New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2009‒05‒30
fifteen papers chosen by

  1. Agricultural Recovery: Food Security and Beyond By Wodon, Quentin; Morris, Michael; Glaesener, Vincent; Zoyem, Jean-Paul; Larbouret, Patricia; Moens, Marc; Dianga, Evalyne; Mdaye, Ba; Kavalec, Alexandre
  2. The linkages between agriculture and malaria: Issues for policy, research, and capacity strengthening By Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo; Asante, Felix A.; Tarekegn, Jifar; Andam, Kwaw S.
  3. The Impact of Group-Based Credit on Demand for Productive Inputs and Agricultural Productivity in Rural Kenya By Mghenyi, Elliot
  4. Small farmers' access to high-value markets: what can we learn from the Malawi pigeopea value chain? By Makoka, Donald
  5. Economic and Environmental Concerns in Philippine Upland Coconut Farms: An Analysis of Policy, Farming Systems and Socio-Economic Issues By Isabelita M. Pabuayon
  6. The Value of Cultural Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia - A Comparison of Values and Discussion of the Difficulties of Benefits Transfer By Tran Huu Tuan
  7. A special safeguard mechanism for agricultural imports and the management of reform By Finger, J. Michael
  8. Promoting Sustainable Agriculture: Experiences from India and Canada By Puttaswamaiah S
  9. Do rural households smooth their consumption? Applying an asset-based approach to the case of Malawi. By Makoka, Donald
  10. Household welfare and natural resource management around national parks in Zambia By Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit; Tembo, Gelson
  11. Rice Price Formation in the Short Run and the Long Run: The Role of Market Structure in Explaining Volatility By Peter Timmer
  12. The impact of drought on household vulnerability: The case of rural Malawi By Makoka, Donald
  13. The agricultural and the democratic transitions - Causality and the Roundup model By Erich Gundlach; Martin Paldam
  14. Re-examining the concept of sustainable development in light of climate change By Julien Chevallier
  15. Supply of Money and Food Prices: A Time Series Analysis By Nikolaos Ziotis; Christos Papadas

  1. By: Wodon, Quentin; Morris, Michael; Glaesener, Vincent; Zoyem, Jean-Paul; Larbouret, Patricia; Moens, Marc; Dianga, Evalyne; Mdaye, Ba; Kavalec, Alexandre
    Abstract: Burundi is still experiencing a major food crisis. One important element that will help to avoid new episodes of violence is revised agricultural policies that support sustainable food security. Food crops and livestock supply 91 percent of agricultural GDP and the major livelihood for most households, thus it is essential to promote production and commercialization of subsistence crops and livestock. These subsectors currently perform poorly and foster a chronic food deficit, a condition that underlines the extreme vulnerability of the population to production-related risks. With food demand increasing at an annual rate of 3 to 6 percent, it is urgent to improve the contribution of the subsistence crops and livestock subsectors. The potential for improvement is great, and beyond the need for reforms that will benefit all sectors, improvements will require public investments to enhance productivity and better market access. Necessary changes in the short-run include fostering the use of high quality seed and fertilizer, and improving the management of small livestock. In the long run, research-extension links should be strengthened, producer organizations should be encouraged and supported, and sustainable land and water management practices should be promoted. Investments in infrastructure and market intelligence will need to meet demands generated by the development of urban centers and foster competitiveness of Burundian agricultural commodities relative to those from the region. This chapter explains the food security issue in Burundi and identifies priority actions that will help overcome the major obstacles that prevent growth and improvement of the subsistence crops and livestock subsectors.
