nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2013‒09‒06
seventeen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. Conservation Agriculture: Innovations, Constraints and Strategies for Adoption By Meena, M.S.; Singh, K.M.
  2. Economics of Conservation Agriculture: An Overview By Singh, K.M.; Meena, M.S.
  3. EU Biofuel Policies In Practise - A Carbon Map for Kalimantan and Sumatra By Mareike Lange
  4. Water Resource Accounts for Uganda: Use and Policy Relevancy By Nicholas Kilimani
  5. Poverty, Private Property and Common Pool Resource Management: The Case of Irrigation Tanks in South India By R. Balasubramanian; K.N. Selvaraj
  6. Rural-rural Migration and Land Conflicts: Implications on Agricultural Productivity in Uganda By Francis Mwesigye; Tomoya Matsumoto
  7. Shorter, cheaper, quicker, better : linking measures of household food security to nutritional outcomes in Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Uganda, and Tanzania By Tiwari, Sailesh; Skoufias, Emmanuel; Sherpa, Maya
  8. Property Rights and Natural Resources: Socio-Economic Heterogeneity and Distributional Implications of Common Property Resource Management By Bhim Adhikari
  9. Male Worker Migration and Women Empowerment: The case of Bihar, India By Singh, K.M.; Singh, R.K.P.; Kumar, Anjani
  10. The Role of Polygyny in the Intrahousehold Efficiency of Agricultural Production in West Africa By Anyck Dauphin
  11. Economic Analysis, Sustainability and Environmental Commons By Ignazio Musu
  12. Conservation Fees in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park between Botswana and South Africa in the Presence of Land Restitution By Johane Dikgang and Edwin Muchapondwa
  13. Understanding entrepreneurial intentions of students in agriculture and related sciences By Leonidas A. Zampetakis; Afroditi Anagnosti; Stelios Rozakis
  14. The economics of hydro-meteorological disasters: approaching the estimation of the total costs By Stefano Balbi; Carlo Giupponi; Roland Olschewski; Vahid Mojtahed
  15. Tracking global fuel supply, CO2 emissions and sustainable development By Liam Wagner; Ian Ross; John Foster; Ben Hankamer
  16. Dynamics of obesity in Finland By Halicioglu, Ferda
  17. Organizing for prosperity : collective action, political parties and the political economy of development By Keefer, Philip

  1. By: Meena, M.S.; Singh, K.M.
    Abstract: Untenable use of factors of production is causing severe land degradation and food insecurity problems especially in developing world. Land degradation threatens the ecosystem health and food security worldwide and will remain high priority on international agenda. Conservation agriculture (CA) innovations offer a new paradigm for agricultural research and development. While examining the total innovation-decision process, one can see how the farmers observe innovations (knowledge), relate to images and message within technological innovations (persuasion), formulate a want for item (decision), actively pursue the desire for item (implementation), and ultimately decide whether future uses of technologies / are desirable (confirmation). The adoption of CA innovations can be facilitated by locally identified and specially trained group leaders or by promoters. For the success, farmers will need to be in forefront for helping in identification, development and deployment of CA innovations. Developing and promoting RCT systems is highly demanding in terms of knowledge base. This will call for greatly enhanced capacity of scientists to address the prevailing problems / constraints from a systems perspective and be able to work in close partnerships with farmers and other stakeholders. There is also need to strengthen the knowledge and information-sharing mechanisms. Improvement in coordination amongst various stakeholders like research, extension service, farmers, service providers, agricultural machinery, and manufacturers for transfer of technologies will play a pivotal role in accelerating the Conservation Agriculture.
