nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2012‒05‒02
24 papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. What makes a citrus farmer go organic? Empirical evidence from Spanish citrus farming By Mercedes Beltr‡n-Esteve; AndrŽs J. Picazo-Tadeo; Ernest Reig-Mart’nez
  2. Yield gaps and potential agricultural growth in West and Central Africa: By Nin-Pratt, Alejandro; Johnson, Michael; Magalhaes, Eduardo; You, Liangzhi; Diao, Xinshen; Chamberlin, Jordan
  3. Economic development, external shocks, and food security in Tajikistan: By Akramov, Kamiljon T.; Shreedhar, Ganga
  4. Why is Agricultural Employment Increasing in Turkey? By Seyfettin Gursel; Zumrut Imamoglu
  5. A review of input and output policies for cereals production in India: By Shreedhar, Ganga; Gupta, Neelmani; Pullabhotla, Hemant; Ganesh-Kumar, A.; Gulati, Ashok
  6. Engendering agricultural research, development, and extension: By Meinzen-Dick, Ruth; Quisumbing, Agnes; Behrman, Julia; Biermayr-Jenzano, Patricia; Wilde, Vicki; Noordeloos, Marco; Ragasa, Catherine; Beintema, Nienke
  7. Farmers' information needs and search behaviors: Case study in Tamil Nadu, India By Babu, Suresh Chandra; Govindarajan, Senthil Kumar; Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo; Glendenning, Claire J.
  8. Demand and supply of cereals in India: 2010-2025 By Ganesh-Kumar, A.; Mehta, Rajesh; Pullabhotla, Hemant; Prasad, Sanjay K.; Ganguly, Kavery; Gulati, Ashok
  9. The political economy of agricultural policy reform in India: Fertilizers and electricity for irrigation By Birner, Regina; Gupta, Surupa; Sharma, Neeru
  10. Impact of Uganda's National Agricultural Advisory Services program: By Benin, Samuel; Nkonya, Ephraim; Okecho, Geresom; Randriamamonjy, Josée; Kato, Edward; Lubadde, Geofrey; Kyotalimye, Miriam; Byekwaso, Francis
  11. Estimating the impact of access to infrastructure and extension services in rural Nepal: By Dillon, Andrew; Sharma, Manohar; Zhang, Xiaobo
  12. The sophistication and diversification of the African agricultural sector: A product space approach By Ulimwengu, John; Badibanga, Thaddée
  13. An Economic Assessment of Biogas Production and Land Use under the German Renewable Energy Source Act By Ruth Delzeit , Wolfgang Britz
  14. Revisiting the palm oil boom in Southeast Asia: The role of fuel versus food demand drivers By Sanders, Daniel J.; Balagtas, Joseph V.; Gruere, Guillaume
  15. The food security system: A new conceptual framework By Ecker, Olivier; Breisinger, Clemens
  16. Rural Household Income in China: Spatial-Temporal Disparity and Its Interpretation By Li, Yuheng
  17. A critical judgement of the applicability of 'New New Trade Theory' to agriculture: Structural change, productivity, and trade By Prehn, Sören; Brümmer, Bernhard
  18. The emergence of diverse organic consumers: Who are they and how do they shape demand? By Thomas Bøker Lund; Laura Mørch Andersen; Katherine O’Doherty Jensen
  19. Rural demography, public services, and land rights in Africa: A village-level analysis in Burkina Faso By McMillan, Margaret; Masters, William A.; Kazianga, Harounan
  20. A metafrontier directional distance function approach to assessing eco-efficiency By Mercedes Beltr‡n-Esteve; JosŽ A. G—mez-Lim—n; AndrŽs J. Picazo-Tadeo; Ernest Reig-Mart’nez
  21. Improving Village Poultry’s Survival Rate through Community-based Poultry Health Management: Evidence from Benin By Epiphane Sodjinou; Arne Henningsen; Olorounto D. Koudande
  22. Impact of social fund on the welfare of rural households : evidence from the Nepal poverty alleviation fund By Parajuli, Dilip; Acharya, Gayatri; Chaudhury, Nazmul; Thapa, Bishnu Bahadur
