nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒04‒17
thirty-two papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Niche and Direct Marketing in the Rural-Urban Fringe: Study of the Agricultural Economy in the Shadow of a Large City By Tracy Stobbe; Alison Eagle; G. Cornelis van Kooten
  2. The Poverty Implications of Climate-Induced Crop Yield Changes by 2030 By Hertel, Thomas; Burke, Marshall; Lobell, David
  3. Agricultural growth and investment options for poverty reduction in Nigeria By Diao, Xinshen; Nwafor, Manson; Alpuerto, Vida; Akramov, Kamiljon; Salau, Sheu
  4. Impact of Food Safety Standards on Processed Food Exports from Developing Countries By Jongwanich, Juthathip
  5. Decoupled Payments to EU Farmers, Production, and Trade: An Economic Analysis for Germany By von Witzke, Harald; Noleppa, Steffen; Schwarz, Gerald
  6. Promises and realities of community-based agricultural extension By Feder, Gershon; Anderson, Jock R.; Birner, Regina; Deininger, Klaus
  7. Incomplete markets and fertilizer use : evidence from Ethiopia By Zerfu, Daniel; Larson, Donald F.
  8. Hydro-economic modeling of climate change impacts in Ethiopia By You, Gene Jiing-Yun; Ringler, Claudia
  9. A preliminary analysis of the impact of a Ukraine-EU free trade agreement on agriculture By von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan; Hess, Sebastian; Brummer, Bernhard
  10. Medium Term Outlook for Canadian Agriculture - International and Domestic Markets By Charlebois, Pierre
  11. Determinants of Structural Changes of Food Exports from Developing Countries By Jongwanich, Juthathip; Magtibay-Ramos, Nedelyn
  12. Turning Water into Carbon: Carbon sequestration vs. water flow in the Murray-Darling Basin By Peggy Schrobback; David Adamson; John Quiggin
  13. Predicting Agri-Commodity Prices: an Asset Pricing Approach By Yu-chin Chen; Kenneth Rogoff; Barbara Rossi
  14. The short-term impact of higher food prices on poverty in Uganda By Simler, Kenneth R.
  15. The Trade-off between Agronomic Advice and Risk Management Strategies for Planting Decisions in the Darling Downs Grains Region of Australia By Toni Darbas; David Lawrence
  16. Formulas and flexibility in trade negotiations : sensitive agricultural products in the WTO's Doha agenda By Jean, Sebastien; Laborde, David; Martin, Will
  17. Sustainable use of ecosystem services under multiple risks – a survey of commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands in Namibia By Roland Olbrich; Martin F. Quaas; Stefan Baumgärtner
  18. Rethinking the global food crisis By Headey, Derek D.
  19. Female participation in African agricultural research and higher education: New insights By Beintema, Nienke M.; Di Marcantonio, Federica
  20. Climate Risks, Seasonal Food Insecurity and Consumption Coping Strategies: Evidences from a Micro-level Study from Northern Bangladesh By Ahamad, Mazbahul Golam; Khondker, Rezai Karim
  21. Evaluating the Effects of Decoupled Payments under Output and Price Uncertainty By Christina Kotakou; Stelios Katranidis
  22. Peri-urbanisation, Social Heterogeneity and Ecological Simplification By Toni Darbas; Neil MacLeod; Fiachra Kearney; Timothy F Smith; Simone Grounds
  23. What happens when the market shifts to China ? the Gabon timber and Thai cassava value chains By Kaplinsky, Raphael; Terheggen, Anne; Tijaja, Julia
  24. Household Tree Planting in Tigrai, Northern Ethiopia: Tree Species, Purposes, and Determinants By Gebreegziabher, Zenebe; Mekonnen, Alemu; Kassie, Menale; Köhlin, Gunnar
  25. Do Baseline Requirements Hinder Trades in Water Quality Programs? By Ghosh, Gaurav; Ribaudo, Marc; Shortle, James
  26. Assessment of the Technological Development and Economic Potential of Photobioreactos By Holtermann, Timm; Madlener, Reinhard
  27. Vulnerability and Coping to Disasters: A Study of Household Behaviour in Flood Prone Region of India By Patnaik, Unmesh; Narayanan, K
  28. Eco-label Adoption in an Interdependent World By José-Antonio Monteiro
  29. An assessment of the effects of the 2002 food crisis on children's health in Malawi By Renate Hartwig; Michael Grimm
  30. A value chain and cluster perspective on competitiveness of European fresh vegetable production – Case studies from Germany, Italy, and Spain By Bettina Riedel
  31. Markets with Untraceable Goods of Unknown Quality: A Market Failure Exacerbated by Globalization By McQuade, Timothy; Salant, Stephen W.; Winfree, Jason
  32. Implications of the Biofuels Boom for the Global Livestock Industry: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis By Taheripour, Farzad; Hertel, Thomas; Tyner, Wally

  1. By: Tracy Stobbe; Alison Eagle; G. Cornelis van Kooten
    Abstract: Farmers in the rural-urban fringe (RUF) face unique challenges. Spillovers from the urban region and competition for land increase the costs of farming relative to farming farther removed. Yet, there is greater potential for off-farm employment and niche marketing of farm products, providing more income options to RUF farmers. In this research, we employ a survey of direct- and niche-marketing farmers located in the RUF of Vancouver, Canada to examine how the rural-urban interface affects farms, particularly their long-term survivability and sustainability. From a list of 102 direct marketing and organic farmers, we managed to elicit twenty-nine completed surveys. Annual gross farm receipts averaged almost $500,000, similar to the census average for all farms in the region. Incomes varied significantly among respondents and farmers produced a wide range of products, and yet exhibiting a willingness to invest in their farms. Respondents had been farming for an average over twenty years and are highly educated. Compared with farmers near Victoria, on Vancouver Island, producers who use direct marketing or organic methods in the Vancouver RUF have higher gross farm incomes, rely less on off-farm income and are much more likely to carry farm debt. Direct marketing also contributes to total farm sales, with only 19.5% of product value marketed at the farm-gate, at farmers’ markets or through delivery programs, compared to 57.3% of farms near Victoria. Wholesalers, distributors and processors play a larger role on the mainland, likely because the amount of farm product available makes operation of such facilities economically feasible.
