nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2018‒05‒21
eighteen papers chosen by

  1. Fertilizer and Sustainable Intensification in Africa By Holden , Stein T.
  2. The value of biodiversity as an insurance device By Emmanuelle Augeraud-Véron; Fabbri Giorgio; Katheline Schubert
  3. Seasonal Liquidity, Rural Labor Markets and Agricultural Production By Günther Fink; B. Kelsey Jack; Felix Masiye
  4. Multiple micronutrient supplementation using spirulina platensis and infant growth, morbidity and motor development: Evidence from a randomized trial in Zambia By Masuda, Kazuya; Chitundu, Maureen
  5. Monitoring of the State of Food Security in Russia in 2014-2016 By Nikulin, Alexander; Trotsuk, Irina; Shagaida, Natalia; Shishkina, Ekaterina; Uzun, Vasily
  6. Advances in Green Economy and Sustainability: Introduction By Halkos, George
  7. Food for Work and Diet Diversity in Ethiopia By Debela, Bethelhem Legesse; Shively, Gerald E.; Holden, Stein T.
  8. Can we nudge farmers into saving water? Evidence from a randomized experiment By Sylvain Chabé-Ferret; Philippe Le Coent; Arnaud Reynaud; Julie Subervie; Daniel Lepercq
  9. PROMOTING METROPOLITAN AND PERIURBAN AGRICULTURE IN URBAN CLIMATE: THE MADRE PROJECT By Alexandra Michailidou; Christos Vlachokostas; Charisios Achillas; Nicolas Moussiopoulos; Eleni Feleki
  10. Variation in Output Shares and Endogenous Matching in Land Rental Contracts By Brhanu , Desta; Holden , Stein T.
  11. Benefit sharing mechanisms for agricultural genetic diversity use and in-situ conservation By Wenjuan Cheng; Alessio D'Amato; Giacomo Pallante
  12. What is the impact of food stamps on prices and products variety? The importance of the supply response By Jaravel, Xavier
  13. Modeling the future evolution of the virtual water trade network By Andrea Fracasso; Massimo Riccabonii; Martina Sartori; Stefano Schiavo
  14. Implementation of decentralised food procurement programmes and the impact of the policy, institutional and legal enabling environment: the case of PRONAE and PAA Africa in Mozambique By Luana F. J. Swensson; Israel Klug
  15. In vino feracitas! Efficiency of wineries in and out of Sardinia’s wine routes By Maria Giovanna Brandano; Claudio Detotto; Marco Vannini
  16. Fostering food purchase programmes in widespread poverty contexts: targeting smallholders within the PAA Africa Programme in Niger By Rosana Pereira de Miranda; Amadou Diop; PAA Africa targeting in Niger
  17. The Potential for Growth in Russia's Agricultural Production Due to the Involvement of Unused Agricultural Lands By Shagaida, Natalia; Svetlov, Nikolai; Uzun, Vasily; Loginova, Daria; Prishchepov, Alexander V.
  18. Muddying the Water? An Analysis of Non-Constant Baselines in Stated Preference Surveys By Kelly B. Maguire; Chris Moore; Dennis Guignet; Chris Dockins; Nathalie B. Simon

  1. By: Holden , Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: The paper investigates the important role of fertilizer to enhance sustainable intensification and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa based on a multi-disciplinary literature review. The review starts with a macro-perspective taking population growth, economic development and climate change into account. This is complemented with a micro-perspective summarizing findings from comprehensive micro-data in selected African countries. Agronomic, environmental and economic profitability implications of fertilizer use are reviewed. An assessment is made whether small farmers in Africa should be considered rational or partly irrational agricultural decision-makers and whether this can affect fertilizer use. I then discuss some controversial and promising policy approaches that may have the potential to enhance sustainable intensification and nutrient use efficiency in African agriculture before I conclude.
    Keywords: Sub-Saharan Africa; fertilizer; sustainable intensification; food security; policy.
