New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2010‒10‒16
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Tackling Water Scarcity in Bangladesh – A Lesson from the Country’s Rice Fields By Nasima Tanveer Chowdhury
  2. Hybrid linear programming to estimate CAP impacts of flatter rates and environmental top-ups By Stelios Rozakis
  3. An input-output approach in assessing the impact of extensive versus intensive farming systems on rural development: the case of Greece By Elias Giannakis
  4. Rice price volatility: a dilemma for public policies in Asia and Europe? By M. Bruna Zolin; Bernadette Andreosso O’Callaghan
  5. Price induced water irrigation: Unraveling conflicts and synergies between European agricultural and water policies By Athanasios Kampas; Athanasios Petsakos; Stelios Rozakis
  6. Competitiveness of Bulgarian farms By Bachev, Hrabrin
  7. An assessment of the effects of the 2002 food crisis on children's health in Malawi By Hartwig, R.; Grimm, M.
  8. From small farming to rural, non?agricultural work in Romania: an evaluation on 3 measures of the rural development programme By Marie-Luce Ghib; Marielle Berriet-Solliec
  9. Special and Differential Treatment in Agricultural Negotiations By Anwarul hoda
  10. Competing Ecosystem Services: an Assessment of Carbon and Timber in the Tropical Forests of Central America By Kaysara Khatun
  11. The impact of the global financial crisis on off-farm employment and earnings in rural China By Huang, Jikun; Zhi, Huayong; Huang, Zhurong; Rozelle, Scott; Giles, John
  12. The Unequal Benefits of Fuel Subsidies: A Review of Evidence for Developing Countries By David Coady; Javier Arze del Granado

  1. By: Nasima Tanveer Chowdhury
    Abstract: In many parts of Bangladesh water scarcity is a seasonal problem. An assessment is done to understand whether water is being used efficiently for the cultivation of one of the most important food crops in the country, boro rice.
    Keywords: boro rice, bangladesh, water, scarcity, seasonal, cultivation, food, crops, agricultural water use
    Date: 2010
  2. By: Stelios Rozakis (Agricultural Economics and Rural Development Department, Agricultural University of Athens)
    Abstract: This paper examines evolutions of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) decoupling regime and their impacts on Greek arable agriculture. Policy analysis is performed by using mathematical programming tools. Taking into account increasing uncertainty, we assume that farmers perceive gross margin in intervals rather than as expected crisp values. A bottom-up hybrid model accommodates both profit maximizing and risk prudent attitudes in order to accurately assess farmers’ response. Marginal changes to crop plans are expected so that flatter single payment rates cause significant changes in incomes and subsidies. Nitrogen reduction incentives result in moderate changes putting their effectiveness in question.
    Keywords: Interval Linear Programming, Min-Max Regret, Common Agricultural Policy, Arable cropping, Greece
    JEL: C61 D81 Q12 Q18
    Date: 2010
  3. By: Elias Giannakis (Agricultural Economics and Rural Development Department, Agricultural University of Athens)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of the extensive versus the intensive farming systems on rural development and specifically in a Greek rural area Trikala. The Generation of Regional Input Output Tables (GRIT) technique is applied for the estimation of the socio-economic impact of the farming systems through the estimation of an input-output (I/O) table. This is followed by an agriculture-centred multiplier analysis. The results suggest that intensive crops create stronger backward linkages from extensive ones. Almost all farming systems appear to have rather low Type 1 and Type 2 income and employment multipliers. Amongst them extensive crops seem to have the greatest due to high direct income and employment effects they create. Finally, the paper assesses the impact of the shift of land resources from intensive to extensive farming systems, due to the Mid-term Review of CAP, by exogenizing the output of the agricultural farming systems. The results of the above analysis indicate a reduction in the sectoral output of the region’s economy.