    Keywords: Direct marketing, organic farming, niche marketing, agritourism, local agriculture, farm survival
    JEL: Q13 Q15
    Date: 2009–11
  2. By: Hertel, Thomas; Burke, Marshall; Lobell, David
    Abstract: Accumulating evidence suggests that agricultural production could be greatly affected by climate change, but there remains little quantitative understanding of how these agricultural impacts would affect economic livelihoods in poor countries. Here we consider three scenarios of agricultural impacts of climate change by 2030 (impacts resulting in low, medium, or high productivity) and evaluate the resulting changes in global commodity prices, national economic welfare, and the incidence of poverty in a set of 15 developing countries. Although the small price changes under the medium scenario are consistent with previous findings, we find the potential for much larger food price changes than reported in recent studies which have largely focused on the most likely outcomes. In our low productivity scenario, prices for major staples rise 10-60% by 2030. The poverty impacts of these price changes depend as much on where impoverished households earn their income as on the agricultural impacts themselves, with poverty rates in some non-agricultural household groups rising by 20-50% in parts of Africa and Asia under these price changes, and falling by equal amounts for agriculture-specialized households elsewhere in Asia and Latin America. The potential for such large distributional effects within and across countries emphasizes the importance of looking beyond central case climate shocks and beyond a simple focus on yields - or highly aggregated poverty impacts.
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Diao, Xinshen; Nwafor, Manson; Alpuerto, Vida; Akramov, Kamiljon; Salau, Sheu
    Abstract: This study uses an economy-wide, dynamic computable general equilibrium (DCGE) model to analyze the ability of growth in various agricultural subsectors to accelerate overall economic growth and reduce poverty in Nigeria over the next years (2009-17). In addition, econometric methods are used to assess growth requirements in agricultural public spending and the relationship between public services and farmers’ use of modern technology. The DCGE model results show that if certain agricultural subsectors can reach the growth targets set by the Nigerian government, the country will see 9.5 percent annual growth in agriculture and 8.0 percent growth of GDP over the next years. The national poverty rate will fall to 30.8 percent by 2017, more than halving the 1996 poverty rate of 65.6 percent and thereby accomplishing the first Millennium Development Goal (MDG1). This report emphasizes that in designing an agricultural strategy and prioritizing growth, it is important to consider the following four factors at the subsectoral level: (i) the size of a given subsector in the economy; (ii) the growth-multiplier effects occurring through linkages of the subsector with the rest of the economy; (iii) the subsector-led poverty reduction-growth elasticity; and (iv) the market opportunities and price effects for individual agricultural products. In analyzing the public investments that would be required to support a 9.5 percent annual growth in agriculture, this study first estimates the growth elasticity of public investments using historical spending and agricultural total factor productivity (TFP) growth data. The results show that a 1 percent increase in agricultural spending is associated with a 0.24 percent annual increase in agricultural TFP. With such low elasticity, agricultural investments must grow at 23.8 percent annually to support a 9.5 percent increase in agriculture. However, if the spending efficiency can be improved by 70 percent, the required agricultural investment growth becomes 13.6 percent per year. The study also finds that investments outside agriculture benefit growth in the agricultural sector. Thus, assessments of required growth in agricultural spending should include the indirect effects of nonagricultural investments and emphasize the importance of improving the efficiency of agricultural investments. To further show that efficiency in agricultural spending is critically important to agricultural growth, this study utilizes household-level data to empirically show that access to agricultural services has a significantly positive effect on the use of modern agricultural inputs.
    Keywords: Agricultural growth, agricultural investments, agricultural services, Development strategies, Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium (DCGE), low elasticity, market opportunities, Millennium Development Goals (MDG), modern agricultural inputs, nonagricultural investments, Poverty reduction, Public investments, Total factor productivity (TFP),
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Jongwanich, Juthathip (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of food safety standards on processed food exports in developing countries. An intercountry cross-sectional econometric analysis of processed food exports in developing countries was undertaken. The Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standard (SPS) is incorporated into the model to capture the impact of food safety standards. The empirical model shows that food safety standards imposed by developed countries tend to have a negative implication for processed food exports from developing countries. Since SPS is less transparent than tariffs or quotas, practically, there is ample room for developed countries to tweak the standards to be stronger than necessary to achieve optimal levels of social protection, and to twist the related testing and certification procedures to make their own competing products competitive with imports. However, because of the potential benefits that could emerge from imposing food safety standards such as a reduction of transaction costs and trade friction, developing countries should view SPS not just as a trade barrier but an opportunity to upgrade quality standard and market sophistication. Multilateral efforts are needed to mobilize additional financial and technical assistance to help redress constraints in developing countries in meeting the required food safety standards imposed by developed countries.