    Keywords: Burundi; agriculture; food security
    JEL: O13
    Date: 2008–07
  2. By: Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo; Asante, Felix A.; Tarekegn, Jifar; Andam, Kwaw S.
    Abstract: "Malaria afflicts many people in the developing world, and due to its direct and indirect costs it has widespread impacts on growth and development. The global impact of malaria on human health, productivity, and general well-being is profound. Human activity, including agriculture, has been recognized as one of the reasons for the increased intensity of malaria around the world, because it supports the breeding of mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite. Malaria can cause illness (morbidity), disability, or death; and all three effects have direct and indirect costs that can affect productivity. Since agriculture is the main activity of rural people in many endemic areas, it has been suggested that effective malaria control measures can be devised if attention was paid to the two-way effects of agriculture and malaria. There is the need to compute the direct costs of malaria treatment and control and the impacts of those costs on the ability of farm households to adopt new agricultural technology and improved practices, and keep farm and household assets. It is equally important to know the indirect costs of seeking health care and taking care of children and others who are afflicted by malaria and the relationship of the indirect costs to the farm labor supply and productivity. On the other hand, many agricultural activities like irrigation projects, water-harvesting and storage, land and soil management techniques, and farm work sequencing can lead to increase in mosquito populations and therefore increase the incidence of malaria in agricultural regions. This paper has raised issues on the two-way effects of agriculture and malaria and recommended areas that require policy actions and further research. The research findings can then be used in devising effective policies for controlling malaria in endemic areas of the world and assist in preparing a tool kit for capacity development on agriculture and malaria." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Malaria, Agriculture, Development, technology, Impact, Research, Policy, Capacity strengthening, Innovation, Institutional change, Science and technology,
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Mghenyi, Elliot
    Keywords: Agricultural credit, joint liability, productive inputs, productivity, Agricultural Finance, International Development, Productivity Analysis, Risk and Uncertainty, D24, Q14, R34,
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Makoka, Donald
    Abstract: Access to high-value markets remains one of the major challenges facing smallholder farmers in Africa. The paper applies a value chain analysis to the pigeonpea sub-sector in Malawi to determine ways of improving the access of small farmers to the global pigeonpea markets. The value chain analysis, complemented by primary data from a sample of 200 farmers, investigates the nature of the pigeonpea value chain by highlighting the main actors and the sources of inefficiency along the chain. The study shows that pigeonpea production is dominated by smallholder farmers with limited access to market information and who are also faced with lack of access to improved varieties. For the Malawian exporters, their competitiveness is being undermined by high freight costs and low pigeonpea grain quality. Policies to improve market institutional innovations through the use of the leading farmer organization, NASFAM, have the potential of improving the competitiveness of the producers.
    Keywords: Pigeonpea; value chain; smallholder farmers; Malawi
    JEL: N57 D13 B21
    Date: 2009–01–08
  5. By: Isabelita M. Pabuayon (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Economics and Management, University of the Philippines Los Baños)
    Abstract: This study provides an assessment of the farming and agroforestry systems in upland coconut-based farms and the policy and socio-economic issues in the cutting of coconut trees in the Philippines. In general, there is a lack of focus on the environmental and agro-ecological aspects of coconut-based farming and agroforestry systems (CBF/AFS) R&D and program initiatives. Nevertheless, earlier works provide recommendations that include soil conservation and the planting of perennials and forest species in the upland and steeply sloping coconut farms. In practice, however, annual crops are planted even in steep slopes; intercropping of coconuts with forest species is uncommon. Generally, coconut intercropping provides higher returns than coconut monocrop.
    Keywords: agroforestry system, coconut farms, Philipines
    Date: 2008–12
  6. By: Tran Huu Tuan (College of Economics, Hue University)
    Abstract: A large number of cultural heritage sites can be found in many countries of Southeast Asia. These sites attract an increasing number of tourists and income to these countries. Unfortunately, due to lack of money or resources to sufficiently protect these sites, many of them are in poor condition or deteriorating (Glover 2005; 2006; Tuan and Navrud 2007). Therefore, there is a need to put a price tag on these cultural heritages in order to justify the costs of preservation and conservation programs.
    Keywords: contingent valuation, choice experiment, cultural heritage, Thailand
    Date: 2008–06
  7. By: Finger, J. Michael
    Abstract: The records of traditional safeguard provisions of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and the World Trade Organization provides useful information about how a special agricultural safeguard might be made effective. The success of existing safeguard or flexibility provisions to sustain long-run liberalization programs stems from their requiring objective, transparent, and participatory decisions on the application of the import restrictions they allow. The proposed special agricultural safeguard expands by arithmetic formula the bounds within which a Member may impose a new import restriction. Analysis reported here suggests that the formulas provide a poor guide for policy, indicating that they would frequently prescribe action that is not needed and fail to prescribe action when it would be appropriate. Analysis of the existing agricultural safeguard, to which the special agricultural safeguard is similar, indicates that it has functioned not as an allowance for occasional response to unusual situations but as an expansion of the limits Members have accepted through tariff bindings. To be useful, the special agricultural safeguard should do more than provide formulas for import restrictions. It should provide for objective and participatory processes that would bring forward relevant information and guide an objective and balanced accounting of the interests at play.
