nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2019‒11‒18
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Factors Affecting Adoption of Improved Crops by Rural Farmers in Niger By Bago, Jean-Louis; Koutaba, Aude E. A.; Valéa, Aristide B.
  2. The impact of swarm robotics on arable farm size and structure in the UK By Lowenberg-DeBoer, James; Behrendt, Karl; Godwin, Richard; Franklin, Kit
  3. Agricultural Sector Performance, Institutional Framework and Food Security in Nigeria By Romanus Osabohien; Evans Osabuohien; Precious Ohalete
  5. Exploring trajectories of shifting-cultivation landscapes through games the case of Assam India By Bos, Swen; Cornioley, Tina; Dray, Anne; Waeber, Patrick; Garcia, Claude A.
  6. The Impact of the Expansion of African Palm Crop on Child Undernutrition in South-West Guatemala By Juliana Yael Milovich Finkelstein
  7. Fiscal policy and ecological sustainability By Yannis Dafermos; Maria Nikolaidi
  8. The brink of poverty: Efficiency and effectiveness of targeted social assistance for poverty reduction in rural China By Kuhn, Lena
  9. Using supply chain data to monitor zero deforestation commitments: an assessment of progress in the Brazilian soy sector By Ermgassen, Erasmus Klaus Helge Justus zu; Ayre, Ben; Godar, Javier; Bastos Lima, Mairon G.; Bauch, Simone; Garrett, Rachael; Green, Jonathan; Lathuillière, Michael J; Löfgren, Pernilla; MacFarquhar, Christina
  10. Proceedings of the INFER Workshop on Agri-tech Economics 18 - 19 October 2019, Harper Adams University, Newport, United Kingdom By Behrendt, Karl; Paparas, Dimitrios
  11. Index Based Insurance in Developing Countries: Rational Neglect? By Würtenberger, Daniel
  12. The impact and effectiveness of US public investment in international agricultural development: Is it time for a paradigm shift? By Beghin, John C; Smith, Vincent H

  1. By: Bago, Jean-Louis; Koutaba, Aude E. A.; Valéa, Aristide B.
    Abstract: Improved crops are advocated to meet the dual challenge of food security and the fight against poverty in developing countries. As most poor people in developing countries live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for their livelihood, an important key to get them out of poverty is to increase agricultural productivity by using technologies such as improved crops. However, the rate of improved crops adoption remains surprisingly low in Niger, one of the world poorest countries. In this paper, we examine the factors affecting adoption of improved crops by rural farmers focusing on Niger. Using the 2014’s National Survey on Households Living Conditions and Agriculture, we investigate the effect of farmers’ socioeconomic characteristics, the farm’s quality, the geographic location, the production system, the access to improved seeds and the land tenure on the probability to use improved crops rather than local crops. Our results suggest that the ownership of a government land title is the most important driver in the adoption of improved crops by rural farmers. In addition, being a female, educated, practicing polyculture, having access to improved seed increase the probability to adopt improved crops. In contrast, household size, operating on the parcel for a long period and the parcel size reduces the probability to use improved crops. These determinants of improved crops adoption should be considered in Niger’s agricultural policy to succeed in the dissemination of improved crops among rural farmers.
    Date: 2018–04–20
  2. By: Lowenberg-DeBoer, James; Behrendt, Karl; Godwin, Richard; Franklin, Kit
    Abstract: Swarm robotics has the potential to radically change the economies of size in agriculture and this will impact farm size and structure in the UK. This study uses a systematic review of the economics of agricultural robotics literature, data from the Hands Free Hectare (HFH) demonstration project which showed the technical feasibility of robotic grain production, and farm-level linear programming (LP) to estimate changes in the average cost curve for wheat and oilseed rape from swarm robotics. The study shows that robotic grain production is technically and economically feasible. A preliminary analysis suggests that robotic production allows medium size farms to approach minimum per unit production cost levels and that the UK costs of production can compete with imported grain. The ability to achieve minimum production costs at relatively small farm size means that the pressure to “get big or get out” will diminish. Costs of production that are internationally competitive will mean reduced need for government subsidies and greater independence for farmers. The ability of swarm robotics to achieve minimum production costs even on small, irregularly shaped fields will reduce pressure to tear out hedges, cut infield trees and enlarge fields.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Crop Production/Industries, Farm Management, Land Economics/Use, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2019–05–16
  3. By: Romanus Osabohien (CEPDeR, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria); Evans Osabuohien (CEPDeR, Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria); Precious Ohalete (Ndufe Alike, Ebonyi, Nigeria)