    JEL: Q12 Q18 Q56
    Date: 2018–01–05
  2. By: Emmanuelle Augeraud-Véron (GREThA - Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée - UB - Université de Bordeaux - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Fabbri Giorgio (GAEL - Laboratoire d'Economie Appliquée de Grenoble - Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UGA - Université Grenoble Alpes); Katheline Schubert (PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper presents a benchmark stochastic endogenous growth model of an agricultural economy. Producing food requires land, and increasing the share of total land devoted to farming mechanically reduces the share of land devoted to biodiversity conservation. However, safeguarding a greater number of species guarantees, through spatial exchanges, better ecosystem services which, in turn, ensure lower volatility of agricultural productivity. The optimal conversion/conservation rule is explicitly characterized, as well as the total value of biodiversity in terms of the welfare gain from biodiversity conservation, and the marginal value of biodiversity in terms of risk premium reduction, namely its insurance value. The Epstein-Zin-Weil specification of preferences allows us to disentangle the effects of risk aversion and aversion to fluctuations.
    Keywords: Biodiversity, stochastic endogenous growth, insurance value, recursive preferences
    Date: 2018–04–17
  3. By: Günther Fink; B. Kelsey Jack; Felix Masiye
    Abstract: Many rural households in low and middle income countries continue to rely on small-scale agriculture as their primary source of income. In the absence of irrigation, income arrives only once or twice per year, and has to cover consumption and input needs until the subsequent harvest. We develop a model to show that seasonal liquidity constraints not only undermine households’ ability to smooth consumption over the cropping cycle, but also affect labor markets if liquidity-constrained farmers sell family labor off-farm to meet short-run cash needs. To identify the impact of seasonal constraints on labor allocation and agricultural production, we conducted a two-year randomized controlled trial with small-scale farmers in rural Zambia. Our results indicate that lowering the cost of accessing liquidity at the time of the year when farmers are most constrained (the lean season) reduces aggregate labor supply, drives up wages and leads to a reallocation of labor from less to more liquidity-constrained farms. This reallocation reduces consumption and income inequality among treated farmers and increases average agricultural output.
    JEL: D14 J2 J43 O13
    Date: 2018–04
  4. By: Masuda, Kazuya; Chitundu, Maureen
    Abstract: Background: In developing countries, micronutrient deficiency in infants is associated with growth faltering, morbidity, and delayed motor development. One of the potentially low-cost and sustainable solutions is to use locally producible food for the home fortification of complementary foods. Objective: The objectives were to test the hypothesis that locally producible spirulina platensis supplementation would achieve the following: 1) increase infant physical growth; 2) reduce morbidity; and 3) improve motor development. Design: We randomly assigned 501 Zambian infants into a control (CON) group or a spirulina (SP) group. Children in the CON group (n=250) received a soya-maize-based porridge for 12 months, whereas those in the SP group (n=251) received the same food but with the addition of spirulina. We assessed the change in infants’ anthropometric status, morbidity, and motor development over 12 months. Results: The baseline characteristics were not significantly different between the two groups. The attrition rate (47/501) was low. The physical growth of infants in the two groups was similar at 12 months of intervention, as measured by height-for-age z-scores (HAZ), and weight-for-age z-scores (WAZ). SP infants were less likely to suffer from cough by 11 percentage point (CI: -0.23, -0.00; P
    Keywords: chronic malnutrition, home-fortification, spirulina, infant growth, motor development, morbidity, Zambia
    Date: 2018–04
  5. By: Nikulin, Alexander (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Trotsuk, Irina (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Shagaida, Natalia (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy); Shishkina, Ekaterina (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Uzun, Vasily (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA))
    Abstract: The paper analyzes approaches to assessing food security, and also assesses its condition in 2014-2017 on the basis of the indicators provided for in the Food Security Doctrine, as well as the evaluation methodology developed at the Center for Agricultural Policy of the IAER RANEPA. It is made the conclusion about the need to refine both the list of indicators and methods of observation. Traditional statistical indicators are supplemented by indicators of economic access of the population to food in the average across Russia, in a cut of groups with different level of available resources, territories, and also parameters of telephone sociological interrogation of the population. In addition, the work provides an overview of expert interviews of agricultural producers from small businesses on additional opportunities that arose during the period of the food embargo.
    Date: 2018–04
  6. By: Halkos, George
    Abstract: The environment is changing in a dynamic way. Sustainable development consists of both natural environmental changes as well as changes caused by humans. Nowadays environmental changes occur more often and much quicker and these changes challenge ecosystems and human societies. The aim of this special issue is to address the achievement of sustainable development by addressing the current issues of concern. Specifically, the green economy concept is an important term in international agendas. Together with the current economic crisis and the view that policies to attain sustainability cannot be put into operation efficiently, policy makers anticipate a solution from the greening of the economy. Green growth, more energy efficiency, cleaner energy technologies and sustainable development are regularly considered as harmonizing goals by international policy makers.
