nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒06‒26
seventeen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Supporting Food Production and Food Access through Local Public Procurement Schemes: Lessons from Brazil By Darana Souza; Danuta Chmielewska
  2. Market Alternatives for Smallholder Farmers in Food Security Initiatives: Lessons from the Brazilian Food Acquisition Programme By Danuta Chmielewska; Darana Souza
  3. Parking Space for the Poor: Restrictions Imposed on Marketing and Movement of Agricultural Goods in India By Mayank Wadhwa
  4. Agricultural Productivity Growth, Efficiency Change and Technical Progress in Latin America and the Caribbean By Carlos Ludena
  5. Food Standards and Welfare: A General Equilibrium Model with Market Imperfections By Tao Xiang; Jikun Huang; d’Artis Kancs; Scott Rozelle; Jo Swinnen
  6. Agricultural Development for Peace By Tony Addison
  9. Theun-Hinboun: Expanding Failure By Ikuko Matsumoto
  10. Low_Tech Innovation in a High-Tech Environment? The Case of the Food Industry in the Vienna Metropolitan Region By Michaela Trippl
  11. Household Adoption of Water-Efficient Equipment : The Role of Socio-economic Factors, Environmental Attitudes and Policy By Katrin Millock; Céline Nauges
  12. Biotechnology and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries By Gregory Graff; David Zilberman; David Roland Holst
  13. Agriculture, GDP and Prospects of MDG 1 in Lao PDR By Raghav Gaiha; Samuel Annim
  14. Do Consumer Price Subsidies Really Improve Nutrition? By Robert T. Jensen; Nolan H. Miller
  15. Farm Level Analysis of Risk and Risk Management Strategies and Policies: Cross Country Analysis By Shingo Kimura; Jesús Antón; Christine LeThi
  17. The value of information in biosecurity risk-benefit assessment: an application to red imported fire ants By Michael Ward; Tom Kompas

  1. By: Darana Souza (International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth); Danuta Chmielewska (International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth)
    Abstract: Approaches that combine giving vulnerable segments of the population access to food with support to smallholder farmers for food production can offer significant benefits in tackling poverty and hunger. Public procurement can play an important role in these approaches, ensuring supplies for food aid schemes and market opportunities for farmers who otherwise would face great difficulties in establishing advantageous commercial relations. The benefits of such approaches can be very substantial when procurement strategies are implemented in line with local food production and consumption patterns. (?)
    Keywords: Supporting Food Production and Food Access through Local Public Procurement Schemes: Lessons from Brazil
    Date: 2010–06
  2. By: Danuta Chmielewska (International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth); Darana Souza (International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth)
    Abstract: Policies that support the livelihoods of smallholder farmers are crucial in efforts to tackle poverty and hunger, especially when they are designed to combine different sectors of public intervention. Small farmers account for a significant share of developing countries? rural poor, who in turn account for 75 per cent of the total poor population in those countries (World Bank, 2008). Smallholdings are typically operated by the poor, who make substantial use of labour from their own households and from their equally poor or even poorer neighbours. Moreover, much of their income is usually spent on locally produced goods and services, thereby stimulating the rural off-farm economy and creating additional jobs (Hazell et al., 2007). They are also vital for food production and can play a significant role in increasing the availability of and access to food (United Nations, 2008). Small farmers use several different strategies to secure their livelihoods, with a view to ensuring that their food requirements are met and that they generate enough income for their immediate consumption needs, social purposes and investments. Interaction with agricultural markets is an essential part of these strategies. Markets are where, as producers, smallholders buy their agricultural inputs and sell their products; they are where, as consumers, smallholders use income from the sale of crops or from their non-agricultural activities to buy food and other consumption goods. Improved market access, therefore, is not only important for better-off producers or for the production of cash crops rather than food crops; it is also very important for smallholder farmers (IFAD, 2003). (?)