  23. Integrating regional economic development analysis and land use economics By Partridge, Mark D.; Rickman , Dan S.
  24. Down with diarrhea - Using fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design to link communal water supply with health By Zacharias Ziegelhöfer

  1. By: Mercedes Beltr‡n-Esteve (Universidad de Valencia); AndrŽs J. Picazo-Tadeo (Universidad de Valencia); Ernest Reig-Mart’nez (Universidad de Valencia)
    Abstract: Organic farming is increasing its share of total world food output and receiving growing support from policymakers concerned with agricultural sustainability issues. This paper studies the characteristics of citrus farmers in the Spanish region of Valencia that affect their probability of becoming organic farmers. A fair understanding of these characteristics may help policymakers improve the design of agricultural policies aimed at supporting organic citrus practices. As regards the methodology, a probit model is estimated with information of a sample of conventional and organic citrus farmers obtained from a survey specifically designed for the purpose of this research. Our main finding is that university education and agricultural professional training both increase the probability of becoming an organic farmer. Conversely, older farmers, farmers selling their production to foreign markets and those with farms of greater size and/or managing family farms are less likely to adopt organic citrus farming. The main policy implication is that, in order to support organic citrus production, more attention needs to be paid to improve farmersÕ technical training and education concerning organic farming.
    Keywords: Citrus farming; organic versus conventional production; probit estimation; education and professional training; Spain
    JEL: C25 Q01 Q12 Q57
    Date: 2012–04
  2. By: Nin-Pratt, Alejandro; Johnson, Michael; Magalhaes, Eduardo; You, Liangzhi; Diao, Xinshen; Chamberlin, Jordan
    Abstract: The authors identify a set of development priorities for agriculture that cut across West Africa at both the country and regional levels to achieve economywide growth goals in the region. To do this we adopt a modeling and analytical framework that involves the integration of spatial analysis to identify yield gaps determining the growth potential of different agricultural activities for areas with similar conditions and an economywide multimarket model to simulate ex ante the economic effects of closing these yield gaps. Results indicate that the greatest agriculture-led growth opportunities in West Africa reside in staple crops (cereals and roots and tubers) and livestock production. Contributing the most to agricultural growth in the Sahel are livestock, rice, coarse grains, and oilseeds (groundnuts); in Coastal countries, staple crops such as cassava, yams, and cereal seems to be relatively more important than other subsectors; and in Central Africa livestock and root crops are the sources of growth with highest potential. Results also point toward an essential range of policies and investments that are needed to stimulate the productivity growth of prioritized activities. These include developing opportunities for regional cooperation on technology adaptation and diffusion, strengthening regional agricultural markets, exploiting opportunities for greater regional cooperation and harmonization, diversifying traditional markets, and enhancing linkages between agricultural and nonagricultural sectors.
    Keywords: Agricultural growth, Multi-market model, spatial analysis, Staple food crops, Yield gap, Agricultural development, Development strategies,
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Akramov, Kamiljon T.; Shreedhar, Ganga
    Abstract: The combination of the recent global food and financial crises has had severe negative consequences on food security in Tajikistan. High dependence on food imports has made Tajikistan extremely vulnerable to the increasing global food prices and the volatility and transmission of global food prices was an important dimension of the food price crisis in the country. Excessive reliance on labor remittances exacerbated Tajikistan's food insecurity and the vulnerability of its households. This study examines the impact of recent food and economic crises on macro- and household-level food security in the country using macro-, sectoral-, and household-level data from national and international sources. The study also discusses overall trends in economic growth and poverty reduction, constraints and bottlenecks on agricultural growth and productivity, and other policies that may mitigate the negative effects of future external shocks.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Financial crisis, food security, global food crisis, Land reform, Remittances,
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Seyfettin Gursel (Bahcesehir University Center for Economic and Social Research (Betam)); Zumrut Imamoglu (Bahcesehir University Center for Economic and Social Research (Betam))
    Abstract: The decrease in the share of agricultural employment in Turkey has been reversed recently, especially during the global crisis. Agricultural employment increased by 17 percent between 2007 and 2010 and its share in total employment increased by 1.7 percentage points above its 2007 level. This paper studies the causes of the increase in agricultural employment. Is the surge in agricultural employment stemming from a decrease in the non-agricultural employment opportunities and the decrease in non-agricultural wages during the crisis? Or, have increasing food prices around the world caused an increase in agricultural income, making the agricultural sector more attractive for employment? We use a two-sector small-open economy model to analyze the effect of changes in world agricultural prices on sectoral employment. In order to quantify the implications of our model we exploit the regional variation in agricultural employment across 26 regions in Turkey. We use panel data covering agricultural prices and production, non-agricultural wages, employment and regional inflation between 2004 and 2010. We find that agricultural prices play an important role in explaining the observed variation in agricultural employment in Turkey. We fail to find evidence on the effect of non-agricultural wages on agricultural employment.