    Keywords: Trade Policy,Free Trade,Debt Markets,Markets and Market Access,Trade Law
    Date: 2009–05–01
  8. By: Puttaswamaiah S
    Abstract: This paper is an attempt to examine the policy initiatives as well as experience of promoting organic farming in India and Canada where the need for promoting sustainable agriculture has been recognized in the policy statements. In fact, the policy initiatives if any, have emanated mainly from the viewpoint of trade concerns. In the face of these challenges organic farming is nonetheless making inroads in both India and Canada. Unfortunately, there are very few studies that have gone into examining the issues of economic viability, institutional support, and market access for organic farming in India n Canada. This paper tries to fill-up this critical gap by examining these issues in a comparative framework. The analysis, mainly exploratory in nature, is based on the existing literature and secondary data.[WP 162]
    Keywords: Agriculture; Sustainable Agriculture; Organic Farming; India; Canada; Production
    Date: 2009
  9. By: Makoka, Donald
    Abstract: Smallholder farming households in most of the developing countries, live in environments that are characterized by substantial risk. They consequently develop a range of risk management strategies. However, analyzing household consumption smoothing behaviour requires the availability of both income and consumption data. Since household income data are usually unavailable in many developing countries, including Malawi, this paper develops an asset-based framework to analyze consumption smoothing behaviour at household and community levels using a two-period panel dataset on 259 rural households in Malawi. The results show that while consumption smoothing takes place at the household level, it is not perfect. Food consumption is protected more than non-food consumption. Risk sharing also takes place at the community level. The major policy implication is that social protection programmes should promote household asset accumulation to enable rural households manage livelihood risks better.
    Keywords: Consumption smoothing; risk; rural Malawi
    JEL: B21
    Date: 2009–01–05
  10. By: Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit; Tembo, Gelson
    Abstract: Game management areas in Zambia aim to combine nature conservation with economic empowerment of rural households. By looking at households inside and outside game management areas, this study advances the knowledge of the impact of community based natural resource management on household welfare. The paper focuses on the economic welfare of households living inside game management areas. It tries to answer the question: Do the households in game management areas enjoy higher levels of welfare relative to the conditions they would have been in had the area not been designated as a game management area? Within the game management area, the paper tries to determine the factors that influence household participation in natural resource management, and whether the participating households get any extra benefits. Also of interest is whether such benefits of living in a game management area, and, once in such an area, those of participating accrue more to the poorer segments of the communities. The study finds that the gains from living in a game management area and from active participation in natural resource management are large but unevenly distributed. Only game management areas near Kasanka, Lavushi, Isangano, and South Luangwa national parks in the sample show significant benefits to general and participating households. And in those areas, the poor do not seem to gain even when they participate actively. More even distribution of gains from game management areas across households near different park systems and across the poor and the non-poor should be a continuing goal of national policy makers.