    Keywords: Conservation agriculture, Processes innovations, Adoption strategies
    JEL: O13 O31 O32 O33 Q15 Q2
    Date: 2013–08–17
  2. By: Singh, K.M.; Meena, M.S.
    Abstract: Conservation agriculture / RCT offer a new paradigm for agricultural research and development different from earlier one, which mainly aimed at achieving specific food grains production targets. A shift in paradigm has become a necessity in view of widespread problems of resource degradation, which accompanied past strategies to enhance production with little concern for resource integrity. Integrating concerns of productivity, resource conservation and quality and environment is now fundamental to sustained productivity growth. Developing and promoting CA systems will be highly demanding in terms of knowledge base. This will call for greatly enhanced capacity of scientists to address problems from a systems perspective; be able to work in close partnerships with farmers and other stakeholders and strengthened knowledge and information-sharing mechanisms. CA offers an opportunity for arresting and reversing downward spiral of resource degradation, decreasing cultivation costs and making agriculture more resource-use-efficient, competitive and sustainable. ‘Conserving resources-enhancing productivity’ has to be new mission.
    Keywords: Economics of conservation agriculture, Conservation agriculture, Resource conservation technologies, Benefits of Conservation agriculture.
    JEL: O31 O32 O33 Q16 Q2
    Date: 2013–08–17
  3. By: Mareike Lange
    Abstract: It is still difficult for biofuel producers to proof the contribution of their biofuels to reducing carbon emissions because the production of biofuel feedstocks can cause land use change (LUC), which in turn causes carbon emissions. A carbon map can serve as a basis to proof such contribution. I show how to calculate a carbon map according to the sustainability requirements for biofuel production adopted by the European Commission (EU-RED) for Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia. Based on the carbon map and the carbon balance of the production process I derive maps showing the possible emission savings that would be generated by biofuels based on palm if an area were to be converted to produce feedstock for this biodiesel options. I evaluate these maps according to the criterion contained in the EU-RED of 35% minimum emission savings for each biofuel option compared to its fossil alternative. In addition, to avoid indirect LUC effects of the EU-RED that might offset any contribution of biofuels to reducing carbon emissions, I argue that all agricultural production should be subject to sustainability assessments and that for an effective forest protection policies need to address the manifold drivers of deforestation in the country. In this effort, my resulting carbon maps can be the basis for a sustainable land use planning with a strategy to reactivate degraded areas that is binding for all agricultural production in the country
    Keywords: biofuels, carbon emissions, Renewable Energy directive, carbon map, land use change, Indonesia
    JEL: Q42 Q58 Q56 Q16
    Date: 2013–08
  4. By: Nicholas Kilimani (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)
    Abstract: The increasing variability in the climatic pattern and its adverse effects on the Ugandan economy has become a major development challenge. For example, a key but climate sensitive sector like agriculture is increasingly experiencing severe disruptions as a result of its reliance on rainfall which has increasingly become unpredictable. Recent studies indicate a seemingly decreasing trend in the number of rainy days during the months which are crucial for crop growth. This trend is severely disrupting agricultural activity across the country. Since water is a vital input in many economic activities, we need to clearly understand the available supply of water resources and the level of utilization by the different sectors of the economy. This is with the view to establishing whether or not, there is room for increased utilization; within the framework of Integrated Water Resources Management. It is the objective to the study to provide this understanding through a water resource accounting framework. However, no developed water resource accounts exist for the Ugandan economy. Hence the task of the study was to develop the water resource accounts for Uganda. The results show evidence of under utilization of the available water resources. The under utilization is prevalent across all productive sectors of the economy and is likely to constrain the scope for productivity improvements, economic growth and other development outcomes.