    Keywords: Food Safety Standards; Processed food trade; developing countries
    JEL: L66
    Date: 2009–04
  5. By: von Witzke, Harald; Noleppa, Steffen; Schwarz, Gerald
    Abstract: After an extended process of reform the European Union has introduced direct payments to farmers which are decoupled from production decisions as a central element of its Common Agricultural Policy. They are also referred to as Single Farm Payments. In this paper we analyze the production and trade effects of this policy and its compatibility with WTO international trade rules. A survey of the literature suggests that the system of direct payments in its present form has effects which are analogous to a subsidization of agricultural land. Thus, they act to increase production and trade. Furthermore we quantify the total economic cost of production of selected commodities in the European Union and compare them to the price at which EU production is sold in foreign markets. Our analysis suggests that the costs of production in the European Union for key agricultural commodities are below international prices. It can be established that commodities for which the European Union is a net exporter are sold below cost, for extended periods of time and in substantial quantities. The EU system of decoupled payments to farmers, thus, acts to inflict economic injury to third countries. Under WTO rules, dumping can only occur when a country is an exporter. In this paper we demonstrate that on the markets included in the analysis dumping occurs on the market for wheat. The extent of injury is exemplified for Australia.
    Keywords: European Union, Common Agricultural Policy, WTO rules, decoupled payments, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Food Security and Poverty, International Development, International Relations/Trade, Risk and Uncertainty,
    Date: 2010–03
  6. By: Feder, Gershon; Anderson, Jock R.; Birner, Regina; Deininger, Klaus
    Abstract: In view of the market failures and the state failures inherent in providing agricultural extension, community-based approaches, which involve farmers‘ groups, have gained increasing importance in recent years as a third way to provide this service. The paper discusses the conceptual underpinnings of community-based extension approaches, highlights theoretical and practical challenges inherent in their design, and assesses the evidence available so far on their performance. The paper reviews both quantitative and qualitative studies, focusing on three examples that contain important elements of community-based extension: the National Agricultural Advisory Services program of Uganda, the agricultural technology management agency model of India, and the farmer field school approach. The review finds that in the rather few cases where performance has been relatively carefully studied, elite capture was identified as a major constraint. Other challenges that empirical studies found include a limited availability of competent service providers, deep-seated cultural attitudes that prevent an effective empowerment of farmers, and difficulties in implementing farmers‘ control of service providers‘ contracts. The paper concludes that, just as for the state and the market, communities can also fail in extension delivery. Hence, the challenge for innovative approaches in agricultural extension is to identify systems that use the potential of the state, the market, and communities to create checks and balances to overcome the failures inherent in all of them.
    Keywords: agricultural extension, Agricultural technology, community-based development, empowerment of farmers, innovative approaches, market failures, National Agricultural Advisory Services program,
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Zerfu, Daniel; Larson, Donald F.
    Abstract: While the economic returns to using chemical fertilizer in Africa can be large, application rates are low. This study explores whether this is due to missing and imperfect markets. Results based on a panel survey of Ethiopian farmers suggest that while fertilizer markets are not altogether missing in rural Ethiopia, high transport costs, unfavorable climate, price risk, and illiteracy present formidable hurdles to farmer participation. Moreover, the combination of factors that promote or impede effective fertilizer markets differs among locations, making it difficult to find a single production technology that is uniformly profitable -- perhaps explaining the inconsistency between field studies finding large returns to fertilizer use in Ethiopia and survey-based studies finding fertilizer use to be uneconomic. The results suggest that households with greater stores of wealth, human capital and authority can overcome these hurdles. The finding offers some encouragement, but also implies a self-enforcing link between low agricultural productivity and poverty, since low-asset households are less able to overcome these problems. The study suggests that the provision of extension services can be effective and that lowering transport costs can raise the intensity of fertilizer use by lowering the cost of fertilizer and boosting the farmgate value of output.
    Keywords: Climate Change and Agriculture,Fertilizers,Crops&Crop Management Systems,Access to Finance,Fertilizers&Agricultural Chemicals Industry
    Date: 2010–03–01
  8. By: You, Gene Jiing-Yun; Ringler, Claudia
    Abstract: Ethiopia is susceptible to frequent climate extremes such as disastrous droughts and floods. These disastrous climatic events, which have caused significant adverse effects on the country’s economy and society, are expected to become more pronounced in the future under climate change. To identify the potential threat of climate change to the Ethiopian economy, this study analyzes three major factors that are changing under global warming: water availability under higher temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, the impact of changing precipitation patterns on flooding, and the potential impact on crop production of the carbon dioxide (CO2) fertilization effect. These issues are analyzed based on an existing multi-market-sector model for the Ethiopian economy, with a focus on agriculture. Our analysis finds that the major impact of climate change on Ethiopia’s economy will result from more frequent occurrence of extreme hydrologic events, which cause losses in both the agricultural and nonagricultural sectors. To adapt to these long-term changes, Ethiopia should invest in enhanced water control to expand irrigation and improve flood protection.
    Keywords: carbon dioxide (CO2) fertilization effect, Climate change, Droughts, floods, Global warming, hydro-economic modeling, hydrologic events,
    Date: 2010
  9. By: von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan; Hess, Sebastian; Brummer, Bernhard
    Abstract: Agriculture including food products is of particular interest for Ukraine. However, in free trade agreements involving the European Union, agriculture is always given special treatment and subject to less and slower liberalization than other sectors. This paper employs the standard Global Trade Analysis Project model in order to assess how World Trade Organization accession affects agriculture in Ukraine, and how potential bilateral tariff cuts may interact with potential productivity gains within Ukrainian agriculture. The results indicate that, due to trade liberalization, Ukraine can expect gains from a more efficient allocation of its resources in line with comparative advantage, leading to an increase of production and exports of wheat, other grains, and oilseeds, but also of several processed food products that benefit from less expensive intermediate inputs. However, Ukraine's exports are concentrated on a small number of destinations, especially Russia and some other Former Soviet Union countries because they fail to meet quality standards elsewhere. When Ukrainian production of these products increases due to increased allocative efficiency, exports to Russia increase further and prices there fall, generating negative terms of trade effects that largely offset the allocative gains. Ukrainian imports of agricultural products increase as well, partly because Ukrainian consumers switch to higher quality imported goods even though domestic production increases. Regarding free trade agreement negotiations with the European Union, these results highlight for Ukraine the fact that improved agricultural productivity will help to get most out of improved market access. However, the results also highlight for Ukraine the great importance of adopting internationally accepted quality standards in order to diversify its export structure.