    Keywords: Housing&Human Habitats,Access to Finance,Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Poverty Lines,Community Development and Empowerment
    Date: 2009–05–01
  11. By: Peter Timmer
    Abstract: This paper analyzes price formation on the world’s rice market using simple supply and demand models as a start, but moving to “supply of storage” models—a staple of commodity-market analysis for more than half a century—to explain hoarding behavior and its subsequent impact on prices. The supply of storage model, however, does not account adequately for the influence that “outside” speculators have on prices. This paper quantifies the impact of financial factors and actors on commodity-price formation using very short-run prices and Granger causality analysis for a wide range of financial and commodity markets, including rice. The results are highly preliminary but are also very provocative. Speculative money seems to surge in and out of commodity markets, strongly linking financial variables with commodity prices during some time periods, but these periods are often short and the relationships disappear for long periods of time. Finally, the paper addresses the long-run (since 1900) relationships among the prices of the three basic cereal staples, rice, wheat and corn (maize), which have declined more than 1 percent per year over the past century. The decline accelerated after the mid-1980s; only the recent run-up in cereal prices in 2007–08 returned them to the long-run downward trend. Despite these common features and important cross-commodity linkages, however, price formation for rice has several unique dimensions worthy of further study.Length: 46 pages
    Keywords: rice prices, hoarding behavior, supply of storage, Granger causality analysis
    Date: 2009–05
  12. By: Makoka, Donald
    Abstract: Vulnerability to poverty in Malawi is highly associated with risk. Households face multiple shocks, most of which threaten their livelihoods and impact negatively on their welfare. Among the important risks that rural households face is drought, which is exacerbated by environmental change. This study analyzes the impact of drought on household’s vulnerability using a two-period panel dataset of 259 rural households in Malawi. In the framework of vulnerability as expected poverty, the study employs the methodology proposed by Christiaensen and Subbarao (2004). The results show that recurrent drought makes households more vulnerable to the extent that households that were affected by drought in both periods were twice as vulnerable as those who experienced drought in only one period. Policies that are aimed at building poor households’ resilience to recurrent drought hold more promise of enabling the households cope with this livelihood-threatening hazard.
    Keywords: Drought; vulnerability; poverty; rural Malawi
    JEL: B21
    Date: 2008–07–05
  13. By: Erich Gundlach (Kiel Institute for the World Economy, Germany); Martin Paldam (School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus, Denmark)
    Abstract: Long-run development (in income) causes a large fall in the share of agriculture commonly known as the agricultural transition. We confirm that this conventional wisdom is strongly supported by the data. Long-run development (in income) also causes a large increase in democracy known as the democratic transition. Elsewhere we have shown that it is almost as strong as the agricultural transition. Recently, a method has been presented to weed out spuriousness. It makes the democratic transition go away by turning income insignificant, when it is supplemented by a set of formal controls. We show that the same method makes the agricultural transition go away as well. Hence, it seems to be a method that kills far too much, as suggested by the subtitle. This suggestion leads to a discussion of the very meaning of long-run causality.
    Keywords: Long-run growth, transitions, causality and spuriousness
    JEL: O1 P5 H11 O41
    Date: 2009–05–19
  14. By: Julien Chevallier (EconomiX - CNRS : UMR7166 - Université de Paris X - Nanterre)
    Abstract: This article provides a critical appraisal of the concept of sustainable development in light of climate change. As the latest climate change science indicates strong effects of anthropogenic activity on global warming, we review the pros and the cons of prioritizing development over environmental protection. The methodology used consists in critically discussing the arguments of scientists and academic researchers in the environmental economics field to put a greater emphasis on the preservation of the environment vs. urging development issues. We show that the debate over prioritization does not make sense insomuch as the wider consequences of climate change are envisioned, i.e. it does not appear conceptually appropriate to think about environment and development issues in separate spheres. Our main contribution consists in embracing a holistic approach to discuss sustainable development issues within the new international framework of climate change policy and anthropogenic global warming concerns.
    Keywords: climate change policy, sustainable development, prioritization, development, environmental protection, global warming
    Date: 2009–05–26
  15. By: Nikolaos Ziotis (Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece); Christos Papadas (Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Greece)
    Abstract: Relationships between monetary variables and price indices continue always to be the subject of research interest and studies. This paper examines the relationship between money supply and retail food prices in Greece, using individual time series of monthly data for these variables. ADF unit root testing shows that both series are non stationary at their levels. However, the series are stationary at their first differences and further analysis shows that the two I(1) variables are cointegrated, having a stationary, proportional, long-run equilibrium relationship. Both, the Johansen and Engle-Granger procedures are implemented. Estimation of Vector Error Correction (VEC) models allows for the derivation of the cointegrating vector and relationship, and results seem to justify the argument of money neutrality with regards to food prices. VEC estimation makes feasible also, the calculation of the adjustment speed to the long-run equilibrium between the two variables considered.
    JEL: Q11 E51 E31
    Date: 2009

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