    Keywords: Regional employment, agricultural employment, economic development
    JEL: E32 R10
    Date: 2011–10
  5. By: Shreedhar, Ganga; Gupta, Neelmani; Pullabhotla, Hemant; Ganesh-Kumar, A.; Gulati, Ashok
    Abstract: This paper reviews the key policies with regard to agriculture inputs such as seed, fertilizer, water, agricultural equipment, research, extension, and agricultural credit. It also provides an overview of the policies and programs related to agricultural output markets that are crucial for improving cereal production in the country. A review of the past performance and policies of India's foodgrain sector reveals that the main drivers of growth have been modern inputs and technology, institutions, and markets with the changing role of the public and private sectors. The present challenge facing Indian policymakers is to efficiently balance food security concerns and higher growth objectives. This will require not only pushing the production frontier to sustainably augment supply, but also ensuring strategic management of foodgrains including procurement and distribution. The review of input policies highlights the pressure placed on foodgrain systems, in a business-as-usual scenario that extensively subsidizes input and promotes their intensive usage. Fallouts such as excessive groundwater withdrawals and distorted application of nitrogenous fertilizers have implications on the environmental sustainability of natural resources apart from being a considerable fiscal burden. The current policy of subsidizing agricultural power, irrigation, and fertilizers has outlived its relevance and is actually constraining agricultural investments in areas where the returns are higher. Although it is difficult to completely remove these subsidies, they still need to be gradually phased out and converted into investments in rural infrastructure (especially roads) and research and extension systems, which desperately need to be (re)vitalized. It is time the government started to actively partner with the private sector (in infrastructure creation and research) and civil society organizations (in extension), as they have played an increasingly important role in recent years. The review of the output management policies show that the current policy paradigm consisting of public procurement of grains at a preannounced minimum support price, public storage, and public distribution has resulted in distortions across crops, especially rice and wheat, as well periodic buildup of large stockpiles and stock rundown of these grains at a high cost to the government. Moreover, public procurement and stocking, coupled with interventionist international trade policies, is often at variance with the trends in international markets, resulting in lost opportunities for Indian exporters of rice and wheat. The regional concentration of the system of public procurement in the northern states, aided by intra-country trade and movement restrictions, has also resulted in large spatial disparity in agricultural productivity and farm income as well as uneven development of output markets across states. As a result, producer and consumer welfare is often compromised, even though the government's objective is to maintain a balance between them. Major reforms on the output side would include linking of MSPs with market prices, allowing futures markets in cereals, liberalizing international trade and bring forth greater competition in domestic trade to ensure output markets are more uniformly developed across states and that the country has a truly integrated market for foodgrains.
    Keywords: Agriculture, input policies, output policies,
    Date: 2012
  6. By: Meinzen-Dick, Ruth; Quisumbing, Agnes; Behrman, Julia; Biermayr-Jenzano, Patricia; Wilde, Vicki; Noordeloos, Marco; Ragasa, Catherine; Beintema, Nienke
    Abstract: Research has shown that women, when given the capital and opportunity, make unique, positive contributions to development outcomes ranging from agricultural productivity to poverty reduction. It comes as little surprise, then, that agricultural research, development, and extension systems are generally more successful when scientists, researchers, and extension agents pay attention to gender issues. However, women continue to be underrepresented and underserved, and their contributions remain mostly untapped in national and international agricultural research. Worldwide, gender roles are culturally defined in all aspects of farming, from control of resources to production and marketing, and these definitions constrain and marginalize women. Even within the agricultural research community, most scientists and extension agents are male.Engendering Agricultural Research, Development, and Extension argues that the paradigm for agricultural and food security development needs to move beyond a focus on production and toward a broader view of agricultural and food systems, one that recognizes women's distinct role in ensuring the food security of their households. Incorporating gender issues into agricultural research and paying attention to gender sensitivity when developing extension systems is necessary to meet the needs and preferences of men and women, satisfy the food needs of future populations, and improve the welfare of the poor.
    Keywords: Gender equity, nonmarket commodities, Agriculture, R&D, Priority setting, value chains, extension services, Agricultural growth and technologies, Gender,
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Babu, Suresh Chandra; Govindarajan, Senthil Kumar; Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo; Glendenning, Claire J.