    Abstract: This study examines how the performance of the agricultural sector can be enhanced in the long-run through institutional framework thereby ensuring food security in Nigeria. It employs the ARDL (Autoregressive Distributed Lag) with data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) statistical bulletin, Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Development Indicators (WDI), and World Governance Indicators (WDI). Food security is used as the dependent variable proxied by the number of the people undernourished under the stability dimension; agricultural sector performance and institutional framework as the independent variables, while population is a control variable. Two agricultural variables (agriculture production and agriculture credit) are employed with six variables of institutional framework. The findings show that in the long-run, agriculture production and agriculture credit (agriculture variables) will increase food security by reducing the number of people undernourished by 2% and 18%, respectively. In terms of institutional framework; political stability and absence of violence and rule of law increase food security by reducing undernourishment by approximately 69% and 29%, respectively; control of corruption and voice and accountability tends to reduce food security by increasing the number of the people undernourished by 74%, 51% and 63% respectively. Therefore, the study concludes by recommending, among others, that the Nigerian institutional framework should be improved (especially the control of corruption) in addressing the challenges in the implementation of food security programmes and ensuring timely distribution of food resources.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Food Security, Governance, Institutions
    JEL: G38 H1 O43
    Date: 2019–01
  4. By: Ngo-Hoang, Dai-Long
    Abstract: Variables of production value, material, interest, labor, output affecting economic efficiency in rice land in the Mekong Delta region (big impact in the first major component), need to be considered These factors in the assessment of alluvial soil with yellow red patchy layer (Pf) - 3 large value crops in the first major component, need to be concerned about the continuation of 3 crops on the type this land. The final report in the subject "regional development policy" by students of the Department of Geography will clarify this through the method of analyzing the main components of economic efficiency using rice land, the Mekong Delta case.
    Date: 2019–05–09
  5. By: Bos, Swen; Cornioley, Tina; Dray, Anne; Waeber, Patrick; Garcia, Claude A.
    Abstract: 1. Understanding landscape change starts with understanding what motivates farmers to transition away from one system, shifting cultivation, into another, like plantation crops, given that they often have limited labour and money available. In this study we explored the resource allocation strategies of the farmers of the Karbi tribe in Northeast India, who practise a traditional shifting cultivation system called jhum. 2. Through Companion Modelling, a participatory modelling framework, we developed a model of the local farming system in the form of a role playing game. Within this environment local jhum farmers participated in a simulation that covered 18 years of farming, while also allowing us to analyse the impacts of their decisions together. 3. In the game, farmers allocated labour and cash to meet household needs, while also investing in new opportunities like bamboo, rubber and tea, or the chance to improve their living standards. When given new opportunities, the farmers were eager to embrace those options where investment costs, especially monetary investments, are low. 4. Returns on these investments were not automatically re-invested in further long-term, more expensive and promising opportunities. Instead, most of the money is spend on improving the household living standards, and especially on the education of the next generation. 5. The landscape changed profoundly as a result of the farmer strategies. Natural ecological succession was replaced by an improved fallow of marketable bamboo species. Plantations of tea and rubber became more prevalent as time progressed. However, old practises that ensure food security are not yet given up.
    Date: 2019–03–08
  6. By: Juliana Yael Milovich Finkelstein
    Abstract: The struggle for water and land use in Guatemala has intensiffed in the last decade due to the accelerated expansion of the agro-export sector. Particularly, in the south-west region, the recent expansion of african palm crop has taken place at the expense of illegal dredging of rivers, the improper use of water resources and the purchase and forced dispossession of communal and family lands of the indigenous population. Thissituation not only represents a destructuring of the established order within families and within indigenous communities, but also compromises the nutritional health of the most vulnerable members, such as children and women. This study provides evidence on how the rapid development of this agro-export crop has contributed to increase the probability of children suffering from chronic malnutrition in the region, and particularly those from indigenous mothers, living in urban areas and in households where the head of the family is a man.
    Keywords: Child Undernutrition, African Palm, Impact Evaluation
    JEL: J13 O12 I15 Q53
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Yannis Dafermos; Maria Nikolaidi
    Abstract: Fiscal policy has a strong role to play in the transition to an ecologically sustainable economy. This paper critically discusses the way that green fiscal policy has been analysed in both conventional and post-Keynesian approaches. It then uses a recently developed post-Keynesian ecological macroeconomic model in order to provide a comparative evaluation of three different types of green fiscal policy: carbon taxes, green subsidies and green public investment. We show that (i) carbon taxes reduce global warming but increase financial risks due to their adverse effects on the profitability of firms and credit availability; (ii) green subsidies and green public investment improve ecological efficiency, but their positive environmental impact is partially offset by their macroeconomic rebound effects; and (iii) a green fiscal policy mix derives better outcomes than isolated policies. Directions for future heterodox macroeconomic research on the links between fiscal policy and ecological sustainability are suggested.