    Keywords: Free Trade,Economic Theory&Research,Trade Policy,Trade Law,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2010–04–01
  10. By: Charlebois, Pierre
    Abstract: The purpose of this document is to describe the features of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Medium Term Outlook for Canadian Agriculture covering the period 2009 to 2019. The outlook is an attempt to outline a plausible future of the international and domestic agri-food sectors. It serves as a benchmark for discussion and scenario analysis. The outlook makes specific assumptions and outlines their implications. Since it assumes that policies remain unchanged from existing legislation, the outlook is not a forecast of future events. In particular there are no assumptions made regarding the outcome of the Doha round of trade negotiations. It also assumes no impact from climate change and from policy to mitigate climate change nor significant animal disease outbreaks or unusual climatic conditions over the period of the outlook. The starting point of the international baseline is the so-called lower GDP slow recovery medium term scenario published in the OECD/FAO Agricultural Outlook 2009-2018. This scenario was updated in the short term using macro-economic forecasts released by the OECD in September 2009 and by the World Bank in June 2009. Exchange rates were updated to reflect the information released at the end of 2008 and in the first 6 months of 2009. The agricultural outlook was updated to reflect short term price forecasts produced and released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in October 2009.
    Keywords: outlook, agriculture, cereals, oilseeds, bio-fuels, livestock, red meats, milk, dairy products, chicken, turkey, eggs, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Relations/Trade, Livestock Production/Industries,
    Date: 2010–01
  11. By: Jongwanich, Juthathip (Asian Development Bank); Magtibay-Ramos, Nedelyn (Asian Development Bank)
    Abstract: Over the past three decades, there has been a rapid expansion of processed food exports in developing countries, replacing traditional agriculture exports such as coffee and tea. However, this development and its policy implications have received little attention in the literature. This paper aims to redress this oversight by providing an overview of key characteristics and growth patterns of processed food exports in developing countries. The determinants of structural changes toward processed food exports in developing countries are examined using panel data econometric analysis. The results suggests that trade policy openness, large domestic market, good macroeconomic management especially in terms of price stability, as well as adequate financial support and infrastructure are the key factors that influence the structural changes toward processed food products.
    Keywords: Food Safety Standards; Processed food trade; developing countries
    JEL: L66
    Date: 2009–07
  12. By: Peggy Schrobback (Risk & Sustainable Management Group, School of Economics, University of Queensland); David Adamson (Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland); John Quiggin (Risk & Sustainable Management Group, School of Economics, University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Large scale forest plantations in the Murray-Darling Basin may be embraced as a carbon sequestration mechanism under a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. However, increased tree plantation will be associated with reduced inflows to river systems because of increased transpiration, interception and evaporation. Therefore, an unregulated change in land management is most likely to have a dramatic impact on the water availability. This will exacerbate the impacts of climate change projected in the Garnaut Review. This paper examines the implications of unrestricted changes in land use. These results should suggest the true costs to society from carbon sequestration by determining the tradeoffs between timber production and agricultural products.
    Keywords: Murray Darling Basin, water, environmental flows
    Date: 2009–01
  13. By: Yu-chin Chen (University of Washington); Kenneth Rogoff (Harvard University); Barbara Rossi (Duke University)
    Abstract: Volatile and rising agricultural prices place significant strain on the global fight against poverty. An accurate reading of future food price movements would thus be an invaluable budgetary planning tool for government agencies and food aid programs aimed at alleviating hunger. Using the asset-pricing approach developed in Chen, Rogoff and Rossi (2010), we show that information from the currency and equity markets of several commodity-exporting economies can offer powerful help in forecasting world agricultural prices. Our formulation builds upon the notion that because these countries' currency and equity valuations depend on the world price of their commodity exports, market participants would incorporate expected future commodity price movements into the current values of these assets. As the exchange rate and equity markets are typically much more fluid than the agri-commodity markets (where prices tend to be more constrained by current supply and demand conditions), these asset prices can signal future agricultural price dynamics beyond information contained in the agri-commodity prices themselves. Our findings complement forecast methods based on structural factors such as supply, demand, and storage considerations.
    Date: 2009–03
  14. By: Simler, Kenneth R.
    Abstract: World prices for staple foods increased between 2006 and 2008, and accelerated sharply in 2008. Initial analysis indicated that the adverse effects of higher food prices in Uganda were likely to be small because of the diversity of its staple foods, high level of food self-sufficiency, and weak links with world markets. This paper extends the previous analyses, disaggregating by regions and individual food items, using more recent price data, and estimating the impact on consumption poverty. The analysis finds that poor households in Uganda tend to be net buyers of food staples, and therefore suffer welfare losses when food prices increase. This is most pronounced in urban areas, but holds true for most rural households as well. The diversity of staple foods has not been an effective buffer because of price increases across a range of staple foods. The paper estimates that both the incidence and depth of poverty have increased -- at least in the short run -- as a result of higher food prices in 2008, increasing by 2.6 and 2.2 percentage points, respectively. The increase in poverty is highest in the Northern region, which is already the poorest in Uganda. The need for mitigating social protection measures appears to be greater than previously recognized. Not only are the negative impacts larger, but they are also much more widespread geographically. This suggests the need for continued close monitoring of the situation, including monitoring the adequacy of existing safety nets and feeding programs.