    Abstract: Public agricultural extension systems often fail due to inadequate consultation of farmers about their information needs and poor understanding of their information search strategies. In discussing and implementing extension programs and advisory services, the following questions need to be addressed: What information do the farmers need? How and where do they search for information? What factors determine their search behavior? How much are they willing to pay for information? While the first two questions are addressed fairly well in the literature, the latter two have not yet been dealt with in the context of developing countries. Using a case study of two districts in South India, we examine farmers' information needs and information search behavior, factors affecting their search behavior, and their willingness to pay for information. Cluster analysis on access, frequency, and use of information sources identified four farmer information search behaviors—high, medium, semi-medium, and low. The groups differed significantly by post–high school studies, household economic status, cultivated land area, agricultural income, and membership in a farmer-based organization (FBO) and a primary agricultural cooperative bank (PACB). We use these four information search behavior clusters to examine differences in information needs, sources used, and preferred sources. The important information needs relating to rice included pest and disease management, pesticide and fertilizer application, seed variety, and seed treatment. Rice production practices and credit information were more important for the low search group. Private input dealers and the state department of agricultural extension staff were the main information sources, though use of these two sources decreased with greater information searching. High and medium searchers used a greater number of sources, which also included print media and television. The major constraints to information access, common to all search groups, were poor reliability and timeliness. The preferred medium for obtaining information was interpersonal contacts, followed by information via mobile phones, where a helpline or voice messages were preferred over short message service (SMS). A contingent valuation technique revealed that farmers' willingness to pay for voice-based mobile phone messages was low. The results show that tailoring the delivery of agricultural information to the different information search behaviors of farmers is important for extension programs to consider.
    Keywords: agricultural extension and advisory service, willingness to pay, search behavior, information source, information need,
    Date: 2012
  8. By: Ganesh-Kumar, A.; Mehta, Rajesh; Pullabhotla, Hemant; Prasad, Sanjay K.; Ganguly, Kavery; Gulati, Ashok
    Abstract: This paper attempts to project the future supply and demand up to the year 2025 for rice and wheat, the two main cereals cultivated and consumed in India. A review of studies that forecast the supply and demand of Indian agriculture commodities revealed three important limitations of such studies: (a) The forecasts are generally overestimated (in the ex post situation); (b) the methodology is not clearly outlined; (c) ex-ante validation of the forecast have not been carried out. This study presents forecasts based on models that are validated so that forecast performances can be assessed. In this study, a quadratic almost ideal demand system (QUAIDS), which allows for expenditure shares to rise or fall with rising incomes, has been used to model household demand. The model has been estimated with data on consumption of 11 major agricultural commodities from the 61st Round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) for year 2004–05 (NSSO 2006). Our estimates suggest that the demand elasticity with respect to total food expenditure is negative for rice, wheat, and pulses, which are plausible given the observed fall in the consumption of these commodities on a per capita basis over a fairly long period of time even as income levels rose in the country. Validation of this model with actual values for 2007–08 and 1993–94 from the NSS shows that the forecasts errors are less than 3 percent for the two cereals lending confidence to the model's forecasting ability for future years. Under different scenarios on income growth, monthly per capita consumption of rice and wheat in 2025 is forecast to decline to 5.5 and 4.1 kgs, respectively, from their 2004–05 levels of 6.1 and 4.4 kgs, respectively. Scaling up these projections with the official forecasts of population from the Government of India and adding the indirect demand to the direct demand gives us the forecasts of the total demand. Total demand of rice and wheat in 2025 is forecasted to be in the range of 104.7–108.6 and 91.4–101.7 million tons, respectively. Supply of rice and wheat were modeled through two approaches. First, a Cobb-Douglas production functions relating crop output to the price of the crop compared to the price of competing crops and the price of fertilizer, the total area and proportion of irrigated area under the crop, total fertilizer consumption, and annual average rainfall were estimated using national level data over the period 1981–82 through 2007–08. In the second approach, crop output was determined as the product of the total acreage under that crop and its yield, which were modeled separately. Crop acreage was modeled as a function of the relative price of the crop, rainfall and the irrigated crop areas, with irrigation being modeled separately as a function of investment. Crop yields were modeled as a function of the relative price of that crop with its competing crops and the price of fertilizer, proportion of irrigated area under the crop, total fertilizer consumption, and annual average rainfall. Acreage and yield functions were estimated with data for the period 1981–82 to 2007–08. Based on these alternative models, supply of rice and wheat in 2025 is forecasted to be in the range of 135.5–165.6 and 93.6–114.6 million tons, respectively, under different scenarios on investments and fertilizer growth. These forecasts suggest that under reasonable scenarios on demand and supply, the country is likely to face growing surplus in rice, from 15.5–30.8 million tons in 2015 to 26.9–60.9 million tons in 2025. There will also likely be a surplus of wheat, though some deficit in 2025 cannot be ruled out. The range of surplus for wheat is 5.0–20.4 million tons in 2015, while in 2025 it ranges from a deficit of 8.1 million tons to a surplus of 28.3 million tons. These trends suggest that managing surpluses rather than deficits is likely to be the bigger policy challenge for India in the future, especially in the case of rice.
