nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2009‒09‒26
nineteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Development Dimensions of High Food Prices By Philip Abbott
  2. Impact of water user associations on agricultural productivity in Chile: By McCarthy, Nancy; Essam, Timothy
  3. Factors Influencing the Profitability of Fertilizer Use on Maize in Zambia. By Zhiying Xu; Zhengfei Guan; T.S. Jayne; Roy Black
  4. China's growth and the agricultural exports of Southern Africa: By Villoria, Nelson; Hertel, Thomas; Nin-Pratt, Alejandro
  5. Food Security in South Asia: Issues and Opportunities By Surabhi Mittal
  6. Adoption Scale Analysis of Improved Cocoyam Production, Production and Storage Technologies across Gender in Enugu North Agricultural Zone of Enugu State Nigeria By Okoye, B.C; Okoye, A.C; Dimelu, M.U; Agbaeze, C.C; Okoroafor, O.N; Amaefula, A.B
  7. State-Led or Market-Led Green Revolution? Role of Private Irrigation Investment vis-a-vis Local Government Programs in West Bengal’s Farm Productivity Growth By Pranab Bardhan
  8. Fostering Agricultural Market Development in Zambia. By Gelson Tembo; Antony Chapoto; T.S. Jayne; Michael T. Weber
  9. Crisis alimentaria mundial: Monitoreo y evaluación de impacto para formular acciones de política By Benson, Todd; Minot, Nicholas; Pender, John; Robles, Miguel; von Braun, Joachim
  10. The effect of risk, ambiguity, and coordination on farmers’ adaptation to climate change: A framed field experiment By Alpizar, Francisco; Carlsson, Fredrik; Naranjo, Maria
  11. Guide to the ex-ante socio-economic evaluation of marine protected areas By R. Quentin Grafton; Sonia Akter; Tom Kompas
  13. The Efficiency of Labor Input in the Tree Nut Growers Industry: A Stochastic Frontier Production Approach Study in Butte County, California By Kuo-Liang Matt Chang; Todd A. Lone
  14. Carcass Quality Volume and Grid Pricing: An Investigation of Cause and Effect By Scott W. Fausti; Bashir A. Qasmi; Jing Li
  15. Commodity price volatility and nutrition vulnerability: By Verma, Monika; Hertel, Thomas W.
  16. Price and promotion effects of supermarket mergers By Davis, David E.
  17. Business Marketing of the Agricultural Co-operatives Association in Aomori Prefecture in the l900s and l910s: Building Cooperative Relationships among the Association, Associate partners, and Wholesalers By Izumi Shirai
  18. Food Consumption and Nutritional Status in India: Emerging Trends and Perspectives By Radhakrishna R
  19. Yet Another Look at Pest Damage and Pesticide Productivity By Robert Chambers; Giannis Karagiannis; Vangelis Tzouvelekas

  1. By: Philip Abbott
    Abstract: Measures were taken by many developing country governments to mitigate consequences of high international agricultural commodity prices from mid 2006 until mid 2008, and to block their transmission to domestic markets, with varying degrees of success and cost. A significant international response has focused on emergency relief and renewed efforts to invest in agricultural development. This paper describes and contrasts the approaches taken by national governments versus international organizations and donors to respond to this food crisis, and their consequences. It also explores approaches already underway to enhance aid effectiveness and achieve more rapid agricultural development for smallholder farmers, identifying potential and past roadblocks.