    Keywords: Food&Beverage Industry,Rural Poverty Reduction,Regional Economic Development,Markets and Market Access
    Date: 2010–02–01
  15. By: Toni Darbas; David Lawrence (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia)
    Abstract: A decade of sustained research, development and extension (RD&E) effort was undertaken in Southern Queensland’s broad acre cropping zone. Whether and how the resulting insights into stored soil water were integrated into the planting decisions of grain producers was, however, brought into question when a series of dry years culminated in widespread wheat crop failure across Southern Queensland’s Darling Downs in the winter of 2007. This paper reports on a qualitative investigation into the use of stored soil water research in planting decisions in this cropping region of Australia. A dual sample of grain producer and agronomic RD&E advisors were interviewed in-depth in order to establish what planting strategies were used by grain producers and to explore the relationship between these strategies and agronomic advice. We found that all of the interviewees understood the role of stored soil water in crop performance. However, this understanding supported three distinct planting decision strategies: plant only when a stored soil water threshold has been reached; take the opportunity to plant at least some crop each season; and plant at the appropriate time to maximise crop yield and consider stored soil water a bonus. These planting strategies were perceived by the interviewees to be aligned to agronomic advice differentiated by its commercial terms. Private agronomists, hired via an annual retainer, tended to be associated with the first planting strategy while retail agronomists, hired through the purchase of chemicals, were perceived as associated with the second strategy. These results indicate that an industry wide comparison of planting strategies in terms of yield outcomes and economic performance over multiple years is warranted in order to facilitate industry wide discussion of the trade-offs between long term enterprise profitability and short term economic pressures.
    Keywords: systems, dryland grain farming, soil water, risk, extension
    JEL: Q16
    Date: 2010–02
  16. By: Jean, Sebastien; Laborde, David; Martin, Will
    Abstract: Many trade negotiations involve large cuts in high tariffs, with flexibilities allowing much smaller cuts for an agreed number of politically-sensitive products. The effects of these flexibilities on market access opportunities are difficult to predict, creating particular problems for developing countries in assessing whether to support a proposed agreement. Some widely-used ad hoc approaches to identifying likely sensitive products -- such as the highest-bound-tariff rule -- suggest that the impacts of a limited number of such exceptions on average tariffs and on market access are likely to be minor. This paper uses a rigorous specification based on the apparent objectives of policy makers in setting the pre-negotiation tariff. Applying this approach with detailed data allows the authors to assess the implications of sensitive-product provisions for average agricultural tariffs, economic welfare, and market access under the Doha negotiations. The authors conclude that highest-tariff rules are likely to seriously underestimate the impacts on average tariffs, and that treating even 2 percent of tariff lines as sensitive is likely to have a sharply adverse impact on economic welfare. The impacts on market access are also adverse, but much smaller, perhaps reflecting the mercantilist focus of the negotiating process.
    Keywords: Free Trade,International Trade and Trade Rules,Markets and Market Access,Debt Markets,Trade Policy
    Date: 2010–02–01
  17. By: Roland Olbrich (Department of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany); Martin F. Quaas (Department of Economics, University of Kiel, Germany); Stefan Baumgärtner (Department of Sustainability Sciences, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany)
    Abstract: Studying the sustainable use of ecosystem services under uncertainty requires the consideration of the stochastic dynamics of the system under study, risk and time preferences, risk management strategies and normative views pertaining to sustainability. To gather this information for an important ecological-economic system, we conducted a survey of commercial cattle farmers in semi-arid rangelands of Namibia, a system that features risks on various space and time scales. Here we present a description of the research aims, design and conduction of the survey, and analyze and discuss the homogeneity and representativeness of our survey population. The survey consisted of a mail-in questionnaire and in-field experiments. We combined two existing farm-address databases, reaching 77% of the estimated 2,500 cattle farmers. The return rate of questionnaires exceeded 20%, and response rate to individual questions surpassed 95% and 90% for the majority of non-sensitive and sensitive questions, respectively. Distinct sub-sample groups within the survey population did not differ in the analyzed characteristics with the exception of ethnicity, regional location of farmland and an intentionally induced bias for residency on farm. It has turned out that we have undersampled distinct population segments of farmers, such as indigenous farmers or farmers not belonging to the main interest group of commercial cattle farming. Notwithstanding, we consider the survey to be highly successful, yielding a rich dataset which allows diverse analyses.
    Keywords: survey, cattle farming, semi-arid, rangeland management, sustainability, risk
    JEL: Q12 Q15 Q24 Q56 Q57
    Date: 2009–09
  18. By: Headey, Derek D.
    Abstract: From 2003 to their peak in mid 2008, the nominal prices of maize and wheat roughly doubled, while those of rice tripled in a matter of months rather than years. Although fundamental factors were clearly responsible for shifting the world to a higher equilibrium price during this time, there is little doubt that when food prices peaked in June 2008, they soared well above the new equilibrium price. Numerous arguments have been proposed to explain overshooting, including financial speculation, depreciation of the United States (U.S.) dollar, low interest rates, and reductions in grain stocks. However, observations that international rice prices surged in response to export restrictions by India and Vietnam suggested that trade-related factors could be an important basis for overshooting, especially given the very tangible link between export volumes and export prices. In this paper, we revisit the trade story by closely examining monthly data from the largest export markets for rice (Thailand), wheat, maize and soybeans (the United States). In each case, we find that large surges in export volumes preceded the price surges. The presence of these demand surges, together with back-of-the-envelope estimates of their price impacts, suggest that trade events played a much larger and more pervasive role than previously thought. This further implies that improving the international grain markets should be a central focus of the international policy agenda going forward.