    Keywords: : intensive vs extensive farming systems; rural development; input-output analysis; CAP
    JEL: C67 O18 O13
    Date: 2010
  4. By: M. Bruna Zolin (Department of Economics, University Of Venice Cà Foscari); Bernadette Andreosso O’Callaghan (University Of Limerick)
    Abstract: In 2008 the world’s attention was focused on the global food crisis and, as consequence, on the global food security. By mid-2009, commodity prices have dropped sensitively, nevertheless most of them still remain at or above past trend levels. Fluctuations in prices are not rare in agricultural markets where volatility is a common characteristic. Among cereals rice has a strategic importance. It is source of nutrition for more than a half of the world population and of income for about two million of farmers. Even if it is produced and consumed everywhere, production and consumption are concentrated in Asia. Because of its strategic importance, rice is and has been subject to a host of policy interventions that have made it feature among the most distorted of all agricultural commodities. Export policies have typically been applied by net exporting countries and one of the most commonly applied policy measures, adopted by net importing countries, is the removal or reduction of import duties and taxes on food commodities. Various forms of producer support measures were introduced, including input subsidies, output price support and an easing of cropland set-aside requirements. Policies to support consumers and vulnerable groups have included: direct consumer subsidies, tax reductions, distribution from public stocks, price subsidies, public-sector salary increases and social safety net programmes. Self-targeting food-for-work programmes have been put in place by some countries. Although the EU rice trade represents only 0.4 per cent of world trade a common organisation market (COM) for rice was set-up. It is a complex system aiming at maintaining European rice production destined for domestic and external markets. This paper aims to expand the above statements. The objective is to review and compare the policies adopted in Asia and in the EU and assess their impact form the point of sustainability (in a broad sense) with the ultimate aim to advance some interpretations and suggestions in the short and long run, having in mind the variables that affect the supply, the demand and the trade. As a background, the paper first outlines the characteristics of the rice market. Through a regression analysis that could help to understand how the rice price changes. It also considers the policies adopted in Asia and in the EU, highlighting their results on prices from an economic and social point of view. This paper concludes with a number of issues to be borne in mind when interpreting the volatility or rice prices (according to the regression analysis results), the expected policy impact and distortions, and, finally, the “relatively” new strategy: move from food security to self-sufficient food security, one of the long terms goals of the Treaty of Rome (to secure availability of supplies).
    Keywords: food security, rice market, public policies, regression analysis
    JEL: Q1 F4 H2
    Date: 2010
  5. By: Athanasios Kampas (Agricultural Economics and Rural Development Department, Agricultural University of Athens); Athanasios Petsakos (Agricultural Economics and Rural Development Department, Agricultural University of Athens); Stelios Rozakis (Agricultural Economics and Rural Development Department, Agricultural University of Athens)
    Abstract: The 2003 CAP reform considerably affects cropping patterns in European agriculture. At the same time the imperatives of the forthcoming Water Framework Directive (WFD) is expected to modify irrigation decisions especially in Southern Europe where irrigated agriculture utilizes about 70-80% of total water. This paper examines the combined effect of CAP reform and the application of likely volumetric water pricing on water demand by taking into account three drivers of change, namely extensive margin changes, intensive margin changes and irrigation technology shift. For low rates of water prices, CAP reform contradicts the WFD objectives since it leads to cropping patterns that consume more water resources. On the contrary, as water prices increase, decoupling and water pricing display a synergistic effect on water conservation. Finally, decoupling substantially increases the efficiency of water pricing in terms of water conservation. As a result, the post CAP reform regime clearly dominates the prior CAP reform regime when an index of value for money water conservation is examined.
    Keywords: irrigation, bio-economic modeling, mathematical programming, policy analysis, price endogenous model, water demand, CAP reform, WFD
    JEL: C61 Q18 Q21 Q25
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Bachev, Hrabrin
    Abstract: This paper suggests a holistic framework for assessing farm competitiveness, and analyses competitiveness of different type of Bulgarian farms. First, it present a new approach for assessing farm competitiveness defining farm competitiveness and its three criteria (efficiency, adaptability and sustainability), and identifying indicators for assessing the individual aspects and the overall competitiveness of farms. Next, it analyzes evolution and efficiency of farming organizations during post communist transition and EU integration in Bulgaria, and assesses levels and factors of farms competitiveness in the conditions of CAP implementation.
