New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2009‒11‒21
fifteen papers chosen by

  1. Agricultural Recovery and Individual Land Tenure: Lessons from Central Asia By Lerman, Zvi
  2. Increasing world food prices: blessing or curse? By Matovu, John M.; Twimukye, Evarist P.
  3. Sources of Agricultural Productivity Growth in Central Asia: The Case of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan By Lerman, Zvi; Sedik, David
  4. Imapct of Tax Reforms on Household Welfare By Matovu, John; Twimukye, Evarist; Nabiddo, Winnie; Guloba, Madina
  5. Should Asian Countries Adopt Gm Crops Despite Trade Regulations By Guillaume Gruère
  6. A multivariate approach for identification of optimal locations with in Ethiopia’s wheat market to tackle soaring inflation on food price By Mezgebo, Taddese
  7. Access to Credit, Factor Allocation and Farm Productivity: Evidence From the CEE Transition Economies By Jan Fałkowski; Pavel Ciaian; d'Artis Kancs
  8. Farm Debt in Transition Countries: Lessons for Tajikistan By Lerman, Zvi; Sedik, David
  9. A Conceptual Framework for Guiding the Participatory Development of Agricultural Decision Support Systems By Emma Jakku; Peter Thorburn
  10. Agricultural Improvements and Access to Rail Transportation: The American Midwest as a Test Case, 1850-1860 By Jeremy Atack; Robert A. Margo
  11. Rural households decisions towards income diversification: Evidence from a township in northern China By Sylvie Démurger; Martin Fournier; Weiyong Yang
  12. Fish Farm Pollution - A Study of Clean-up Options in Vietnam By Vo Thi Lang; Ky Quang Vinh; Ngo Thi Thanh Truc
  13. Health Status and Health Care Access of Farm and Rural Populations By Jones, Carol Adaire; Parker, Timothy S.; Ahearn, Mary; Mishra, Ashok K.; Variyam, Jayachandran N.
  14. The Economic Effects of Common Agricultural Policy Trends on Montado Ecosystem in Southern Portugal By Rui Fragoso; Carlos Marques; Maria Raquel Lucas; Maria Belém Martins; Raúl Fernandes Jorge
  15. The New Roadmap for Measuring and Valuing Carbon in the Agribusiness Sector By Williams, Dawson

  1. By: Lerman, Zvi
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Land Economics/Use,
    Date: 2009
  2. By: Matovu, John M.; Twimukye, Evarist P.
    Abstract: This study evaluates the potential impact of the recent world food prices on the Ugandan economy and possible policy options to respond to it. Uganda is largely a net exporter of some cereals whose prices increasing considerably especially maize. Using a recursive dynamic CGE model, we attempt to answer questions on who are the beneficiaries and losers after the surge in food prices. The rural producers of maize tend to benefit considerably with their poverty levels reducing. On the other hand, the urban purchasers of cereals are affected owing to the higher prices of food. this therefore suggests that the Ugandan government should take advantage of the increasing food prices by stimulating and undertaking policies that would enhance productivity especially for crops where on the urban population, the government could design targeted programs for the urban poor.
    Keywords: Urban poor, Food prices, CGE model, Food security, Matovu, Twimukye, Economic Policy Research centre, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Agricultural Finance, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Livestock Production/Industries, Production Economics,
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Lerman, Zvi; Sedik, David
    Abstract: The paper examines agricultural production and productivity growth in two Central Asian countries â Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Both countries are characterized by a significant shift of resources from the traditional Soviet model of collective agriculture to more market-compliant individual and family farming. In both countries, the beginning of the policy-driven switch to family farming around 1997 coincided with the beginning of recovery in agriculture, namely resumption of agricultural growth after a phase of transition decline since 1991. In addition to growth in total agricultural production, we also observe significant increases in productivity of both land and labor since 1997. These observations suggest that productivity growth may be attributable to the changes in farming structure in Central Asia. To check this conjecture we assess the sources of growth by applying the standard Solow growth accounting methodology. Using time series of country statistics for farms of different organizational forms, we decompose the growth in output into growth in the resource base (extensive growth) and growth in productivity (intensive growth). Solow growth accounting clearly shows that, first, much of the growth at the country level is attributable to increases in productivity rather than increases in resources and, second, the increases in productivity in family farms (especially household plots) outstrip the increases in productivity in former collective and state farms. These findings confirm that the recovery of agricultural production in Central Asia has been driven largely by productivity increases, and it is the individual farms that are the main source of agricultural productivity increases.
    Keywords: agricultural productivity, agricultural growth, family farms, corporate farms, comparative performance, agrarian reforms, transition countries, Central Asia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Agricultural and Food Policy, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, Land Economics/Use, Productivity Analysis, P27, P31, P32, Q15, R14,
    Date: 2009–09
  4. By: Matovu, John; Twimukye, Evarist; Nabiddo, Winnie; Guloba, Madina
    Abstract: The Uganda government has since 1987 initiated a sequence of tax reforms to address the fiscal challenges facing the country. This paper uses a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model to analyze the welfare effects of tax reforms on households and the impact of these challenges on production and firm activities. The findings are consistent with previous studies which found that the introduction of VAT was indeed a progressive policy reform. Zero rating all food items and agricultural products mainly benefit the low income households whose consumption basket is mainly food items. In a quest for further sources of revenue by overtaxing the rich, this could generate further revenues albeit lower savings and investments by this group. Finally, over-reliance on excise duties especially on petroleum and alcohol drinks affects the transportation sectors which are also used by the poor. In our results we find that taxation of petrol and rising excise duties indeed is a regressive policy stance.