    Keywords: equilibrium price, export markets, export prices, export restrictions, export volumes, international grain trade, panic purchases, world food crisis,
    Date: 2010
  19. By: Beintema, Nienke M.; Di Marcantonio, Federica
    Abstract: Female farmers play a vital role in African agriculture, accounting for the majority of the agricultural workforce. However, agricultural research and higher education are disproportionately led by men. There is an urgent need for greater representation of women in the field of agricultural science and technology (S&T) in Sub-Saharan Africa. Female scientists, professors, and senior managers offer different insights and perspectives to help research institutes to more fully address the unique and pressing challenges of both female and male farmers in the region. Gender-disaggregated data on S&T capacity are scarce, often lack sufficient detail, and focus more generally on S&T rather than on agriculture specifically. Data are not always comparable due to different methodologies and coverage. The Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative and the CGIAR Gender & Diversity (G&D) Program partnered together to address this information gap. This report presents the results of an in-depth benchmarking survey on gender-disaggregated capacity indicators, covering 125 agricultural research and higher education agencies in 15 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is the first study of its kind to present detailed human resources data on female participation in agricultural science, the main findings of which include the following: • Total capacity in terms of the professional staff employed at the agricultural research and higher education agencies included in this study increased by 20 percent between 2000/01 and 2007/08, and women constituted almost half of this capacity increase. The female population of professional staff grew by eight percent per year on average, which is four times higher than the comparable rate of increase for the male population, indicating that the gender gap in African agricultural sciences is closing. • The proportion of female professional staff employed at the sample agricultural research and higher education agencies increased from 18 percent in 2000/01 to 24 percent in 2007/08, but fewer women have advanced degrees compared to their male colleagues. In 2007/08, for example, 27 percent of the sample’s professional women held PhD degrees compared with 37 percent of the sample’s professional men. • Of concern, about two-thirds of the overall (female and male) capacity increase comprised staff holding only BSc degrees, indicating that the overall quality of capacity in agricultural research and higher education is declining in some Sub-Saharan African countries. Notably, the total number of male professional staff trained to the MSc level declined between 2000/01 and 2007/08; however, more in-depth analysis is needed to explain the underlying causes of these shifts and to what degree they represent structural changes. • Levels of female participation in agricultural research and higher education among the sample agencies were particularly low in Ethiopia (6 percent), Togo (9 percent), Niger (10 percent), and Burkina Faso (12 percent). Shares of female professional staff were much higher in South Africa, Mozambique, and Botswana (32, 35, and 41 percent, respectively). • The female share of students enrolled in higher agricultural education was higher than the female shares of professional staff employed at the agricultural research and higher education agencies in most cases, but a significant proportion of the female students concerned were undertaking only BSc-level studies (83 percent). • Only 14 percent of the management positions were held by women, which is considerably lower than the share of female professional staff employed at the sample’s agricultural research and higher education agencies (24 percent). • The pool of female staff is much younger on average than the pool of male staff. • The prevalence of female professional staff is comparatively higher in fields related to life and social sciences, and comparatively lower in fields involving areas traditionally thought of as “hard science”, such as engineering.
    Keywords: agricultural R&D, Sub-Saharan Africa, female participation, S&T capacity, agricultural higher education,
    Date: 2010
  20. By: Ahamad, Mazbahul Golam; Khondker, Rezai Karim
    Abstract: This paper presents the food insecurity status and coping strategies among the households in the Northern Bangladesh. A three stage stratified random sampling followed by a structured questionnaire was employed to collect primary data from nine different primary sampling units. Locally adjusted reduced consumption coping strategy index is used to quantify the food security status, especially for mainland and flood affected riverbanks of the study areas. Nine explanatory variables are considered for an interval regression to assess the impacts of these predictors on changing reduced consumption coping strategy index score. Moreover, body mass index of household heads and dependency ratio of respective households are analyzed to compare strata-wise food insecurity.
    Keywords: Food Insecurity; Climate Risks; Consumption Coping Strategy Index; Interval Regression; Northern Bangladesh.
    JEL: Q54 Q58
    Date: 2010–03
  21. By: Christina Kotakou (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia); Stelios Katranidis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia)
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of decoupling policies on Greek cotton production under the hypothesis that producers face uncertainty about output price and quantity. Using our estimation results we simulate the effects on cotton production under four alternative policy scenarios: the ‘Old’ CAP regime (i.e. the policy practiced until 2005), the Mid Term Review regime, a fully decoupled policy regime and a free trade-no policy scenario. Our results indicate the decoupled payment will have two contradictious effects on risk aversion. Producers become less risk averse through the wealth effect but more risk averse because of the increased output variance. The overall result of these two effects depends on the degree of risk aversion by farmers. We found that when the degree of risk aversion is high the wealth effect is positive. However, in the case of low risk aversion, the wealth disappears in practice and as a result the decoupled payments become production neutral.
    Keywords: Common Agricultural Policy, decoupling, uncertainty
    JEL: D21 Q18
    Date: 2010–04
  22. By: Toni Darbas; Neil MacLeod; Fiachra Kearney; Timothy F Smith; Simone Grounds (CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Australia)
    Abstract: Peri-urban development pressure on and near Australian coastlines is resulting in the conversion of agricultural land for rural-residential use. The impact of larger and more diverse human populations upon the ecological assets remaining in agricultural landscapes has consequently become a policy concern. This paper contributes to these policy debates by integrating the results of parallel social and ecological research projects commissioned to improve natural resource management in peri-urbanising regions. The research was undertaken in the case study region of South East Queensland, the region supporting Australia’s most rapid population growth. Our results indicate that both social and ecological communities cross a fragmentation threshold due to peri-urban development whereby they become ecologically simple and socially heterogeneous in a coupling that cedes a poor diagnosis for biodiversity retention.