    Keywords: Water Accounts, Water utilization, Economic performance
    JEL: E01 Q56
    Date: 2013–08
  5. By: R. Balasubramanian; K.N. Selvaraj
    Abstract: Irrigation tanks are one of the oldest and most important common property water resources in the resource-poor regions of South India. Tanks are also important from an ecological perspective because they serve as a geographically well-distributed mechanism for the conservation of soil, water and bio-diversity. Unfortunately, tank irrigation has undergone a process of rapid decline in the recent past, much of which can be attributed to the disintegration of traditional irrigation institutions. In response, people adopt various coping strategies such as migration, non-agricultural employment, and private tube-wells. Adoption of private coping mechanisms has serious implications for community coping mechanisms, i.e., for collective conservation efforts. Against this background, this study tries to understand the main causes of tank degradation and the complex interrelationships among poverty, private coping mechanisms and community coping mechanisms that affect tank performance. Primary and secondary data are used to estimate three regressions models: a macro model on tank degradation, a household-level model on collective action, and a production function incorporating collective action as an input. In general, poor people are more dependent on tanks for various livelihood needs and hence they contribute more towards tank management compared to non-poor households. The analysis of tank degradation shows that there has been a decline in the performance of tanks. Population pressure is found to have accelerated the process of tank degradation. Though the emergence of private tube-wells contributes towards mitigating tank degradation within a narrow range, a continuous increase in the number of wells beyond limits exacerbates the process of tank degradation. This result is further validated by the micro-level econometric model of collective action towards tank management, which indicates that the increase in the number of private wells has a strong negative effect on the participation of rural communities in tank management. The size of the user group has a negative impact on cooperation, while the existence of traditional governance structures, such as rules for water allocation, promotes collective action. Wealth inequality is found to have a U-shaped relationship with collective action. The production function analysis shows that collective action has a positive and significant impact on the rice yields. Therefore, collective action is important for higher productivity and income. The study proposes several policy measures to revive and sustain tanks so as to provide livelihood security to the poor, who are the most affected by resource degradation. 
    Keywords: Irrigation tanks, collective action, coping mechanisms, poverty, common pool resources, South India
  6. By: Francis Mwesigye (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Tomoya Matsumoto (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies)
    Abstract: We use community and household data with plot-level information to explore the determinants of different forms of land conflicts and the conflicts’ impact on agricultural productivity in Uganda. Tracing rural-rural migration patterns, we find that communities that receive/host more immigrants (and thus have many coexisting tribes) tend to have more land conflicts than those sending migrants out. Unbundling conflicts by type reveals that the number of tribes and being in a ‘receiving’ community are associated with a higher probability of eviction conflicts than ‘sending’ communities and those with fewer tribes. Turning to conflict impact, we find that plots with conflicts have 17% lower yield than those without conflicts. Moreover, breaking down conflicts by type reveals that plots with eviction conflicts have 36% lower yield than those with inheritance conflicts. Our results suggest that rural-rural migration weakens community-specific informal land arrangements and conflict resolution mechanisms, which, in the absence of formal institutions, result in eviction conflicts that, in turn, hurt productivity.
    Date: 2013–08
  7. By: Tiwari, Sailesh; Skoufias, Emmanuel; Sherpa, Maya
    Abstract: Using nationally representative household survey data from five countries -- three from South Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal) and two from Sub-Saharan Africa (Tanzania and Uganda) -- this paper conducts a systematic assessment of the correlation between various measures of household food security and nutritional outcomes of children. The analysis, following the universally accepted and applied definition of food security, is based on some of the most commonly used indicators of food security. The results show that the various measures of household food security do appear to carry significant signals about the nutritional status of children that reside within the household. This result holds even after the analysis controls for a wide array of other socio-economic characteristics of the households that are generally also thought to be associated with the quality of child nutrition. If using these food security indicators as proxy measures for the underlying nutritional status of children is of some interest, then the results show that simple, cost-effective, and easy-to-collect measures, such as the food consumption score or the dietary diversity score, may carry at least as much information as other measures, such as per capita expenditure or the starchy staple ratio, which require longer and costlier surveys with detailed food consumption modules. Across five different countries in South Asia and Africa, the results suggest that the food consumption score, in particular, performs extremely well in comparison with all other measures from the perspective of nutritional targeting as well as for monitoring nutritional outcomes.