    Keywords: agricultural trade policy, emergency relief, food inflation, international commodity prices, price transmission, safety nets, agricultural development, aid effectiveness
    JEL: O13 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2009–07
  2. By: McCarthy, Nancy; Essam, Timothy
    Abstract: "This article uses combined household- and community-level data collected from the Maule Region (VII) of Chile to evaluate factors affecting the decision to participate in yearly irrigation maintenance activities, and the influence of current behavior on farm revenues. Empirical results indicate that water user association characteristics explain much of the variation in participation decisions, contribution amounts, variable input purchases, and subsequent farm revenues." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Water user association, Participation, Irrigation, Water resources, Environmental impacts,
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Zhiying Xu; Zhengfei Guan; T.S. Jayne; Roy Black
    Abstract: Fertilizer use remains very low in most of Africa despite widespread agreement that much higher use rates are required for sustained agricultural productivity growth. This study estimates maize yield response functions in agro-ecological Zone IIA, a relatively high potential zone of Zambia, to determine the profitability of fertilizer use under a range of small farm conditions found within this zone. The theoretical framework used in this study incorporates agronomic principles of the crop growth process. The model distinguishes different roles of inputs and non-input factors in crop production. We estimate the effects of conventional production inputs as well as household characteristics and government programs on maize yield for households in the dominant acrisols soil type. Results indicate that even within this particular soil type within Zone IIA, the maize-fertilizer response rate in the two specific years varied widely across households. The main factors explaining the variability in maize-fertilizer response rates were the rate of application, the timeliness of fertilizer availability, the use of animal draught power during land preparation, and whether the household incurred the death of an adult member in the past three years. These modifying factors, as well as variations in input and output prices due to proximity to roads and markets, substantially affected the profitability of fertilizer use on maize. Fertilizer use on maize tended to be unprofitable at full commercial fertilizer prices for farmers who received fertilizer late and who were located in relatively remote areas.
    Keywords: zambia, maize, fertilizer, profitability
    JEL: Q12
    Date: 2009–06
  4. By: Villoria, Nelson; Hertel, Thomas; Nin-Pratt, Alejandro
    Abstract: "The implications of China's growth for the development prospects of Sub-Saharan Africa have been the subject of recent attention. Interest in this topic is motivated by the increasing presence of China in the region and the growing bilateral trade links between China and Africa. Against this background, we herein explore whether China's growth has stimulated agricultural exports in selected countries of Southern Africa, namely, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, the Southern African Custom Union (SACU), and Zambia. We find little complementarity between China's agricultural import demand and the export supply of the focus countries. We also explore whether China affects Southern African agricultural exports through the increases in world agricultural prices associated with China's growing demand for food. We find that although China has moderately increased agricultural prices (in an aggregated sense), Southern African exports do not seem to benefit from these price increases." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Agriculture, Gravity model, trade, Development strategies,
    Date: 2009
  5. By: Surabhi Mittal
    Abstract: The study aims to identify issues relating to food security, the policy initiatives taken to tackle these issues, evaluate these policies and suggest measures to overcome identified constraints in order to improve the food security situation in the region. [ICRIER WP No. 240].
    Keywords: policies, South Asia, Food Security, Safety Nets, Food Bank, SAARC, south asia,
    Date: 2009
  6. By: Okoye, B.C; Okoye, A.C; Dimelu, M.U; Agbaeze, C.C; Okoroafor, O.N; Amaefula, A.B
    Abstract: This study was undertaken to determine the adoption of improved cocoyam production, processing and storage technologies among small-holder cocoyam farmers in Enugu-North Agricultural Zone in Enugu state. A multi-stage random sampling technique was used to select 120 cocoyam farmers disaggregated into 60 males and 60 female in 2008. Adoption scale analysis was employed to analyze the level of adoption of cocoyam technologies as well as percentages, means and frequency distribution. The results show that most of the technologies were not adopted and unaware by both farmers. Technologies that scored 3.0 and above were adopted but those below 3.0 were rejected. Both farmers adopted technologies like time of planting, use of fertilizer and left un-harvested and heaping on the floor after harvesting. Technologies such as time of planting, May- June(3.0), fertilizer application NPK 20.20.10 (3.3), storage facilities like treating with fungicide (3.1), and left un-harvested (3.08) were adopted by male farmers; while time of planting (3.05), use of mulching material (3), use of fertilizer(3.08), crop mixture with arable crops (3.57) harvesting at 81-12 months after planting (3.25), storage methods like left underground (3) and heaping on the flour (3.38) were adopted by the female farmers. The study calls for policies to ensure women’s entitlement to productive resources and to target women in the extension delivery system.