    Keywords: cereal demand, cereal supply,
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Birner, Regina; Gupta, Surupa; Sharma, Neeru
    Abstract: Agricultural policy reform is one of the major challenges facing India today. Such reform is required in order to reduce poverty through faster agricultural growth and to promote more sustainable use of natural resources while ensuring food security. Subsidy policies that promote the use of fertilizer and of electricity for groundwater irrigation are in particular need of reform. While subsidies for these two inputs played a crucial role in achieving India's Green Revolution, they have been criticized during the past decade for benefiting large-scale farmers more than smallholders, placing a fiscal burden on the state, and having negative environmental effects. By analyzing the evolution of these input subsidy policies and examining the political processes involved in efforts to reform them, this study throws new light on the factors that have so far prevented a move toward more pro-poor and environmentally sustainable agricultural input policies in India. The authors show that electoral politics, institutional factors, and policy paradigms or belief systems all play an important role in blocking reform. They identify several policy reform options, as well as political strategies that can overcome past obstacles to reform. Community-based policy solutions, new coalitions for policy reform, fresh approaches to the policy debate, innovative and consensus-oriented forms of deliberation, and effective use of research-based knowledge can all make positive contributions to Indian policy reform. The analyses and proposals presented in this study will be a valuable resource for policymakers and stakeholders concerned with the politics of agricultural development.
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Benin, Samuel; Nkonya, Ephraim; Okecho, Geresom; Randriamamonjy, Josée; Kato, Edward; Lubadde, Geofrey; Kyotalimye, Miriam; Byekwaso, Francis
    Abstract: In Uganda, agricultural extension has been hotly debated since the implementation of the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) program in 2001. Conceived as a demand-driven approach and largely publicly funded with services provided by the private sector, the NAADS program targets the development and use of farmer institutions. It is a key strategy in the government's poverty-reduction and national development plan. Due to methodological challenges arising from the complex ways that many factors influence the relationship between extension inputs and outcomes, as well as data-quality issues, the effectiveness of agricultural extension in raising agricultural productivity and incomes and reducing poverty is often viewed with skepticism among policymakers and development practitioners. The NAADS program has been no exception. Some initial evaluations, mostly qualitative in nature, indicate the program has had a favorable effect on increasing the use of improved technologies, marketed output, and wealth status of farmers receiving services from the program. However, the program does not appear to be promoting improved soil-fertility management, raising concern about the sustainability of potential productivity increases. Now that the first phase of the program has ended, this study rigorously assesses the outcomes and impacts obtained thus far, in order to help inform the current second phase and offer lessons for others implementing or planning to implement demand-driven agricultural advisory services in developing countries. The findings presented here are useful to policymakers of central and local governments, farmer groups, advisory service providers, donors, and others seeking to improve agricultural extension services in Uganda and elsewhere. Program evaluators and policy analysts will find the methods instructive.
    Keywords: Impact assessment, Agricultural extension, Land management,
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Dillon, Andrew; Sharma, Manohar; Zhang, Xiaobo
    Abstract: During the period of Nepal's ninth Five-Year Plan (1997–2002), agricultural growth in the predominantly rural society was disappointing. The recent peace process, however, gives the country new opportunities to develop its economy with less interference due to internal conflict. This research monograph investigates how Nepal might seize these opportunities by increasing agricultural growth and poverty reduction through improvements in roads, irrigation, and rural extension. The authors evaluate the impact of public investments in these areas by using two types of data and methodology: a hedonic approach that relates access to public infrastructure and services to land value and a panel of household-level data on consumption, poverty, and income. The hedonic methodology suggests a positive relationship between investments in irrigation and extension and household welfare, although the panel data approach suggests otherwise. This result reinforces the importance of methodology in evaluating rural investments. Rural roads yielded more clear-cut findings, however: both approaches agree that investment there has a positive relationship with household welfare, as measured in land values, consumption growth, poverty reduction, or agricultural income growth. The authors recommend increased public investments in rural roads, irrigation, and extension, as well as further research into precisely how infrastructure and services affect rural households' welfare and how their effectiveness can be improved. This monograph will be useful to policymakers, researchers, and others concerned with Nepal's future development.
