nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2009‒10‒17
nine papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. The Impact of Technology Adoption on Agricultural Productivity: The Case of the Dominican Republic By Veronica González; Pedro Sandra Rozo; Alessandro Maffioli; Pablo Ibarrarán
  2. Bt Brinjal: Introducing Genetically Modified Brinjal (Eggplant/Aubergine) in Bangladesh By Mst. Meherunnahar; D. N. R. Paul
  3. Coping with Rising Food Prices: Policy Dilemmas in the Developing World By Nora Lustig
  4. Improving Technology Adoption in Agriculture through Extension Services: Evidence from Uruguay By Pedro Cerdan-Infantes; Alessandro Maffioli; Diego Ubfal
  5. Waiting for the Invisible Hand: Market Power and Endogenous Information in the Modern Market for Food By Trenton Smith; Hayley Chouinard; Philip Wandschneider
  6. Should Shrimp Farmers Pay Paddy Farmers? The Challenges of Examining Salinisation Externalities in South India By Umamaheswari L
  7. Export Potential of Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers from India By M Dattatreyulu
  8. Paradox for Agro-Environmental Land Policy, A By Hennessy, David A.; Feng, Hongli
  9. The Place of Nature in Economic Development By Partha Dasgupta

  1. By: Veronica González (Office of Evaluation and Oversight, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, USA); Pedro Sandra Rozo (Office of Evaluation and Oversight, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, USA); Alessandro Maffioli (Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, USA); Pablo Ibarrarán (Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, USA)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of agricultural extension services in the Dominican Republic. In particular, we analyze the direct impact of the Program for Technological Support in the Agricultural Sector (PATCA). The analysis relies on a unique dataset gathered by PATCA’s executing unit in 2008. The survey included 1,572 farmers operating in crop growing, breeding or milk production. Using a propensity score matching technique, we found that the technologies financed through PATCA effectively improved the productivity of rice producers and breeders. However, we did not find any significant impact on other producers. These heterogeneous impacts could be due to the different level of effectiveness of the promoted technologies in the short run, where landleveling and pasture conservation could be the fastest in showing significant effects. Finally, we did not find any clear evidence that the program had a significant impact on the quality of production that was reflected on prices reported by farmers.
    Keywords: Technology Adoption, Productivity, Agriculture Sector, Policy Evaluation
    JEL: Q12 Q16 H43
    Date: 2009–10
  2. By: Mst. Meherunnahar (Coastal and Bio-diversity Project, Department of Environment (DoE)); D. N. R. Paul (Atish Dipankar University of Science & Technology (ADUST))
    Abstract: Brinjal, also known as eggplant and aubergine, is Bangladesh’s third most important vegetable in terms of both yield and area cultivated. It is only surpassed by potatoes and onions. However, the yield of brinjal could be much higher would it not be decimated by the brinjal shoot and fruit borer, which is the most destructive insect pest in South and South East Asia. Genetically modified brinjal (Bt brinjal) has the potential to bump up agricultural productivity in Bangladesh and other countries. This paper provides a brief overview of Bangladesh’s vegetable sector and reviews the key issues of introducing Bt brinjal in Bangladesh. It summarizes the results of recent research undertaken in Bangladesh on the environmental safety of Bt brinjal and concludes that Bt brinjal could make a significant contribution to Bangladesh’s agricultural sector and more broadly, Bangladesh’s economy and living standards.
    Keywords: brinjal, GM food, agriculture, Bangladesh, eggplant
    Date: 2009–10
  3. By: Nora Lustig
    Abstract: Rising food prices cause considerable policy dilemmas for developing country governments. Letting domestic prices adjust to reflect the full change in international prices generates inflationary pressures and causes severe hardship for poor households lacking access to social safety nets. Alternatively, governments can use food subsidies or export restrictions to stabilize domestic prices, yet this exacerbates global food price increases and undermines a rules-based trading system. The recent episode shows that many countries chose to shift the burden of adjustment back to international markets. The use of corn and oilseed for the production of biofuel will result in a recurrence of such episodes in the foreseeable future. [WP No. 164]
    Keywords: Food Prices, Inflation, Poverty, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Caribbean, domestic prices, trading system, export, households, social safety nets, inflationalry pressures, governments, households, global food prices, international markets
    Date: 2009
  4. By: Pedro Cerdan-Infantes (Office of Evaluation and Oversight, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, USA); Alessandro Maffioli (Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, DC, USA); Diego Ubfal (Department of Economics, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, USA)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of the ‘Farm Modernization and Development Program’ (PREDEG) on the technology uptake and productivity of Uruguayan farmers. Using a unique panel dataset, we combine propensity score matching techniques and fixed effects models to estimate the program’s impact. Although the results vary according to the crops, we find consistent evidence that the program increased the rate of adoption of certified varieties and the density of plantation. However, there is only limited evidence of its effects on productivity, mostly derived from helping producers to cope with an illness of peach orchards. Conversely, we find some indications of negative lagged productivity effects for apples, which might be related to a short term cost of transitioning to new varieties or technologies. While the evidence of the effects on yields is not definitive due to the limited timeframe of the evaluation, the results indicate that PREDEG services were useful for incentivizing the adoption of specific technologies, as well as for crop-specific technical assistance like plant health.