    Keywords: Adoption Scale; Cocoyam Production; Processing and Storage Technologies and Gender
    JEL: Q1 Q19 Q10
    Date: 2009–07–11
  7. By: Pranab Bardhan
    Abstract: This paper estimates respective roles of private investments in irrigation and local government programs (land reforms, extension services, and infrastructure investments) in the growth of farm productivity in West Bengal, India between 1981-95. A farm panel from a stratified random sample of farms from major agricultural districts of West Bengal is used.
    Keywords: productivity, west bengal, land reforms, tenancy, irrigation, agricultural development, public-private linkages, infrastructure investment, farm
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Gelson Tembo; Antony Chapoto; T.S. Jayne; Michael T. Weber
    Abstract: The availability, access and affordability of food is a highly politicized issue throughout the world. In much of southern Africa, there is a widespread view that governments are responsible for ensuring that their populations have reliable access to food. Zambia, like most countries in Southern Africa, is vigorously pursuing continued direct public sector involvement and protectionist measures in the maize marketing sector. Since 1995, the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) and more recently, subsidies through the Fertilizer Support Program (FSP), have been the major instruments of government policy. While in some respects current operations undertaken by the government are similar to those adopted at independence, there are some noteworthy changes. Specifically, the private sector is no longer barred by statutory measures. In principle, the private sector is now encouraged to perform marketing functions alongside the public sector. However, in practice, the private sector is often prevented from doing so due to government use of discretionary trade policy instruments, such as variable export bans and restrictions, variable import tariff rates, and government import programs.
    Keywords: zambia, food security, agriculture, market development
    JEL: Q13
    Date: 2009–07
  9. By: Benson, Todd; Minot, Nicholas; Pender, John; Robles, Miguel; von Braun, Joachim
    Abstract: "La creciente variabilidad y la fuerte tendencia al alza en los precios mundiales de alimentos durante los últimos dos años han sido motivo de preocupación debido a que pueden aumentar la pobreza y el hambre a nivel mundial. Al mismo tiempo, el aumento en los precios de alimentos es un incentivo y una oportunidad para que muchos países en vías de desarrollo fortalezcan la contribución del sector agrícola al crecimiento económico nacional y a la reducción de la pobreza. Sin embargo, los diseñadores de políticas y líderes de opinión en los países en vías de desarrollo a menudo no tienen suficiente información para medir o evaluar los posibles efectos de una crisis alimentaria mundial en sus países y para identificar, diseñar e implementar medidas para evitar los efectos negativos y aprovechar las oportunidades. La falta de información y análisis puede ocasionar respuestas ya sea innecesarias o insuficientes, con las consecuentes fallas del mercado y de las políticas. La experiencia en diversos países durante 2007 y 2008 aporta suficiente evidencia para demostrar que esto puede ocurrir. Aunque la información disponible sobre las crisis alimentarias es alarmante y justifica un esfuerzo a gran escala, esta información debe mejorarse para que puedan tomarse acciones eficaces." from Text
    Keywords: World food situation, Globalization, food security, Agricultural production, Markets, Food prices, Farmers,
    Date: 2009
  10. By: Alpizar, Francisco (Environment for Development Center, Tropical Agricultural and Higher Education Center (CATIE)); Carlsson, Fredrik (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Naranjo, Maria (Environment for Development Center, Tropical Agricultural and Higher Education Center (CATIE))
    Abstract: The risk of loses of income and productive means due to adverse weather associated to climate change can significantly differ between farmers sharing a productive landscape. It is important to learn more about how farmers react to different levels of risk, under measurable and unmeasurable uncertainty. Moreover, the costs associated to investments in reduced vulnerability to climatic events are likely to exhibit economies of scope. We explore these issues using a framed field experiment that captures realistically the main characteristics of production, and the likely weather related loses of premium coffee farmers in Tarrazu, Costa Rica. Given that the region recently was severely hit by an extreme, albeit very infrequent, climatic event, we expected to observe, and found high levels of risk aversion, but we do observe farmers making trade offs under different risk levels. Although hard to disentangle at first sight given the high level of risk aversion, we find that farmer’s opt more frequently for safe options in a setting characterized by unknown risk. Finally, we find that farmers to a large extent are able to coordinate their decisions in order to achieve a lower cost of adaptation, and that communication among farmers strongly facilitates coordination.<p>