    Keywords: Agricultural growth, Poverty reduction, Public investments, hedonic approach, household data, policymakers, Rural development, infrastructure, Rural conditions, Economic aspects,
    Date: 2011
  12. By: Ulimwengu, John; Badibanga, Thaddée
    Abstract: We use the concept of the product space to analyze the key features of the transformation process in Africa with a focus on the agricultural sector. Between 1962 and 2008, we find that both specialization and diversification occur for the overall economy and across sectors. Our findings also confirm that the transformation of the African economy is driven primarily by the increasing specialization of nonagricultural exports. However, the transformation process is still moving more slowly than that of an emerging economy such as Brazil. The index of specialization of agricultural exports grew at a modest annual rate of 2.1 percent between 1962 and 2008, compared to 5.0 percent for nonagricultural exports and 4.1 percent for the overall economy. Although substantive achievements are observed in terms of product specialization or sophistication, the diversification of agricultural exports is rather insignificant. Compared to Africa, Brazil appears to have experienced a more balanced process in terms of both specialization and diversification of its agriculture. African countries' specific transformation dynamics are heterogeneous, suggesting that a one-size-fits-all strategy to boost the agricultural sector in Africa is probably not the best option. Therefore, we advocate that the goals and principles of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) be adapted and customized to individual countries and incorporated into their strategies to enhance the transformation process of the African agricultural sector.
    Keywords: Structural transformation, sophistication, Growth, export, diversification,
    Date: 2012
  13. By: Ruth Delzeit , Wolfgang Britz
    Abstract: Abstract: The Renewable Energy Source Act (EEG) promotes German biogas production in order to substitute fossil fuels, protect the environment, and prevent climate change. As a consequence, green maize production has increased significantly over the last years, causing negative environmental effects on soil, water and biodiversity. In this paper we quantitatively analyse the EEG-reform in 2012 by applying the simulation tool ReSI-M (Regionalised Location Information System – Maize). Comparing the EEG 2012 with a former version of the legislation, results imply that the reform contributes to an expansion of biogas electricity generation compared to former versions, and thus to substitution of fossil fuels. Furthermore, given a restriction in the share of green maize input, its production is reduced and the crop-mix is diversified. However, since maize provides the highest energy output per area, total land requirement for biogas production increases. An alternative analysis shows that an EEG with tariffs independent from plant-types would provide the highest subsidy-efficiency, but slightly lower land efficiency compared to the EEG 2012
    Keywords: bioenergy, biogas, land use, policy analysis, simulation model
    JEL: C61 Q16 Q42
    Date: 2012–04
  14. By: Sanders, Daniel J.; Balagtas, Joseph V.; Gruere, Guillaume
    Abstract: In the last 30 years, palm oil production has known a ninefold increase, with almost all production growth concentrated in Malaysia and Indonesia. Several public reports have associated the palm oil boom with extensive deforestation, often pointing to the increase in biofuel demand in developed nations as a main driver of this phenomenon. Other demand drivers, especially as related to the food sector, have not been studied as much. In particular, regulations on genetically modified (GM) food in European nations and on trans fats in a number of developed countries have reportedly induced food companies to switch from soybean oil to palm oil and could therefore have contributed to additional demand for palm oil. This article provides a first analysis of the drivers of growth in palm oil production during the 1980–2010 boom, using a price dynamics analysis of the markets for palm oil, soybean oil, and crude oil. Soybean oil is selected as the leading vegetable oil in food markets, and crude oil is taken to represent the energy sector. We estimate two models of the oil price system: a vector auto regression model that treats all three prices as stationary and a vector error correction model that allows co-integration among the three prices.
    Keywords: biofuel, price cointegration, palm oil,
    Date: 2012
  15. By: Ecker, Olivier; Breisinger, Clemens
    Abstract: Recent global and national food crises exposed major shortcomings in the way food security has been conceptualized and measured. This paper presents a new framework that operationalizes the universal World Food Summit's definition in light of recent food security challenges and extends previous frameworks by (1) incorporating the macroeconomic dimension of food security and identifying key sectors, (2) explicitly considering external shocks and stresses to food security plus intervention options for increasing resilience, and (3) accounting for nutrition as an integral part of food security and nutrition outcomes as both a consequence and a cause of underdevelopment. This comprehensive framework may contribute to a better understanding of the complexity of the food security concept and provide a platform for empirical analysis.