    Keywords: Food&Beverage Industry,Food Security,Regional Economic Development,Rural Poverty Reduction,Nutrition
    Date: 2013–08–01
  8. By: Bhim Adhikari
    Abstract: Poverty, property rights and distributional implications of community-based resource management havebecome major topics of discussion and debate in recent years. This study tries to examine the contributionof community forestry to household-level income with particular emphasis on group heterogeneity andequity in benefit distribution. The assessment of household level benefits suggests that poorer householdsare currently benefiting less in absolute terms from community forestry than less poor households. Interms of the contribution of forests to household income, the study results suggest that the poor are notnecessarily more dependent than the rich, a finding that contradicts results from other similar studies.Econometric analysis suggests that income from community forests is related to socio-economic attributesand private resource endowments of households. Households with land and livestock assets, as well asupper caste households gain more from the commons, while better educated households depend less onforest resources. Female-headed households benefit less from community forests, further aggravatingthe inequity in distribution of benefits. The study makes a number of recommendations to improvecommunity forest management in Nepal, which include, due consideration for community needs inselecting species for community forestry, transferability of user rights, which would allow less endowedhouseholds to benefit more, and more and equitable representation of women and disadvantaged groupsin forest management committees (JEL Q2, Q23 ).
    Keywords: Property rights, common property resources, heterogeneity, community forestry, forest user groups, equity, distribution, forest income.
    JEL: Q2 Q23
  9. By: Singh, K.M.; Singh, R.K.P.; Kumar, Anjani
    Abstract: Migration of population has been a recurrent phenomenon since the dawn of human history. Though its form has changed but it remains a dominant event in the global social system. In modern days also people migrate from underdeveloped areas to the developed ones in search of better opportunities. Several theories have been propounded to explain the occurrence of migration. A number of social, cultural, economic, spatial, climatic, demographic factors induce migration. Among them, the economic factors are considered as the primary reasons for inducing migration. Migration of male labour force from Bihar has increased during last two decades which prompted us to analyze its consequences on efficiency of input in agricultural production, livelihood through remittances and also the empowerment of women left behind at place of origin. It was observed that the efficiencies of human labour and irrigation in rice production were higher than non-migrant households and statistically significant, indicating rational use of these two critical inputs on migrant households in Bihar. The migration seems to have helped in judicious use of human labour at native place due to migration of surplus labour force for gainful employment to destination of migration. Remittances have been utilized for meeting consumption needs, improved livelihood, better education to children and better health care facilities which help in overall improvement in livelihood on migrant households in Bihar. Migrant households also preferred to save money to meet their requirements in unforeseen situations. It can thus be infered that migration may be one of risk-coping strategies for the weaker sections of the society and has helped developing the saving habits among migrant households. The allocation of remittances on agricultural inputs could have increased if proper infrastructure facilities were present in rural areas for faster dissemination of modern agricultural technology for increasing agricultural production. Level of women employment has increased on migrant households, particularly on poor households; however, work load of women has also increased. It has been observed that role of women of migrant households changed from unpaid female labour to managers of the household, however, they face problem in management of fund, technology and input-output marketing. There is a need to launch a programme for their training to improve their knowledge in financial, technological and marketing management.
    Keywords: Migration, Women empowerment, Labor migration, Remittances, Bihar
    JEL: J01 J16 J22 J43 J61 O15 Q12 Q16
    Date: 2013–08–15
  10. By: Anyck Dauphin
    Abstract: Polygyny is an institution with deep roots in West Africa. Many papers have attempted to explain the rationality and persistence of this phenomenon through time. Less effort has been devoted to studying the effect of polygyny on household economic behavior. This question is policy relevant given the pressure underway to eliminate polygyny. This paper provides new empirical evidence on whether polygyny leads to an improvement or a worsening of intra-household efficiency for three countries with high levels of polygyny: Benin, Burkina Faso and Senegal. The evidence we obtain is mixed. In Benin, polygyny does not seem to have an impact on intra-household efficiency, while it appears, in the longer run, to improve it in Burkina Faso, but to decrease it in Senegal.