    Keywords: Risk aversion; ambiguity aversion; technology adoption; climate change; field experiment
    JEL: C93 D81 H41 Q16 Q54
    Date: 2009–09–21
  11. By: R. Quentin Grafton (Crawford School of Economics and Government, the Australian National University, Australia); Sonia Akter (Crawford School of Economics and Government, the Australian National University, Australia); Tom Kompas (Crawford School of Economics and Government, the Australian National University, Australia)
    Abstract: Marine protected areas (MPA) potentially offer a wide range of use and non-use benefits. These include critical habitat protection, conservation of marine biodiversity, recovery of threatened and endangered marine species, and increased biomass of targeted marine species. To assess whether such benefits exceed the potential costs, we provide the first-ever comprehensive ex-ante, socio-economic guide to MPA evaluation. Our framework shows how to quantify four key values of MPAs: consumptive, non-consumptive, indirect, and non-use values. The framework also shows how to use decision tools to determine the desirability of establishing MPAs. Overall, the guide offers the promise of improved information and better decision making for marine protected areas. Key words: Marine protected areas, use value, non-use value, benefit-cost analysis.
    Date: 2009–05
  12. By: Francisco Alvarez-Cuadrado; Markus Poschke
    Abstract: The process of economic development is characterized by substantial rural-urban migrations and a decreasing share of agriculture in output and employment. The literature highlights two main engines behind this process of structural change: (i) improvements in agricultural technology combined with the effect of Engel's law of demand push resources out of the agricultural sector (the "labor push" hypothesis), and (ii) improvements in industrial technology attract labor into this sector (the "labor pull" hypothesis). We present a simple model that features both channels and use it to explore their relative importance. We evaluate the U.S. time series since 1800 and a sample of 13 industrialized countries starting in the 19th century. Our results suggest that, on average, the "labor pull" channel dominates. This contrasts to popular modeling choices in the recent literature.
    JEL: O11 O41
    Date: 2009–06
  13. By: Kuo-Liang Matt Chang (Department of Economics,South Dakota State University); Todd A. Lone (Department of Agricultural Economics, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, California State University, Fresno)
    Abstract: This paper aims to examine the contribution of the labor input to agricultural production efficiency. If an increase in numbers of labor does not increase production efficiency, we should have reason to question the current quantity-oriented labor policies in terms of solving the labor shortage issue. In addition, we want to examine the marginal rate of technical substitution (MRTS) between the labor input and other inputs. The MRTS will provide a clear idea of how labor can be replaced with other inputs without losing total production. Finally, the influence of farm labor on economies of scale and economies of scope will also be discussed. We will investigate whether the scale and size of the farm has a significant role in determining production efficiency for our target farmers.
    Keywords: Labor, Stochastic Frontier
    JEL: J43 Q12
    Date: 2009–09
  14. By: Scott W. Fausti (Department of Economics, South Dakota State University); Bashir A. Qasmi (Department of Economics, South Dakota State University); Jing Li (Department of Economics, South Dakota State University)
    Abstract: The relationship between publicly reported weekly grid premiums and discounts for specific carcass characteristics and the percentage of those characteristics reflected in total weekly slaughter volume (i.e., proportional slaughter volume) is investigated. Granger Causality and multi-lag VAR models were used to investigate if grid premiums and discounts were efficiently transmitting market signals to producers with respect to carcass quality attributes. The empirical evidence indicates that there is little evidence to suggest that grid prices are providing efficient price signals to buyers and sellers with respect to market valuation of desirable and undesirable beef carcass characteristics.