    Keywords: Policies that support the livelihoods of smallholder farmers are crucial in efforts to tackle poverty and hunger, especially when they are designed t
    Date: 2010–06
  3. By: Mayank Wadhwa
    Abstract: Agricultural markets in India have been regulated since 1928 with the inception of the "Royal Commission of Agriculture." Policy intervention in agriculture was virtually absent till the Bengal Famine of 1943, in which more than a million people died. The famine provided a major impetus for formulation of a comprehensive food policy in India. The Food Policy Committee which was set up after the disaster, suggested an interventionist government policy in the food grain market. Intervention began in the form of administrative controls, monopoly procurement schemes and public distribution, but it now encompasses a wide array of restrictive tools. This was done on the premise that private trade would function efficiently in normal periods but in periods of drought and crop failure, the profit motive would lead them to hoard supplies and earn abnormal profits. Ever since, the Indian government has followed a policy of de-control and re-control of agricultural markets.Thus this paper talks about restrictions imposed on marketing and movement of agricultural goods in India.[Working Paper No. 0009]
    Keywords: Agricultural markets, Royal Commission, famine, food policy, comprehensive, disaster, encompasses, drought, crop failure, hoard supplies, agriculture, Bengal, famine, goods, India
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Carlos Ludena
    Abstract: This paper analyzes total factor productivity growth in agriculture in Latin America and the Caribbean between 1961 and 2007 employing the Malmquist Index, a non-parametric methodology that uses data envelopment analysis (DEA) methods. The results show that among developing regions, Latin America and the Caribbean shows the highest agricultural productivity growth. The highest growth within the region has occurred in the last two decades, especially due to improvements in efficiency and the introduction of new technologies. Within the region, land-abundant countries consistently outperform land-constrained countries. Within agriculture, crops and non-ruminant sectors have displayed the strongest growth between 1961 and 2001, and ruminant production performed the worst. Additional analysis of the cases of Brazil and Cuba illustrates potential effects of policies and external shocks on agricultural productivity; policies that do not discriminate against agricultural sectors and that remove price and production distortions may help improve productivity growth.
    Keywords: Total factor productivity, Agriculture, Crops, Livestock, Latin America and the Caribbean, Malmquist Index
    JEL: O13 O47 O54
    Date: 2010–05
  5. By: Tao Xiang; Jikun Huang; d’Artis Kancs; Scott Rozelle; Jo Swinnen
    Abstract: We analyze the effects of high standards food chains on household welfare taking into account general equilibrium effects and market imperfections. To measure structural production changes and welfare effects on rural and urban households, our model has two types of agents, five kinds of products and four types of factors. We calibrate the model using dataset from China. The simulation results show that how poor rural households are affected depends on a variety of factors, including the nature of the shocks leading to the expansion of high standards sector, production technologies, trade effects, spillover effects on low standards markets, market imperfections, and labor market effects.
    JEL: J11 J15 Y80
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Tony Addison
    Abstract: Agricultural development can contribute significantly to peace by raising incomes and employment, thereby reducing the social frustrations that give rise to violence. Agricultural growth also generates revenues for governments, allowing them to redress the grievances of disadvantaged populations. In this way, growth can be made more equitable, an effect that is enhanced if inequalities in access to natural capital, especially to land, are addressed as well. Agriculture is critical for countries rebuilding from war, especially in making recovery work for the poor. And by raising per capita incomes, agricultural development underpins new democracies. Agricultural development thereby supports political strategies for peace-building and democratization. [Research Paper No. 2005/07 ]
    Keywords: agriculture, conflict, peace, international trade
    Date: 2010
  7. By: Nadia Belhaj Hassine (Economic Research Forum); Veronique Robichaud; Bernard Decaluwé
    Abstract: Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) models have gained popularity as an empirical tool for assessing the impact of trade liberalization on agricultural growth, poverty and income distribution. However, conventional models ignore the channels linking technical change in agriculture, trade openness and poverty. This study seeks to incorporate econometric evidence of these linkages into a CGE model to estimate the impact of alternative trade liberalization scenarios on welfare, poverty and equity. The analysis uses the Latent Class Stochastic Frontier Model (LCSFM) and the metafrontier function to investigate the influence of trade openness on agricultural technological change. The estimated productivity gains induced from higher levels of trade are combined with a general equilibrium analysis of trade liberalization to evaluate the direct welfare benefits of poor farmers and the indirect income and prices outcomes. These effects are then used to infer the impact on poverty using the traditional top-down approach. The model is applied to Tunisian data using the social accounting matrix of 2001 and the 2000 household expenditures surveys.
    Date: 2010–05
  8. By: G. R. Soltani (Department of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University); M. Bakhshoodeh (Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Shiraz); M. Zibaei
    Abstract: This study addresses the problem of agricultural water use efficiency via optimization of cropping patterns, irrigation strategies and external trade of agricultural products in Iran. Towards this end, comparative advantages of some principal crops are first determined using Policy Analysis Matrix (PAM) at three levels: farm, plain and basin. Due to importance of irrigation water, a new approach is developed for estimating scarcity price or the social price of irrigation water in the selected regions. Then, optimal cropping patterns at basin and farm levels are determined using mathematical programming techniques and considering water supply risk. According to the findings of this study, optimal allocation of water at the farm level is achieved when marginal return to irrigation water is the same not only in all growing stages of a crop but also at different growing stages of competing crops grown in the farm. Finally, the findings indicated that it is possible to direct optimal cropping patterns at basin level to maximize social profits, water-use efficiency and net virtual water import simultaneously. However, in order to draw a definite conclusion with respect to virtual water trade, more data is needed on the quantity of water embedded in each crop imported from and exported to each country. Moreover, it is necessary to design a suitable agricultural external trade plan to be used as a target for directing cropping patterns. The approach used in this study can be considered a first step in this direction.