    Keywords: Polygyny, Efficiency, Agriculture, Africa
    JEL: D13 D79 J12 O13 O55
    Date: 2013
  11. By: Ignazio Musu (Department of Economics, University of Venice Cà Foscari)
    Abstract: When confronted with market weaknesses and failures determining sustainability problems for environmental common-pool resources, economic analysis has proposed government intervention as the only alternative available. Elinor Ostrom showed that this dichotomy between market and government is not always helpful, and proposed a more complex approach to institutions focusing on an active role of communities, social norms and a polycentric system of governance. This paper summarizes the main factors at work in determining the role of institutions to deal with sustainability issues and explores the implications of this wider approach in dealing with environmental commons, particularly with global environmental commons, discussing two issues: climate change and biodiversity. Involvement of governments and a reference framework provided by intergovernmental agreements are necessary, but the difficulties of building a successful intergovernmental institutional framework require responsible and convinced actions at the level of consumers and firms, public opinion involvement in individual countries, and coordination between local and national levels of government: provided that some conditions are fulfilled, common resource management can be very helpful in achieving them.
    Keywords: Environment, Sustainability, Common-pool resources, Global environmental problems, Climate Change, Biodiversity
    JEL: B52 H0 H4 Q01 Q2 Q5
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Johane Dikgang and Edwin Muchapondwa
    Abstract: This paper estimates the visitation demand function for Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (KTP) in order to determine the conservation fee to charge South African residents to maximise park revenue. We conducted contingent behavior experiments at KTP and three other national parks, which we assume are either substitutes or complements for visitors to KTP. Our random effects Tobit model shows that there is a wide variation in the own-price elasticities of demand between the parks but they are generally not elastic. The cross-price estimates indicate that there is limited substitutability in visitation demand among the four parks. The study uses the unitary elasticity rule to demonstrate that there is a possibility of raising conservation fees to revenue-maximising levels at KTP as well as the other parks, using methods such as a mandatory conservation fee increment or a community-bound voluntary donation above the regular conservation fee. Sharing conservation revenue with communities surrounding parks could demonstrate the link between ecotourism and local communities’ economic development, promote a positive view of land restitution involving national parks, help address South Africa’s heavily skewed distribution of income, and act as an incentive for the local communities to participate in conservation even more.
    Keywords: Contingent behavior, conservation fee, demand, land claim, national park
    Date: 2013
  13. By: Leonidas A. Zampetakis (1 Department of Production Engineering & Management Technical University of Crete, 73100, Chania, Crete, GR); Afroditi Anagnosti (3 Innovation & Entrepreneurship Unit, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, 11855 Athens, GR); Stelios Rozakis (Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens)
    Abstract: There is a growing body of literature arguing that an individual's intention to start an enterprise is a strong predictor of individual entrepreneurial action. The present research uses Ajzen’s (1991) theory of planned behavior (TPB) to investigate entrepreneurial intent of agricultural students. The TPB offers a parsimonious explanation of purposeful behavior and has been used with success in previous research studies to explain the entrepreneurial intent of business and engineering students. However, research studies that examine the application of the theory to students from agricultural universities are scarce. In the present research, we empirically examine the TPB using data from 65 students from the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece. Results, using path analysis, support previous studies that used TPB to predict entrepreneurial intentions, which suggest that students’ attitudes towards entrepreneurship are related to their intention (INT) to start a business. In addition perceived behavioral control (PBC) is a strong predictor of INT. As far the role of subjective norm (SN) is concerned, results of the present study suggest that it has a small negative, and statistically significant effect. Furthermore, in line with recent theoretical and empirical studies about the potential role of emotions in entrepreneurship, we investigated the role of anticipated emotional ambivalence in students’ entrepreneurial intent. Results suggest that anticipated emotional ambivalence from nascent entrepreneurship (that is, students’ future oriented emotions relating to the expectancy of feeling both positive and negative affect) relates negatively to perceived behavioral control.