    Keywords: Conceptual framework, food security, interventions, Macroeconomics, malnutrition, external shocks,
    Date: 2012
  16. By: Li, Yuheng (China Economic Research Center)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the spatial-temporal disparity evident in rural household incomes at the provincial level in China in the period 1978-2007. The research is introduced through a framework comprising the transitional processes of decentralization, marketization, urbanization, and globalization. The research uses Moran’s I index and the spatial regression model. Research results show a clear spatial-temporal disparity in rural household incomes in China in the post-reform era, whereby the eastern provinces possess higher rural household incomes in comparison to the lower rural household incomes of the inland provinces. This disparity is attributed to the joint influence of processes of marketization, urbanization, and globalization upon household incomes derived from the non-agricultural industries. Decentralization proves to be non-significant in explaining the disparity in rural household incomes across China, as a result of the agricultural income generated from the limited household land allocated to each rural household.
    Keywords: Rural household income; spatial-temporal; Moran’s; transitional process; China
    JEL: N95 O11 R11 R58
    Date: 2012–04–18
  17. By: Prehn, Sören; Brümmer, Bernhard
    Abstract: The emergence of 'New New Trade Theory' fundamentally changed the thinking of international trade, and it is now at the heart of science. Here, we are going to take up the discussion of Golpinath et al. [2007], looking at whether 'New New Trade Theory' is applicable to agriculture. Revisiting the recent literature, we can find new theoretical and methodological evidence for its importance: the concepts of 'New New Trade Theory' will impact the modelling of structural change in agriculture and of agricultural trade. Farm productivity and agricultural trade cannot be seen anymore as detached from one another; both concepts are interrelated. We claim that 'New New Trade Theory' and its concepts will become standard for agriculture, too. --
    Keywords: Agriculture Economics,New New Trade Theory,Farm Heterogeneity,Elasticity of Trade Flows,Estimation Methods
    Date: 2012
  18. By: Thomas Bøker Lund (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Laura Mørch Andersen (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Katherine O’Doherty Jensen (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)
    Abstract: This study uses qualitative and quantitative data as well as household panel data regarding actual purchases of organic food in order to examine organic consumer profiles and recent developments of organic demand in Denmark. Six different segments of Danish households are identified, of which three are either indifferent or negative towards organic foods. Three distinct positively minded segments are also identified. These positively minded segments hold a very high share of all organic food sales on the Danish market and are also driving demand forward. This market can thus be said to be highly polarised. It can also be said to have matured insofar as positively oriented segments that differ in their food involvement, shopping behaviour and levels of ethical concern have appeared, while marketing and distribution strategies have co-developed with these trends. We discuss the current relevance of segmenting organic consumers in mature markets with a view to improving strategies of production, distribution and marketing of organic foods.
    Date: 2012–02
  19. By: McMillan, Margaret; Masters, William A.; Kazianga, Harounan
    Abstract: This paper uses historical census data from Burkina Faso to characterize local demographic pressures associated with internal migration into river valleys after onchocerciasis eradication, combined with a new survey of village elders to document change over time and differences across villages in local public goods provision, market institutions, and land use rights. We hypothesize that higher local population densities are associated with more public goods and with a transition from open-access to regulated land use. Controlling for province or village fixed effects, we find that villages' variance in population associated with proximity to rivers is closely correlated with higher levels of infrastructure, markets, and individual land rights, as opposed to familial or communal rights. Responding to population growth with both improved public services and private property rights is consistent with both scale effects in public good provision and changes in the scarcity of land.
    Keywords: Demography, Institutions,
    Date: 2012
  20. By: Mercedes Beltr‡n-Esteve (Universidad de Valencia); JosŽ A. G—mez-Lim—n (Universidad de C—rdoba); AndrŽs J. Picazo-Tadeo (Universidad de Valencia); Ernest Reig-Mart’nez (Universidad de Valencia)
    Abstract: This paper uses directional distance functions to extend the non-parametric metafrontier approach to efficiency measurement proposed by OÕDonnell et al. (2008) to the assessment of technological differences in eco-efficiency between groups of producers. Furthermore, eco-efficiency is assessed at the level of specific environmental pressures management. This methodology is applied to a sample of Spanish olive producers that belong to both traditional mountain and traditional plain growing systems. We find great potential for both olive growing systems to reduce environmental pressures. In terms of pressures on natural resources, the most eco-efficient technology corresponds to the traditional plain system, while the traditional mountain system is the most eco-efficient when considering pressures on biodiversity. These results might help policymakers design strategies aimed at improving the performance of olive growing and meeting the demands of society regarding the economic and ecological functions of this farming activity.