    Keywords: Energy consumption; trade; energy security risk; decoupling; green industrialization; greening workplace; digitalization; green communication.
    JEL: O11 Q40 Q43 Q56 Q58
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Debela, Bethelhem Legesse (Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development); Shively, Gerald E. (bDepartment of Agricultural Economics and Purdue Policy Research Institute); Holden, Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: We use four waves of panel data from Northern Ethiopia to investigate the link between Food for Work (FFW) participation and the diversity of food consumption and production. Food-based transfer programs have become a standard tool for addressing the problem of chronic food insecurity in developing countries. Such programs have the potential to expand diet diversity if food items provided under FFW are not part of the beneficiaries’ staple diet. By raising effective incomes, cash payments also have the potential to “crowd in” purchases of nutritionally important foods. On the other hand, FFW programs have the potential to undermine dietary diversity by altering the basic crop mix if participation requires households to divert labor away from on-farm production. The net effect is unclear, which we empirically investigate in this study. By employing random effects, fixed effects and difference-indifference estimations, we find that FFW participants had greater dietary diversity compared to non-participants, with an average effect magnitude equivalent to onefifth of a standard deviation in the food variety score. When items directly provided by the FFW program are excluded from the variety score, the overall effect is statistically weaker, but similar in sign and magnitude, suggesting modest “crowding in” of diet diversity from FFW participation. Findings also reveal that higher intensity of participation in FFW is linked with diversified food consumption. We find no evidence that FFW participation led to changes in production diversity, suggesting that FFW programs may not be competing for labor with on farm production. Findings have relevance for interventions that aim to improve food security and promote dietary quality in low-income populations.
    Keywords: diet diversity; Ethiopia; food for work; food security; nutrition
    JEL: I38 Q12
    Date: 2017–11–27
  8. By: Sylvain Chabé-Ferret; Philippe Le Coent; Arnaud Reynaud; Julie Subervie; Daniel Lepercq
    Abstract: Improving water efficiency is a growing challenge for the Common Agricultural Policy. In this article, we test whether social comparison nudges can promote water-saving behavior among farmers. We report on a pilot Randomized Controlled Trial, in which information on individual and group water consumption were sent every week to farmers equipped with smartmeters. We do not detect an effect of nudges on average water consumption. We however find that the nudge decreases water consumption at the top of the distribution while it increases consumption at the bottom. This study highlights the potential of nudges as an agricultural policy tool.
    Keywords: nudges, behavioral economics, irrigation water use, government policy
    JEL: D90 Q25 Q58
    Date: 2018–05
  9. By: Alexandra Michailidou (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki); Christos Vlachokostas (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki); Charisios Achillas (Technological Educational Institute of Central Macedonia); Nicolas Moussiopoulos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki); Eleni Feleki (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
    Abstract: The paper presents an approach to put forward Metropolitan and Peri-Urban Agriculture (MPA) in the framework of the MADRE Interreg MED project. The MADRE project, which stands for ?Metropolitan Agriculture for Developing and innovative sustainable and Responsible Economy?, is designing a methodological framework in order to identify and characterize best practices of MPA in Mediterranean urban conurbations. Aiming at promoting a change process in the metropolitan food supply model, the project will focus on identifying key factors that foster and hamper MPA development according to stakeholders actively involved in MPA, i.e. key players from the quadruple helix involving private actors (farmers, producers and SMEs), civil society (consumers? groups, NGOs), academia and research and public authorities. It should be noted that the MPA innitiatives started to be more and more considered as an important factor for supplying food to the city dwellers, not only in developing countries but also to the metropolitans of the Northern sphere. It can play a crucial role towards encountering climate change by backing up urban ecosystems and urban biodiversity. To address the challenges of MPA, the approach proposed by MADRE partners is to allow a technical and political empowerment of local food production networks of five countries (France, Greece, Italy, Albania and Spain) through the development of a transnational cluster of MPA stakeholders. Such a transnational organization and networking, will allow those actors to foster their eco-innovation capacity (i.e. producers? innovation, consumers? innovation, social innovation, territorial innovation, transnational innovation and academic research) and thus to increase their impact on national, regional and metropolitan policies. Although there are still gaps of knowledge and uncertainties in studying sustainability issues for the three pillars (environment, economy and society) the proposed approach provides a roadmap for decision-makers to put forward urban agriculture in an organized manner. (This paper has received funding from the ERDF through the MED Interreg Programme under Grant Agreement No. 1MED15_1.1_M3_138).