    Keywords: stored soil water, dryland grain cropping, extension, social systems, RD&E, differentiation
    JEL: Q56
    Date: 2010–02
  23. By: Kaplinsky, Raphael; Terheggen, Anne; Tijaja, Julia
    Abstract: Rapid economic growth in China has boosted its demand for commodities. At the same time, many commodity sectors have experienced declining demand from high-income northern economies. This paper examines two hypotheses of the consequences of this shift in final markets for the organization of global value chains in general, and for the role played in them by southern producers in particular. The first is that there will be a decline in the importance of standards in global value chains. The second is that there will be increasing constraints in the ability of low-income producers to upgrade to higher value niches in their chains. Detailed case studies of the Thai cassava industry and the Gabon timber sector confirm both these hypotheses. It remains to be seen how widespread these trends are across other sectors.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies,Food&Beverage Industry,Markets and Market Access,Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies
    Date: 2010–02–01
  24. By: Gebreegziabher, Zenebe (Department of Economics, Mekelle University, and Environmental Economics Policy Forum for Ethiopia (EEPFE)); Mekonnen, Alemu (Department of Economics, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia); Kassie, Menale (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Köhlin, Gunnar (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Trees have multiple purposes in rural Ethiopia, providing significant economic and ecological benefits. Planting trees supplies rural households with wood products for their own consumption, as well for sale, and decreases soil degradation. In this paper, we used cross-sectional household-level data to analyze the determinants of household tree planting and explored the most important tree attributes or purpose(s) that enhance the propensity to plant trees. We set up a sample selection framework that simultaneously takes into account the two decisions of tree growers (whether or not to plant tree and how many) to analyze the determinants of tree planting. We used logistic regression to analyze the most important tree attributes contributing to households’ tree-planting decisions. We found that land size, age, gender, tenure security, education, exogenous income, and agro-ecology increased both the propensity to plant trees and the amount of tree planting, while increased livestock holding impacted both decisions negatively. Our findings also suggested that households consider a number of attributes in making decision to plant trees. These results can be used by policymakers to promote tree planting in the study area by strengthening tenure security and considering households’ selection of specific tree species for their attributes (criteria).<p>
    Keywords: Tree planting; tree species; tree attributes/purposes; sample selection; Tigrai; Ethiopia
    JEL: Q20 Q23 Q28
    Date: 2010–02–18
  25. By: Ghosh, Gaurav (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN)); Ribaudo, Marc (Economic Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture); Shortle, James (Environmental and Natural Resources Institute, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Pennsylvania State University)
    Abstract: The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are promoting point/nonpoint trading as a way of reducing the costs of meeting water quality goals while giving nonpoint sources a larger role in meeting those goals. Farms can create offsets or credits in a point/nonpoint trading program by implementing management practices such as conservation tillage, nutrient management, and buffer strips. To be eligible to sell credits, farmers must first comply with baseline requirements. The EPA defines a baseline as the pollutant control requirements that apply to a seller in the absence of trading. EPA guidance recommends that the baseline for nonpoint sources be management practices that are consistent with the water quality goal. A farmer would not be able to create credits until the minimum practice standards are met. An alternative baseline is those practices being implemented at the time the trading program starts. The selection of the baseline has major implications for which farmers benefit from trading, the cost of nonpoint source credits, and ultimately the number of credits that nonpoint sources can sell to regulated point sources. We use a simple model of the average profit-maximizing dairy farmer operating in the Conestoga (PA) watershed to evaluate the implications of baseline requirements on the cost and quantity of credits that can be produced for sale in a water quality trading market, and which farmers benefit most from trading.
    Keywords: nonpoint pollution; emissions trading; management practices
    Date: 2009–11
  26. By: Holtermann, Timm (Institut für Textiltechnik, RWTH Aachen University); Madlener, Reinhard (E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN))
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the technological development and economic potential of the photobioreactor (PBR) technology for energy purposes, i.e. production of hydrogen or biofuels. The approach adopted is to consider the technology, its expected costs and revenues, and related risks from an investor perspective. To this end we develop an investment model that is used to calculate the economic feasibility of PBRs for different scenarios, including a best-case scenario, with plenty of sunlight and water, inexpensive nutrients, high prices for hydrogen and biomass, and low other costs. The best-case scenario is compared to a scenario with less favorable boundary conditions. We find that PBR efficiencies will likely be less than 10%, with typical values between 1.8-5.6%. We also find that hydrogen production costs would be lower than those for biodiesel or biogas from solid biomass produced in PBRs. Compared to biofuels from traditional agriculture there is a great advantage for the PBR technology if land is scarce, because land is used more efficiently. Since PBRs can be designed as a closed system they can be applied in very dry regions. In the long term this might enable this promising concept to penetrate the energy supply market.
    Keywords: photosynthesis; economics; technology; analysis; algae; bioenergy; hydrogen; market forecast; land use
    Date: 2009–11
  27. By: Patnaik, Unmesh; Narayanan, K
    Abstract: Disaster risk is a major concern in a developing country like India as people living in disaster prone regions of the country are subject to variety of risks concerning their livelihoods. Preliminary assessments reveal that the severity and intensity of floods in various parts of India might increase due to climate change. This paper attempts to understand the various risks faced by households living in disaster prone regions of rural India and specifically examine the effectiveness of coping mechanisms adopted by households living in these areas to hedge against the risks. The study area (districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh, India) is highly susceptible to floods with a major flood occurring every ten years and smaller ones happening every one-two years. The data is drawn from primary household surveys undertaken in the study area for flood affected households. The analysis is carried out using a risk sharing and self insurance framework and econometric modeling is carried out using binary outcomes and multivariate probit estimation through GHK (Geweke- Hajivassiliou- Keane) estimator. Based on the empirical analysis, and subject to the assumptions and the usual limitations of data used, the findings of the study suggest that: (i) overall the impacts of disasters on the consumption level of the household exhibit an inverse relationship, (ii) consumption smoothening behaviour is not exhibited by the households and (iii) household specific characteristics along with the geographical location of the households have no significant role to play with respect to the changes in consumption in the flood prone districts of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
    Keywords: Vulnerability; Coping; Disasters; Flood; Household Behaviour
    JEL: C12 C81 D1 Q54 C2 C01
    Date: 2010–03
  28. By: José-Antonio Monteiro (Institute of economic research IRENE, Faculty of Economics, University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland)
    Abstract: The growing popularity of national efforts to promote eco-labeling raises important questions. In particular, developing countries fear that the eco-label can deliberately impose the environmental concern of (high income) importing countries on their production methods. Yet, empirical studies of the adoption of eco-labelling schemes at the cross-country level are scarce due to the lack of data availability. In this paper, the decision to introduce an eco-label is analyzed through a heteroskedastic Bayesian spatial probit, which allows the government’s decision to introduce an eco-label to be influenced by the behaviour of the neighbouring countries. The estimation is performed by extending the joint updating approach proposed by Holmes & Held (2006) to a spatial framework. Empirical evidence highlights the importance of a high stage of development, innovation experience and potential scale effects in the implementation of an eco-label scheme. In addition, results confirm the existence of a strategic interdependence in the eco-label decision.