    Keywords: Economic-ecological efficiency; metafrontier; directional distance functions; Data Envelopment Analysis; agro environmental policy; Spain
    JEL: C61 Q12 Q57 Q58
    Date: 2012–04
  21. By: Epiphane Sodjinou (Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Benin); Arne Henningsen (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen); Olorounto D. Koudande (Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Benin)
    Abstract: Community-based poultry health management (CBM) is a strategy for village poultry improvement based on the installment of “poultry interest groups” in experimental villages. These groups serve as a channel for the dissemination of village poultry improvement technologies. The use of CBM is due to the fact that village poultry farming is practiced in a total or partial scavenging system which gives the impression that all the birds in the village belong to the same flock. Accordingly, actions that target all farmers of the same village may have a larger impact on the village poultry’s survival rate than actions that target individual producers. The objective of this study is to assess the impact of CBM on the survival rate of village poultry. Based on data collected on 353 poultry keepers, the study shows that CBM significantly improves the survival rate of village poultry. The adoption of technologies – poultry vaccination, construction of henhouses, and improved feed – disseminated through the CBM also significantly improves the survival rate. The access to markets for inputs and veterinary services is also important in improving the survival rate of poultry. Finally, the study suggests that governments and development agencies can improve village poultry survival rates by investing in the dissemination of information regarding best husbandry management practices through approaches that rely on the community such as CBM because CBM groups serve as channels for the dissemination of village poultry improvement technologies.
    Keywords: Benin; Community-based management; Survival rate; Two-limit Tobit; Village poultry
    JEL: O13 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2012–04
  22. By: Parajuli, Dilip; Acharya, Gayatri; Chaudhury, Nazmul; Thapa, Bishnu Bahadur
    Abstract: The Nepal Poverty Alleviation Fund is a World Bank supported community-driven development program. Its objective is to improve rural welfare, particularly for groups that have traditionally been excluded for reasons of gender, ethnicity, caste, and location. Since its launch in 2004, the Fund has covered the 40 poorest districts of the country, supported some 15,000 community organizations, and benefited more than 2.5 million people. This paper attempts to estimate the impact of this large-scale program using a randomized phase-in approach, in which certain localities are randomly selected for earlier intervention than others. Using two rounds of survey data and a difference-in-difference combined with instrumental variable estimation method, it finds statistically significant causal impact of the program on key welfare outcomes. The treatment-on-the-treated estimate on real per capita consumption is 19 percent growth. Other impacts include a 19 percentage points decline on incidence of food insecurity (defined as food sufficiency for six months or less) and a 15 percentage points increase in the school enrollment rate among 6-15 year-olds. Impacts (positive or negative) are yet to be detected on indicators associated with child malnutrition, social capital, and empowerment. The policy implications of these results should be of interest to the government and to development partners in determining what may be effective instruments to deliver services to marginalized communities in what remains a fragile and difficult political environment.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Housing&Human Habitats,Regional Economic Development
    Date: 2012–04–01
  23. By: Partridge, Mark D.; Rickman , Dan S.
    Abstract: Two largely separate literatures exist on regional economic development and land use economics. In this chapter, we argue that a full understanding of each of the two areas requires greater knowledge of their interrelationship. We review key studies of the two literatures, particularly those related to the close interconnectedness of regional economic development and land use. We contend that a critical shortcoming in the literatures is that key features that affect both land use and economic activity are typically not systematically considered. We then posit that the spatial equilibrium framework is especially suited for understanding the various feedback mechanisms that affect both. Also particularly promising are the increased availability of GIS and micro data, as well as recent methodological advances in empirical estimation and modeling.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development; Land Use Economics
    JEL: O18 R14
    Date: 2012
  24. By: Zacharias Ziegelhöfer (Graduate Institute of International Studies)
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the existing literature by demonstrating that the provision of communal water supply can be effective in improving child health if the targeted population shows adequate hygiene awareness and behavior. Until now, the fast growing body of literature on water development interventions could not establish a significant effect of communal water supply on health. The insignificant health effect regarding communal water supply (in contrast to other types of water interventions) found in meta-studies may be explained by recontamination of the water between the source and the point of use; and by the lack of studies which address the mode of selection into treatment of water programs which may result in biased estimates. To identify the health effect of communal water supply, a fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design set-up is applied using an eligibility criterion as source of exogenous variation. The paper also provides practical insights in a little explored extension of the fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design which may have great relevance for applied research. As occurs often in practice, the forcing variable determining treatment could not be directly observed. For this reason, a slightly noisy measure was reconstructed. To convince the critical reader of the validity of this approach, a variety of robustness checks are carried out and the results are cross-validated through two additional identification strategies - a village fixed effects and an instrumental variable approach.
    Date: 2012–03–26

This nep-agr issue is ©2012 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.