    Keywords: grid pricing, price discovery, price reporting, slaughter cattle
    JEL: Q18 Q13
    Date: 2009–01
  15. By: Verma, Monika; Hertel, Thomas W.
    Abstract: "In this paper we examine the impact of commodity price volatility on calorie attainment and its variability for households at the nutritional poverty line in Bangladesh. We focus on the first two moments of the distribution of calorie consumption and consider the differential impacts across socioeconomic groups within the country. The framework developed is then used to examine the direction and magnitude of the shift in those moments as a result of implementation of a special safeguard mechanism aimed at preventing import surges." from authors' abstract
    Keywords: Globalization, Markets, Price volatility, Nutritional vulnerability, Calorie intake, household consumption, Computable general equilibrium (CGE), Model validation,
    Date: 2009
  16. By: Davis, David E. (Department of Economics, South Dakota State University)
    Abstract: I use a unique data set of retail food prices to analyze mergers between supermarket chains. The data allow for an examination of the effects of mergers on prices, the frequency of promotions, and the depth of promotions. I find that increases in a chain’s share of the total US food sales are associated with price decreases, suggesting that supermarkets enjoy economies of scale and/or benefit from an improved bargaining position relative to their suppliers after a merger. I also find that mergers are associated with decreases in the frequency and depth of price-promotions.
    Keywords: Food prices, supermarket, merger, price discrimination
    JEL: L11 L81 D4
    Date: 2009–09
  17. By: Izumi Shirai (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: This article analyzed the business marketing of the Agricultural Co-operatives Association established in Takedate Village in the Tsugaru district of Aomori Prefecture in 1907. In the early stages of the Meiji period, this area was considered as backward in terms of commodity production and circulation. However, the Agricultural Co-operatives Association has been highly evaluated for its business marketing across the nation ever since the mid-1910s, and has built a brand name for itself, We obtained the followings results. (1) By means of production inspection before packaging, the association made an effort toward not only the production of high-quality apples but also their trusted shipment in accordance with the brand name and standards established for itself. All these were extremely advanced efforts in agricultural commodity transactions. (2) However, until the early 1910s, the business sales of the association encountered certain problems. One problem was that the association partners had illegally sold apples to merchants and therefore, could not gather enough apples to sell. Another problem was that the specification wholesalers in the great city did not make all their payments smoothly. While being such status, the association thought much of the trust and the autonomy at the partners and the wholesales. It supported without laying down compulsion and a penalty regulation. (3) The problems mentioned in the above point were solved after the association received special awarding in 1916. The association became flagrant nationwide and succeeded in establishing a brand name image. The partners recognized that apples sold on behalf of the association should be done so at favorable prices. As the associationfs apples became famous in the markets of consuming regions, wholesalers came to recognize special wholesale contracts with this association as an honor. Consequently, the association grew to be an economic organization that took the initiative in product sales to wholesalers even in important cities such as Tokyo.
    Keywords: Japanese Economic History, Agricultural Co-operatives Association, Business Marketing, Market
    JEL: N55 N75 N85
    Date: 2009–09
  18. By: Radhakrishna R
    Abstract: The paper reviews the trends over three decades in the consumption of cereals, calories and micronutrients and nutritional status based on anthropometric measures using the data sets of NSS, NNMB and NFHS. It provides an explanation for the slow growth of nutrient intake and slow reduction in malnutrition.
    Keywords: food consumption, malnutrition, micronutrients, anthropometric data, income, household, health, educational status, mothers, child, adutls, energy deficiency, cereal production, punjab, urban areas, nutritional status, child, water, health, India,
    Date: 2009
  19. By: Robert Chambers (University of Maryland); Giannis Karagiannis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, Greece); Vangelis Tzouvelekas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Date: 2009–07–01

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