    Keywords: Metropolitan and Peri-urban Agriculture; Decision Making; Methodological Framework; Mediterranean cities; Mediterranean cooperation; food supply chain.
    JEL: Q10 O20 Q01
    Date: 2018–04
  10. By: Brhanu , Desta (Mekelle University); Holden , Stein T. (Centre for Land Tenure Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences)
    Abstract: We investigate the extent of variation in output sharing in land rental contracts and alternative hypotheses to explain this variation. Close to half of the rental contracts in our study in northern Ethiopia have output shares that deviate from the dominant 50-50 equal sharing. Variation in land quality, the relative bargaining power of landlords and tenants, production risks and shocks are hypothesized to influence output shares. Matched data of landlords and tenants are used. The importance of endogenous matching of landlords and tenants is investigated by assessing how endogenous tenant characteristics are correlated with landlord characteristics. We find evidence of negative assortative matching for key resource characteristics. A control function approach is used to control for endogenous matching in the output share models. The results reveal that production risks as well as relative bargaining power affect output shares in the reverse tenancy setting with tenants being relatively wealthier and influential than landlords.
    Keywords: Land rental contracts; sharecropping; output shares; endogenous matching; control function approach
    JEL: Q15
    Date: 2018–01–15
  11. By: Wenjuan Cheng (University of Rome ”Tor Vergata”, Italy); Alessio D'Amato (University of Rome ”Tor Vergata”, Italy); Giacomo Pallante (Italian Ministrty of the Environment)
    Abstract: The agricultural genetic diversity is reducing at an accelerating pace. Benefit sharing mechanisms are well-known instruments to incentivize local genetic resource providers to maintain in-situ diversity and to avoid free-riding behaviour by multinational bioprospecting firms. We explore the role of these mechanisms in a setting where the output of bioprospecting activities (i.e. a modern seeds variety), competes with traditional agriculture, and the latter is necessary to conserve the genetic pool from which the multinational could extract the resources for developing new modern varieties in the future. We adopt a multistage game where the multinational anticipates the impact of its bioprospecting investments and price settings on the local owner incentives to conserve genetic diversity. We focus our attention on two benefit sharing mechanisms, namely profits sharing and technology transfers, and compare them with a benchmark featuring free genetic resources access. Our main conclusions suggest that incentives to conservation are the strongest under profit sharing, while a technology transfer produces a genetic erosion that is even higher than under free access. These results shed new light on policy design, especially in developing countries where agricultural genetic diversity is a strategic natural asset.
    Keywords: bioprospecting, genetic diversity, modern varieties adoption, monetary benefit sharing, technology transfer.
    JEL: O38 Q16 Q57
    Date: 2018–05
  12. By: Jaravel, Xavier
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2018
  13. By: Andrea Fracasso (Department of Economics [Università di Trento]); Massimo Riccabonii (School for advanced studies Lucca); Martina Sartori; Stefano Schiavo (Observatoire français des conjonctures économiques)
    Abstract: The paper investigates how the topological features of the virtual water (VW) network and the size of the associated VW flows are likely to change over time, under different socio-economic and climate scenarios. We combine two alternative models of network formation –a stochastic and a fitness model, used to describe the structure of VW flows- with a gravity model of trade to predict the intensity of each bilateral flow. This combined approach is superior to existing methodologies in its ability to replicate the observed features of VW trade. The insights from the models are used to forecast future VW flows in 2020 and 2050, under different climatic scenarios, and compare them with future water availability. Results suggest that the current trend of VW exports is not sustainable for all countries. Moreover, our approach highlights that some VW importers might be exposed to “imported water stress” as they rely heavily on imports from countries whose water use is unsustainable.
    Keywords: Virtual water trade; Complex networks; Fitness model; Agricultural production; Preferential attachment; Gravity model; Water stress
    JEL: F14 F18 Q25 Q56
    Date: 2017–12
  14. By: Luana F. J. Swensson (IPC-IG); Israel Klug (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "The development and implementation of an efficient institutional food procurement programme (IFPP)?which aims to link smallholder producers to institutional markets and promote development of food supply systems?is not a simple or straightforward task. It requires a series of conditions that must be coordinated and matched together. These conditions depend on?but go far beyond?governmental will and the availability of demand". (?)