    Keywords: Computable General Equilibrium (CGE), Twimukye, Nabiddo, Taxation, Tax base, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Agricultural Finance, Community/Rural/Urban Development, Consumer/Household Economics, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, Food Security and Poverty, Livestock Production/Industries,
    Date: 2009–05
  5. By: Guillaume Gruère
    Abstract: This brief summarizes a study evaluating the potential economic effects of introducing genetically modified (GM) food crops in India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines in the presence of trade regulations. [IFPRI Brief No.13]
    Keywords: genetically modified, GM, food crops, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, trade regulations, economic effects, TRADE, international trade, productivity gains, commercial, rice, wheat, exports
    Date: 2009
  6. By: Mezgebo, Taddese
    Abstract: Two surplus markets of Bale Robe and Shashimiene and one deficit market of Jimma are observed to fix long run price. However the system is observed to have better capacity to process demand side than supply side shocks. Therefore for efficient stabilization the focus should be in Jimma. For equity and political feasibility it would be preferable if poor deficit centers are provided with subsidized supply of grain, too. Though distance did not seem to be an important factor for border of one price but only for strength of cointegration, the methodology used by early papers is observed to work.
    Keywords: Inflation cointegration ethiopia food price grain market
    JEL: E31 Q13 D4 P44
    Date: 2009–11–14
  7. By: Jan Fałkowski (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Pavel Ciaian (European Commission - Joint Research Centre (IPTS); Catholic University of Leuven (LICOS); Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI)); d'Artis Kancs (European Commission - Joint Research Centre (IPTS); Catholic University of Leuven (LICOS); Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI))
    Abstract: This paper analyses how farm access to credit affects farm input allocation and farm efficiency in the CEE transition countries. Drawing on a unique farm level panel data with 37,409 observations and employing a matching estimator we are able to control for the key source of endogeneity – unoberserved heterogeneity. We find that farms are credit constrained both in the short-run as well as in the long-run, but that credit constraint is asymmetric between inputs. Our estimates suggest that farm access to credit increases TFP up to 1.9% per 1000 EUR of additional credit. The use of variable inputs and capital investment increases up to 2.3% and 29%, respectively, per 1000 EUR of additional credit. Due to credit-financed investment in labour-saving farm equipment, labour use reduces for low level of credit. Farms are found not to be credit constrained with respect to land.
    Keywords: access to credit, investment, factor allocation, productivity, transition countries
    JEL: Q12 P14
    Date: 2009
  8. By: Lerman, Zvi; Sedik, David
    Keywords: Agricultural Finance, International Development,
    Date: 2009–08
  9. By: Emma Jakku; Peter Thorburn (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia)
    Abstract: Scientists develop decision support systems (DSSs) to make agricultural science more accessible for farmers and extension officers. Despite the growing use of participatory approaches in agricultural DSS development, reflection on this endeavour is largely focused on the ‘doing’ of participation or the ‘problem of implementation’, with little reference to relevant theoretical approaches within the field of science and technology studies (STS). However, if DSS development is to reach its full potential, a more conceptually informed understanding of how stakeholders collaborate in the participatory development of DSSs is required. To contribute to this gap, we developed a conceptual framework based on three concepts drawn from STS that can add value to understanding agricultural DSSs: interpretative flexibility, technological frames, and boundary objects. A DSS becomes a boundary object when it enables the various parties involved in its development to collaborate and learn together despite diverse perceptions of the DSS or the issues that the DSS is being used to address. When combined, these three concepts highlight the importance of social learning for participatory DSS development, particularly the need to begin by exploring the parties’ different perspectives and facilitating co-learning. Our framework leads to a re-definition of success for participatory DSS development, by identifying social learning as a valuable outcome that can occur when farmers, extension officers and scientists collaborate. A case study of stakeholder collaboration to develop an irrigation scheduling DSS for the Australian sugarcane industry is used to illustrate the analytical strength of this conceptual framework.
    Keywords: social learning, interpretative flexibility, technological frames, boundary objects, irrigation, climate variability
    JEL: O32 Q16
    Date: 2009–10
  10. By: Jeremy Atack; Robert A. Margo
    Abstract: During the 1850s, land in U.S. farms surged by more than 100 million acres while almost 50 million acres of land were transformed from their raw, natural state into productive farmland. The time and expense of transforming this land into a productive resource represented a significant fraction of domestic capital formation at the time and was an important contributor to American economic growth. Even more impressive, however, was the fact that almost half of these total net additions to cropland occurred in just seven Midwestern states which comprised barely less than one-eighth of the land area of the country at that time. Using a new GIS-based transportation database linked to county-level census, we estimate that at least a quarter (and possibly two-thirds or more) of this increase can be linked directly to the coming of the railroad to the region. Farmers responded to the shrinking transportation wedge and rising revenue productivity by rapidly expanding the area under cultivation and these changes, in turn, drove rising farm and land values.