    Keywords: post-Keynesian economics, ecological economics, green fiscal policy, stock-flow consistent modelling
    JEL: E12 E62 Q54 Q57
    Date: 2019
  8. By: Kuhn, Lena
    Abstract: Despite economic growth and extensive development projects, many marginalized Chinese rural households remain trapped in poverty. To safeguard basic livelihood and decrease absolute poverty, the Chinese Rural Minimum Living Standard Scheme (RMLSS) provides income transfers to rural households below an absolute income threshold. For budgetary reasons and incentive considerations, policy makers usually limit the target group and strive for strict exclusion of non-eligible beneficiaries. Political economists however have been disagreeing about the significance of the restrictiveness and accuracy of this so-called targeting for the respective program's anti-poverty effect. The dissertation approaches this question by an in-depth analysis of the impact of narrowly targeted financial transfers on poverty reduction in emerging economies along the example of the Chinese RMLSS. Of interest are the accuracy and effectiveness of the RMLSS transfers, but even more the influence of the targeting method and efficiency in reducing rural absolute poverty. The dissertation focuses on an empirical analysis of the effect of benefit allocation, varying targeting methods, poverty lines and program coverage on poverty reduction of the rural dibao scheme. After the first introductory chapter, the second chapter sets the stage by introducing the social assistances system in question and providing specific background information that is necessary for the later, comprehensive evaluation. In Chapter 3, the major targeting mechanisms are analyzed from a theoretical point of view and contrasted with socioeconomic conditions and policy environment found in the Chinese countryside. [...]
    Keywords: Community/Rural/Urban Development, Food Security and Poverty
    Date: 2018
  9. By: Ermgassen, Erasmus Klaus Helge Justus zu; Ayre, Ben; Godar, Javier; Bastos Lima, Mairon G.; Bauch, Simone; Garrett, Rachael; Green, Jonathan; Lathuillière, Michael J; Löfgren, Pernilla; MacFarquhar, Christina
    Abstract: Zero deforestation commitments (ZDCs) are voluntary initiatives where companies or countries pledge to eliminate deforestation from their supply chains. These commitments offer much promise for sustainable commodity production, but are undermined by a lack of transparency about their coverage and impacts. Here, using state-of-the-art supply chain data, we introduce an approach to evaluate the impact of ZDCs, linking traders and international markets to commodity-associated deforestation in the sub-national jurisdictions from which they source. We focus on the Brazilian soy sector, where we find that ZDC coverage is increasing, but under-represents the Cerrado biome where most soy-associated deforestation currently takes place. Though soy-associated deforestation declined in the Amazon after the introduction of the Soy Moratorium, we observe no change in the exposure of companies or countries adopting ZDCs to soy-associated deforestation in the Cerrado. We further assess the formulation and implementation of these ZDCs and identify several systematic weaknesses which must be addressed to increase the likelihood that they achieve meaningful reductions in deforestation in future. As the 2020 deadline for several of these commitments approaches, our approach can provide independent monitoring of progress toward the goal of ending commodity-associated deforestation.
    Date: 2019–06–28
  10. By: Behrendt, Karl; Paparas, Dimitrios
    Keywords: Agribusiness, Agricultural Finance, Crop Production/Industries, Environmental Economics and Policy, Farm Management
    Date: 2019–10–21
  11. By: Würtenberger, Daniel
    Abstract: Microinsurance adoption in developing countries is low, despite its potential to foster economic growth. Recent research is not able to explain the low demand within the neoclassical framework. I contribute to this stream of research by proposing rational as well as boundedly rational explanations for the low attractiveness of microinsurance within a stochastic framework. More precisely, I analyze weather index insurance. My model makes separate predictions for close farmers, whose location is near a weather station, and distant farmers. Results show that the latter ask for less than 50% insurance coverage even under perfect rationality. I extend the model by integrating incorrect beliefs. I can show that a lack of trust reduces insurance demand most for close farmers, while a lack of knowledge about the insurance negatively affects the demand of distant farmers. Moreover, subsidies are more effective for close than for distant farmers.
    Keywords: index insurance,basis risk,microinsurance,developing countries,understanding of insurance products,trust in insurer
    JEL: G22 D91 Q12 O13 O16
    Date: 2019
  12. By: Beghin, John C; Smith, Vincent H
    Abstract: We investigate two important aspects of the US Agency for International Development’s investments in agricultural development and assistance. The two distinct aspects synergistically reenforce their joint impacts on the effectiveness of agricultural development programs to promote economic development. First, the foundational smallholder paradigm under-pins many assistance programs in agriculture in developing countries intended to increase productivity. However, the paradigm is flawed. Market participation and adoption of commercial inputs and technology elude many smallholders because of inadequate scale and limited human capital. Second, we address the ineffective delivery of agricultural aid programs due to conflicting objectives and various leakages of funds before any benefits reach smallholders. We offer a series of recommendations for more effective assistance programs and their delivery.
    Keywords: International Development
    Date: 2019–10–30

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