    Keywords: efficiency; adaptability; sustainability; and competitiveness of farms; transitional agriculture; EU integration; CAP; Bulgaria
    JEL: L25 L11 Q12 Q18 L14 D23 Q13 Q15 L22 Q10
    Date: 2010–09–01
  7. By: Hartwig, R.; Grimm, M.
    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: 2010–01–01
  8. By: Marie-Luce Ghib; Marielle Berriet-Solliec
    Abstract: Romanian rural areas contain the highest level of agricultural workers in the European Union, resulting in the challenge of stimulating non-agricultural employment. This paper uses the methodology of policy evaluation to analyse the influence of 3 measures the CAP. From an objectives tree to reveal the objectives of the programme to statistical analysis and field surveys, we analysed the pertinence, the coherence and the first results of those schemes. It was found that the targeted population was under estimated for one of the semi-subsistence schemes. Choosing activities (tourism and enterprise) which are open to all rural society leads to enhanced competition between beneficiaries. Due to the global context of economic crisis, co-financing can be met only by owners of strong capital, and the previous targeted population would then be only indirectly touched by the creation of jobs in rural areas.
    Keywords: Rural policies, Policy evaluation, small farms, Romania
    JEL: R58 O21 H72 C13
    Date: 2010–09–13
  9. By: Anwarul hoda
    Abstract: Over the past four decades or so, the issues that have dominated WTO/GATT negotiations have generally fallen in the prototype of either a transatlantic conflict or a North-South divide. The latter has centered on efforts for the incorporation and improvement of provisions on special and differential (S&D) treatment of developing countries in the multilateral rules and for their application. [WTO Research Series No.1]
    Keywords: WTO, GATT, North-South, developing countries, multilateral
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Kaysara Khatun
    Abstract: The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA 2005) has classified a number of ecosystems good and services (EGS) provided by tropical forests, namely cultural, provisioning, regulatory and support services. The primary focus of this paper is to carry out an economic assessment by comparing the financial costs and returns of selected EGS, namely carbon and timber in the tropical forests of Central America. Timber is unusual from the other EGS provided by forests in that it competes with the other services, i.e. biodiversity, recreation and water services. Carbon storage is the non-timber value most often included in forest accounts and can be equated directly with timber available in terms of biomass content.<br /> <br /> The study provides a quantitative appraisal of the carbon and timber stocks and flows of tropical (primary) forests and the associated trade-offs by evaluating them simultaneously using data and market values from a number of sources. The provision of reliable and accurate estimates of the economic value of these services is crucial to plan adequate conservation policies that encourage the protection and sustainable management of tropical forests such as those under REDD/REDD+. Results indicate that the economic return for managing natural forests is influenced by timber and carbon prices as well as the discount rate applied. Timber on face value is the better land use option; however, there are many issues that need to be considered when valuing timber, especially regarding the management regimes. Revenues under REDD/ REDD+ option would be higher if co-benefits, which include monies from the sustainable extraction of timber under Sustainable Forestry Management (SFM) are considered. <br /> <br />
    Keywords: Carbon, Environmental Goods and Services, Forests, REDD/REDD+, Timber
    Date: 2010–10
  11. By: Huang, Jikun; Zhi, Huayong; Huang, Zhurong; Rozelle, Scott; Giles, John
    Abstract: This paper examines the effect of the financial crisis on off-farm employment of China's rural labor force. Using a national representative data set collected from across China, the paper finds that there was a substantial impact. By April 2009 off-farm employment reached 6.8 percent of the rural labor force. Monthly earnings also declined. However, while it is estimated that 49 million were laid-off between October 2008 and April 2009, half of them were re-hired in off-farm work by April 2009. By August 2009, less than 2 percent of the rural labor force was unemployed due to the crisis. The robust recovery appears to have helped avoid instability.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Labor Policies,Work&Working Conditions,Tertiary Education,Crops&Crop Management Systems
    Date: 2010–10–01
  12. By: David Coady; Javier Arze del Granado
    Abstract: This paper reviews evidence on the impact of fuel subsidy reform on household welfare in developing countries. On average, the burden of subsidy reform is neutrally distributed across income groups; a $0.25 decrease in the per liter subsidy results in a 6 percent decrease in income for all groups. More than half of this impact arises from the indirect impact on prices of other goods and services consumed by households. Fuel subsidies are a costly approach to protecting the poor due to substantial benefit leakage to higher income groups. In absolute terms, the top income quintile captures six times more in subsidies than the bottom. Issues that need to be addressed when undertaking subsidy reform are also discussed, including the need for a new approach to fuel pricing in many countries.
    Keywords: Developing countries , Income distribution , Oil prices , Oil pricing policy , Oil subsidies , Price increases , Private consumption , Welfare ,
    Date: 2010–09–03

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