    JEL: N51 N71 N91
    Date: 2009–11
  11. By: Sylvie Démurger (University of Lyon; CNRS, UMR 5824, GATE, France); Martin Fournier (University of Lyon; CNRS, UMR 5824, GATE, France); Weiyong Yang (University of International Business & Economics, Beijing, China)
    Abstract: Economic reforms in rural China have brought opportunities to diversify both within-farm activities and off-farm activities. Participation in these activities plays an important role in increasing rural households’ income. This paper analyzes the factors that drive rural households and individuals in their income-source diversification choices for ten villages in Northern China. At the household level, we distinguish three types of diversification as opposed to grain production only : within farm (non- grain production) activities, local off-farm activities, and migration. At the individual level, we analyze the determinants of participation in three different types of jobs as compared to agricultural work : local off-farm employment, local self-employment and migration. At the household level, we find that land and labor availability stimulates on-farm diversification. Local off-farm activities are mostly driven by household wealth and credit constraints, while migration decisions strongly depend on the household age and composition. At the individual level, we find a clear gender and age bias in access to off-farm activities that are mostly undertaken by male and by young people. More surprisingly, education is found to play a role for accessing local wage employment but not in migration decision. As at the household level, the household assets position is found to strongly affect participation in any off-farm activity.
    Keywords: income-source diversification, agricultural households, off-farm employment, China
    JEL: J2 R2 Q1 O53
    Date: 2009
  12. By: Vo Thi Lang (School of Economics and Business Administration, Cantho University); Ky Quang Vinh (School of Economics and Business Administration, Cantho University); Ngo Thi Thanh Truc (School of Economics and Business Administration, Cantho University)
    Abstract: Aquaculture is a thriving industry in the Mekong Delta (MD) of Vietnam. Tra fish are the most popular catfish species bred in the region and they have become an important export item. As such they are an economically valuable product for many MD farmers. However, catfish farming is causing problems for the environment. Waste, especially wastewater, from fish farms is often not treated properly and is dumped into canals, creeks or rivers. This has a negative impact on local communities that rely on river water as their main water source. It also jeopardizes the health of fish and the sustainability of the industry itself. This study looks at this problem and assesses a number of treatment options that could bring pollution down to acceptable levels. The study finds that a trickling-filter systems would be the most cost-effective response to this challenge. However such a system would cost farmers more that they currently pay to discharge their polluting wastewater. The study therefore suggests a anumber of policy options that would encourage fish farmers to reduce the amount of pollution they discharge and help them to meet the necessary clean up costs.
    Keywords: fish farm, pollution, Vietnam
    Date: 2009–08
  13. By: Jones, Carol Adaire; Parker, Timothy S.; Ahearn, Mary; Mishra, Ashok K.; Variyam, Jayachandran N.
    Abstract: Rural residents have higher rates of age-adjusted mortality, disability, and chronic disease than their urban counterparts, though mortality and disability rates vary more by region than by metro status. Contributing negatively to the health status of rural residents are their lower socioeconomic status, higher incidence of both smoking and obesity, and lower levels of physical activity. Contributing negatively to the health status of farmers are the high risks from workplace hazards, which also affect other members of farm families who live on the premises and often share in the work; contributing positively are farmersâ higher socioeconomic status, lower incidence of smoking, and more active lifestyle. Both farm and rural populations experience lower access to health care along the dimensions of affordability, proximity, and quality, compared with their nonfarm and urban counterparts.
    Keywords: Health Economics and Policy, agriculture safety and health, electronic health records, farmer health, health, health care access, health care affordability, health care quality, health disparities, health IT, health status, mortality, rural health, telehealth, uninsured,
    Date: 2009–08
  14. By: Rui Fragoso (Universidade de Evora, Departamento de Gestão, CEFAGE-UE); Carlos Marques (Universidade de Evora, Departamento de Gestão, CEFAGE-UE); Maria Raquel Lucas (Universidade de Evora, Departamento de Gestão, CEFAGE-UE); Maria Belém Martins (Universidade do Algarve, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, CEFAGE-UE); Raúl Fernandes Jorge (Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Instituto Superior de Agronomia)
    Abstract: The decoupling of CAP payments leads production decisions and resources allocation to be dependent only on market prices and competitive advantages. The objective of this paper is to assess the effects of CAP trends on the montado ecosystem in southern Portugal in terms of land, labour and capital allocation and farm income. A positive mathematical supply model disaggregated by the main montado agro-forestry production system in the Alentejo region is developed. The results show that decoupling payments of CAP have important economic effects and the foreseen increases in prices do not compensate the loss of the Agenda 2000 area payments.
    JEL: Q2 Q25 C6 C61
    Date: 2009
  15. By: Williams, Dawson
    Keywords: carbon, greenhouse gas emissions, agribusiness, carbon market, Agribusiness, Environmental Economics and Policy, Q, D,
    Date: 2009–06–10

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