    Keywords: Agricultural university, entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurial intentions
    JEL: A22 C39
    Date: 2013
  14. By: Stefano Balbi; Carlo Giupponi; Roland Olschewski; Vahid Mojtahed
    Abstract: Hydro-meteorological disasters have caused increasing losses in recent years. Efficient risk reduction policies require accurate assessment approaches, with careful consideration of costs, beyond direct tangible costs, which are commonly used in practice. Faced with possible risk reduction scenarios, limited financial resources require an improvement in the quality of cost estimation, thereby contributing to an efficient allocation of resources. This paper focuses on the concept of total costs of hydro-meteorological disasters, based on direct and indirect as well as tangible and intangible cost categories. These categories are defined and explained, supported by a comprehensive review of economic valuation methods. Based on this information, practice relevant suggestions are made concerning the most appropriate methods for different cases in terms of scale, availability of data and of technical resources. Our survey also provides critical insights to drawbacks of flood risk estimation, which need to be addressed and carefully dealt with in any future research in this area.
    Keywords: hydro-meteorological disasters, total cost, risk reduction, economic valuation, intangible costs, indirect costs, JEL Classification Q5
    Date: 2013–08
  15. By: Liam Wagner (Department of Economics, University of Queensland); Ian Ross (IMB, University of Queensland); John Foster (Department of Economics, University of Queensland); Ben Hankamer (IMB, University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Reducing CO2 emissions is imperative to stay within the 2oC global warming ‘safe limit’ of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. However to ensure social and political stability, these reductions must be aligned with fuel security and economic growth. Here an advanced multifactorial model is used to forecast global energy demand, based on global population, current energy use and economic growth rates allowing a critical analysis of global energy use patterns. A severe upward pressure on global energy demand results from the combined interplay of increasing population and continuing economic growth. The predictive output highlights (i) the potential for an exponential increase of fuel consumption (ii) serious fossil fuel limitations from 2033 onward, (iii) implications for CO2 emission reduction in a ‘pro-growth’ global economy and (iv) poverty alleviation. These findings place economists and environmentalists on the same side and establish a reference to guide sustainable development.
    Keywords: Energy Demand; Fossil Fuels; Economic Growth; Climate Change; Equilibrium correction Model; Time Series;
    JEL: Q41 Q32 Q43 C53 O13 O44
    Date: 2013–08
  16. By: Halicioglu, Ferda
    Abstract: The purpose of this research is to study empirically the dynamics of obesity in Finland and provide empirical evidence of temporal causality between obesity, health expenditure, unemployment, urbanization, alcohol consumption and calorie intake. The paper employs bounds testing cointegration procedure and augmented causality tests. The empirical results suggest the existence of cointegration amongst the variables. Augmented Granger causality tests indicate the existence of a long-run causality as well as three different pairs of short-run causalities. The study draws some important policy recommendations.
    Keywords: obesity, cointegration, causality, time series, Finland
    JEL: C22 H51 I1 I10
    Date: 2013
  17. By: Keefer, Philip
    Abstract: The ability of citizens to act collectively plays a central role in major debates in the political economy of development, including the causes and consequences of democratization and clientelism. This essay uses two lines of research to underscore the importance of explicitly introducing the organization of collective action into these debates. Exhaustive research on the management of open access resources demonstrates that citizens'ability to act collectively depends on non-trivial organizational arrangements that allow leaders to sanction free-riding and allow members to replace leaders if they shirk. Other research demonstrates wide variability in the organization of political parties. In countries where political parties do not have these two organizational characteristics, public policies are less friendly to economic development. This evidence suggests that in future research on democracy, state-building and development, citizen organization should be a central object of analysis.
    Keywords: Parliamentary Government,Microfinance,Corporate Law,Politics and Government,Political Systems and Analysis
    Date: 2013–08–01

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