is one critical reason for this. In order to ensure smooth flow of funds for the development of infrastructure in rural India, rural infrastructure development fund (RIDF) was introduced in the budget of 1995-’96. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governs this fund through NABARD with corpus from the commercial banks. This paper is an attempt to critically examine some of the issues that arise in the context of utilization of the fund by different states of India. The study finds that many projects remain incomplete even after receiving funds under RIDF and certain measures are necessary to ensure proper utilization of funds as well as to reduce intra rural disparity in India.
    Keywords: Key Words: Rural Infrastructure Development Fund; Corpus; RIDF Tranche.
    JEL: H54 H53
    Date: 2008–01–10

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