    Keywords: PREDEG, Uruguay, Agricultural Technology Transfer, Panel Data, Policy Evaluation
    JEL: Q12 Q16 H43
    Date: 2009–10
  5. By: Trenton Smith; Hayley Chouinard; Philip Wandschneider (School of Economic Sciences, Washington State University)
    Abstract: In many ways, the modern market for food exemplifies the economist’s conception of perfect competition, with many buyers, many sellers, and a robust and dynamic marketplace. But over the course of the last century, the U.S. has witnessed a dramatic shift away from traditional diets and toward a diet comprised primarily of processed brand-name foods with deleterious long-term health effects. This, in turn, has generated increasingly urgent calls for policy interventions aimed at improving the quality of the American diet. In this paper, we ask whether the current state of affairs represents a market failure, and—if so—what might be done about it. We review evidence that most of the nutritional deficiencies associated with today’s processed foods were unknown to nutrition science at the time these products were introduced, promoted, and adopted by American consumers. Today more is known about the nutritional implications of various processing technologies, but a number of forces—including consumer habits, costly information, and the market power associated with both existing brands and scale economies—are working in concert to maintain the status quo. We argue that while the current brand-based industrial food system (adopted and maintained historically as a means of preventing competition from small producers) has its advantages, the time may have come to consider expanding the system of quality grading employed in commodity markets into the retail market for food.
    Keywords: credence goods, history, food policy, certification
    JEL: D23 D83 I18 Q18
    Date: 2009–02
  6. By: Umamaheswari L
    Abstract: This study estimates the external cost of shrimp-induced salinity on crop production by comparing two villages in southern India: Poovam, which is affected by salinity, with Thiruvettakudy, which is not. To identify the study villages help of a local NGO was sought and traversed the coastal stretches of Nagapattinam and Karaikal, which together form a major shrimp farming belt on the Coromandel coast. The villages of Chandrapadi in Nagapattinam were chosen as study villages. [SANDEE]
    Keywords: paddy, villages, shrimp, crop production, southern India, villagers, south India, NGO, CObb Douglas specification, farms, production functions, farmers, productivity, land,
    Date: 2009
  7. By: M Dattatreyulu
    Abstract: Assesses India's export potential of fruits and vegetables in fresh form. Schemes from horticulture boards in different states have been reported. [NABARD OC Paper No. 6].
    Keywords: seasons, India, export potential, fruits, vegetables, horticulture, flowers, production, apples,
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Hennessy, David A.; Feng, Hongli
    Abstract: A regulator with a fixed budget to spend on securing environmental benefits from farmed land has to choose between how many acres to enroll and the extent of benefits to require of each enrolled acre. Here we consider, given heterogeneous land, what properties of the environmental benefit-to-cost ratio imply for the choice of optimal program as the available budget varies. Conditions are found such that a program of high benefits on few acres is preferred for any budget level. It is also possible that a program delivering low benefits per acre at low cost is preferred on each land type, and yet a high benefit program is optimal policy, a variant of Simpson’s paradox.
    Keywords: benefit-to-cost ratio, environmental policy, land heterogeneity, Simpson’s paradox.
    Date: 2009–10–05
  9. By: Partha Dasgupta
    Abstract: Review of the most salient issues in ecological economics when the subject is applied to the field of economic development. The aim here has not been to be scholastic but to examine the lives of the world's poor so as to unearth the role of natural capital there. An account here of the processes that characterise human-nature interactions reads differently from the accounts in recent surveys of both development economics and environmental and resource economics are given. [SANDEE]
    Keywords: rural institutions, pollute, ecological economics, economic development, natural capital, human, nature, development econmics, environmental, resource, poor,
    Date: 2009

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