    Keywords: Bayesian Spatial Probit, International Trade, Environmental Policy, Eco-labelling
    JEL: F18 C11 C25
    Date: 2010–01
  29. By: Renate Hartwig; Michael Grimm
    Abstract: In 2002 Malawi experienced a serious shortage of cereals due to adverse climatic conditions. The World Food Programme assumed that about 2.1 to 3.2 million people were threatened of starvation at that time. However, not much research has been undertaken to investigate the actual consequences of this crisis. In particular, little is known about how the crisis affected the health status of children. Obviously, quantifying the health impact of such a crisis is a serious task given the lack of data and the more general problem of relating outcomes to specific shocks and policies. In this paper a difference-in-difference estimator is used to quantify the impact of the food crisis on the health status of children. The findings suggest that at least in the short run, there was neither a significant impact on child mortality nor on malnutrition. This would suggest that the shock might have been less severe than initially assumed and that the various policy interventions undertaken at the time have been effective or at least sufficient to counteract the immediate effects of the crisis.
    Keywords: child mortality, malnutrition, food crisis, Malawi
    Date: 2010
  30. By: Bettina Riedel (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
    Abstract: In the present study we combine cluster theory with a value chain approach, with the aim of discovering elements of the European fresh vegetable business that could enable local producers to gain competitive advantages in a global market. European producers of fresh vegetables are under pressure to improve their performance and increase their competitiveness. Competitive advantage can be gained through innovation and by using unique resources stemming from cooperation between producers and complementary actors in local clusters. However, locally clustered producers do not sell to open markets but need access to value chains governed by lead firms, the large European retail chains, which set the rules and conditions of participation. The study presents first results from a multiple case-study analysis involving three different European regions in Germany, Italy and Spain specialized in fresh vegetable production. In-depth interviews with practitioners allowed us to confirm some main trends in business organization in the European fresh vegetable industry, but also to point out some interesting peculiarities of this industry. Local fresh vegetable producers become competitive due to their integration both in local production and wider marketing networks, where unique knowledge is created and interchanged by personal relationships. Further concentration on the local level is claimed to countervail power imbalances that usually favor buyers. The need for leading supermarket chains to build up direct relationships with key suppliers disturbs the functioning of existing relationship patterns in the local cluster. Creation of exclusive relationships with retail chains is pursued by entrepreneurs of innovative producing farms who treat their special knowledge and capacities as competitive advantages in the sharp competition in world markets and do not share it with other cluster actors.
    Keywords: Fresh vegetables, value chains, clusters, competitiveness
    JEL: Q13
    Date: 2009–10
  31. By: McQuade, Timothy; Salant, Stephen W. (Resources for the Future); Winfree, Jason
    Abstract: In markets for fruits, vegetables, and many imported goods, consumers cannot discern quality prior to purchase and can never identify the producer. Producing high-quality, safe goods is costly and raises the "collective reputation" for quality shared with rival firms. Minimum quality standards imposed on all firms improve welfare. If consumers can observe the country of origin of a product, quality, profits, and welfare increase. If one country imposes a minimum quality standard on its exports, consumers benefit, the profits of firms in the country with regulation rise, and the profits of firms in countries without regulation fall.
    Keywords: separated by commas
    Date: 2010–04–12
  32. By: Taheripour, Farzad; Hertel, Thomas; Tyner, Wally
    Abstract: The past decade has seen rapid growth in the global biofuels sector - particularly in the US and the EU. This has had important implications for the global livestock industry - both by raising the cost of feed grains and oilseeds and by forcing onto the market a large supply of biofuel by-products, many of which end up in livestock feed rations. This paper systematically investigates the impact of an expanding biofuels industry on the mix and location of global livestock production. Our results suggest that the impacts on specific livestock sectors in individual countries are quite varied. We estimate that growth in the US and EU biofuels industries actually results in larger absolute reductions in livestock production overseas, as opposed to in the biofuel producing regions themselves. This is due to the relatively greater transmission of grains prices into the overseas markets, as compared to the transmission of byproduct prices. We also find that the non-ruminant industry curtails its production more than other livestock industries, because it is less able to take advantage of low cost biofuel byproducts in its feed rations. Implementing biofuel mandates in the US and EU increases cropland area within the biofuel and non-biofuel producer regions. A large portion of this increase will be obtained from reduced grazing lands. The biofuel producing regions are expected to reduce their coarse grains exports and increase imports of oilseeds and vegetable oils, while they increase their exports of processed feed materials. Though biofuel mandates have important consequences for the livestock industry, they do not severely curtail these industries. This is largely due to the important role of byproducts in substituting for higher priced feedstuffs.
    Date: 2010

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