    Date: 2009–12
  9. By: Ikuko Matsumoto
    Abstract: The Theun-Hinboun Expansion Project – a dam and diversion project under construction in Central Laos – violates the Equator Principles and Lao law, according to this report. It documents how Lao villagers are being sold down the river in a hydro deal that will displace thousands of people from their homes and land, and deprive thousands more of access to fertile rice fields, riverbank vegetable gardens, grazing lands, forests and fisheries. The dam project undermines local communities’ rights to access food.
    Keywords: Theun-Hinboun, dam, central laos, equator, hydro deal, homes, vegetable, forests, rice fields, river bank, local communities, access food, historical record, environmental management, power company, transportation, water contamination, rice cultivation, villagers, villages,
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Michaela Trippl
    Date: 2010
  11. By: Katrin Millock (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Céline Nauges (LERNA-INRA - Toulouse School of Economics)
    Abstract: Using survey data of around 10,000 households from 10 OECD countries, we identify the driving factors of household adoption of water-efficient equipment by estimating Probit models of a household's probability to invest in such equipment. The results indicate that environmental attitudes and ownership status are strong predictors of adoption of water-efficient equipment. In terms of policy, we find that households that were both metered and charged for their water individually had a much higher probability to invest in water-efficient equipment compared to households that paid a flat fee.
    Keywords: Attitudes, metering, residential water use, technology adoption.
    Date: 2010–06
  12. By: Gregory Graff; David Zilberman; David Roland Holst
    Abstract: Throughout human history, technology has proven its ability to contribute to higher material living standards, yet the work of poverty alleviation is far from complete. We believe that in the modern age, biotechnology holds remarkable potential for reducing poverty and its attendant adversities. However, the extent to which this promise is fulfilled will depend as much on institutions as it does on innovation. In these early stages of development, biotechnology is concentrated in the most developed, Tier I countries. In this paper, we envision future biotechnology diffusion around the world, with large emergent Tier II economies playing a catalytic role in propagating affordable and appropriate innovation products. Through the mechanism of a globally R&D supply chain, such products can ultimately reach the world’s poorest and improve their dietary, health, and income status. For this to happen, three general conditions must be satisfied.[Research Paper No. 2005/27]
    Keywords: sustainable development, technology, food, health, agriculture
    Date: 2010
  13. By: Raghav Gaiha; Samuel Annim
    Date: 2010
  14. By: Robert T. Jensen; Nolan H. Miller
    Abstract: Many developing countries use food-price subsidies or price controls to improve the nutrition of the poor. However, subsidizing goods on which households spend a high proportion of their budget can create large wealth effects. Consumers may then substitute towards foods with higher non-nutritional attributes (e.g., taste), but lower nutritional content per unit of currency, weakening or perhaps even reversing the intended impact of the subsidy. We analyze data from a randomized program of large price subsidies for poor households in two provinces of China and find no evidence that the subsidies improved nutrition. In fact, it may have had a negative impact for some households.
    JEL: I38 O12 Q18
    Date: 2010–06
  15. By: Shingo Kimura; Jesús Antón; Christine LeThi
    Abstract: This Working Paper presents the work on farm level analysis of risk management environment, strategies and policies. Two types of results are presented: statistical indicators of risk exposure at the individual level, and micro model simulation results on risk management strategies.
    JEL: Q10 Q13 Q18 R34 R38
    Date: 2010–06–18
  16. By: Wided Mattoussi; Paul Seabright
    Abstract: This paper tests the contribution of institutions to the promotion of cooperative behavior, taking seriously the endogeneity of the institutions themselves. Theft of water by manipulation of water meters is an important constraint on the implementation of economic pricing policies, particularly in semi-arid regions of the developing world. We show how cooperative management institutions can reduce theft, improving incentives for efficient water use, by inducing peer monitoring by cooperative members. We show in a theoretical model that theft is more likely when prices are high, punishments weak, cooperatives large and the uptake of water-saving technologies low. However, cooperative membership, punishment levels and technology adoption are not exogenous but are chosen by cooperative members in response to conditions that themselves influence incentives for theft. We test the model on data from Tunisia, relying on instruments that proxy for unobservable monitoring costs to deal with the endogeneity of these proximate determinants of theft. The results provide strong confirmation of the ability of well-designed incentives to reduce theft, as well as of the tendency of individuals to adapt their behavior to the level of monitoring costs. Higher monitoring costs have a positive direct effect on the incidence of theft, and a further positive indirect effect by weakening the incentive for farmers to adopt water-saving technologies. But various features of the design of institutions can counteract these effects.
    Date: 2009–06
  17. By: Michael Ward (Crawford School of Economics and Government, the Australian National University); Tom Kompas (Crawford School of Economics and Government, the Australian National University)
    Date: 2010–03

This nep-agr issue is ©2010 by Angelo Zago. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.