    Keywords: Implementation, decentralised, food, procurement, programmes, impact, policy, institutional, legal, enabling, environment, case, PRONAE, PAA Africa, Mozambique
    Date: 2017–09
  15. By: Maria Giovanna Brandano (University of Sassari); Claudio Detotto (Laboratoire Lieux, Identités, eSpaces et Activités (LISA)); Marco Vannini (University of Sassari (Italy) & CRENoS (Italy))
    Abstract: The interest of travellers in wine tourism has been steadily increasing since the 1990s. Consequently, many regions around the world have adopted a variety of policies intended to promote eno-gastronomic tourism. In Sardinia (Italy) this form of tourism has shown a significant upward trend, and today provides a valuable opportunity to rural and often vulnerable inland communities to boost and diversify their economic structure. To encourage this type of tourism, in 2009 the Regional government identified some historic territories of the island and implemented the “wine routes programme†(WRP). These territories were selected according to their importance for growing local grape varieties and showcasing vineyards and winery establishments. The mandate of the routes was to create value around the local viticulture traditions, by sustaining the production of quality wines and by guiding visitors to the discovery of local produce, heritage landmarks and various expressions of the country's popular culture. Since winemakers play a pivotal role, the impact of the WRP on the performance of wineries is of paramount importance to achieve the final goal. To assess the impact of the WRP on the performance of local producers we carry out a controlled before-and-after study, taking the wineries within the wine routes areas as the treated units and the rest of the population as the untreated or control group. The performance of wineries is captured by the scores of a data envelopment analysis (DEA) over the time span 2004–2012. Findings reveal that the WRP increased the technical efficiency of wineries.
    Date: 2018–05
  16. By: Rosana Pereira de Miranda (IPC-IG); Amadou Diop (IPC-IG); PAA Africa targeting in Niger (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "With a surface area of 1,267,000 square kilometres, Niger is a vast Sahelian country located in the south of the Sahara Desert, which covers over two thirds of its land. In 2015, it had an estimated population of 17 million inhabitants and a particularly high growth rate of 3.3 per cent. It is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked 187th in the 2014 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index (FAO 2015). Its main economic activity is agriculture, including growing crops and raising livestock, with over 80 per cent of the population working in this sector. In Niger, agriculture is organised in the form of subsistence family farming and depends very much on climate variations, which result in food and fodder production deficits and social crises". (?)
    Keywords: Fostering, food purchase, programmes, widespread, poverty, contexts, targeting, smallholders, PAA Africa, programme, Niger
    Date: 2017–07
  17. By: Shagaida, Natalia (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy); Svetlov, Nikolai (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) - Central Economics and Mathematics Institute); Uzun, Vasily (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Loginova, Daria (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA)); Prishchepov, Alexander V. (University of Copenhagen, Kazan Federal University, Institute of Steppe)
    Abstract: It is established that those unused agricultural lands that are owned by agricultural producers but are not currently used for economic reasons are a factor of the competitive advantage of Russia's agrarian economy and can be used under favorable economic conditions. The total volume of unused agricultural land involvement for crops is estimated at about 5% of their total area in the coming years and up to 13% by 2025. The method of assessing the potential is selected on the basis of studying the theoretical bases of land use and practical experience in foreign countries: the USA, the EU and China. With the help of the economic-mathematical model, It was identified a potential increase in production from partial involvement of abandoned lands. It was given the characteristics of institutional and economic constraints to the development of production and the involvement of abandoned land in Russia, taking into account regional specifics.
    Date: 2018–04
  18. By: Kelly B. Maguire; Chris Moore; Dennis Guignet; Chris Dockins; Nathalie B. Simon
    Abstract: Defining baseline conditions is a key component of regulatory benefit-cost analysis. Most stated preference studies assume that the current state of the world in the absence of additional policy action remains constant. In the time that passes while a regulation is evaluated, implemented, and produces the intended environmental impacts, however, this is unlikely to be the case. To address this largely unexplored area of nonmarket valuation, we administer a stated preference survey using a three-way split sample design. Respondents are either told future baseline conditions would remain constant, decline, or improve without additional policy interventions. While we find some evidence to support predictions of the standard theoretical model, we also find that behavioral and emotional reactions to the non-constant baseline scenarios muddy the waters, introducing some countervailing factors. These results have implications for the design and use of stated preference results in benefit-cost analysis.
    Keywords: baseline, benefit-cost analysis, Chesapeake Bay, nonmarket valuation, stated preference survey
    JEL: Q51 Q53
    Date: 2018–02

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