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Agriculture

2009-10-14

Sustainable Development Innovation Brief #7

"The contribution of sustainable agriculture and land management to sustainable development" - This brief discusses the potential for sustainable agriculture to contribute towards sustainable development with a particular focus on developing countries. It briefly describes different sustainable agricultural practices and the extent of their adoption, identifies constraints to their further adoption, and presents some actions and policy options that could accelerate the widespread adoption of sustainable agricultural practices.

2009-09-21

The Effect of Risk, Ambiguity, and Coordination on Farmers´Adaptation to Climate Change: A Framed Field Experiment

The authors used a framed field experiment with coffee farmers in Costa Rica after tropical storm Alma to explore how farmers react to different levels of risk to income and productive means from extreme weather under measurable and unmeasurable uncertainty. They also examined whether investment costs to reduce vulnerability exhibit economies of scope.

2009-06-24

Structure and Functioning of Chickpea Markets in Ethiopia: Evidence Based on Analyses of Value Chains Linking Smallholders and Markets

Ethiopia is one of the sub-Saharan countries of Africa which liberalized their economies and developed poverty reduction strategies that underpin market-led strategies for broad-based agricultural development and economic growth. The country has successively adopted economic reform programs that aimed to open up the agricultural marketing system for active participation of the private sector. The liberalization of the Ethiopian grain economy has undergone successive adjustments such as lifting of restriction on private trade, rejection of government trading monopolies, removing of official price setting (Dadi et al. 1992; Gabre-Madhin 2001). The centralized grain marketing activities of the 1980s where pan-territorial input and output prices were determined by the central government have given way to liberalized agricultural markets. Market liberalization means input and output prices are determined by market forces. It has substantially increased participation of the private sector in grain marketing. The current policy environment attempts to promote production and marketing of high value agricultural products with a view to increase competitiveness in domestic, regional and international markets. This is because markets for agricultural products are changing rapidly with different market participants expanding rapidly in controlling the emerging market opportunities. In addition markets are changing in response to changing consumption behaviour towards high value agricultural products induced by rising per capita income, migration, urbanization and globalization.

2009-05-22

Cost of Land Degradation in Ethiopia: A Critical Review of Past Studies

This study will review the past studies of the cost of land degradation in Ethiopia, assess the major methodological and conceptual issues and problems existing in the different approaches, compare the findings across these studies considering the relative merits of the different approaches, and draw implications for policies and programs, as well as for future research related to land management in Ethiopia.

2009-03-01

Impacts of the Productive Safety Net Program on livestock and tree holdings of rural households in Ethiopia

In this paper, we study the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) in Ethiopia in order to see how it has affected households’ investment and disinvestment in productive assets. The PSNP is the largest currently operating social protection program in sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa, and its impacts and effectiveness are therefore important both in their own right and because they have implications for similar but smaller programs elsewhere.

2009-01-05

Agroforestry Price Supports as a Conservation Tool: Mexican Shade Coffee

Economic policies that boost profits from agroforesty, thereby creating financial incentives for land managers to favor these systems over less environmentally friendly land uses, could, in theory, have ancillary environmental benefits. This paper analyzes primary and secondary data to determine whether a voluntary price support program for Mexican coffee-mostly grown in shaded systems that supply important ecosystem services- has had such "win-win" benefits by stemming land-use change in the coffee sector.

2008-10-31

Fast Track Land Reform and Agricultural Productivity in Zimbabwe

The author investigated the Zimbabwean Fast Track Land Reform Program’s (FTLRP) impact on the agricultural productivity of its beneficiaries. The data revealed significant differences between beneficiaries and a control group of communal farmers in household and parcel characteristics and input usage.

2008-10-14

Estimation of the aggregate agricultural supply response in Zimbabwe: The ARDL approach to cointegration

This paper uses relatively recent time series techniques on data spanning over different pricing regimes to estimate the aggregate agricultural supply response to price and non-price factors in Zimbabwe. The ARDL approach to cointegration employed here gives consistent estimates of supply response in the presence of regressor endogeneity and also permits the estimation of distinct estimates of both long-run and short-run elasticities when variables are not integrated of the same order.

2008-06-19

Determinants of Soil Capital

Explaining soil capital facilitates a better understanding of constraints and opportunities for increased agricultural production and reduced land degradation. The diversity in farmers’ soil capital, production strategies, and general farming systems (including conservation investments) points to the value of internalizing these aspects in the formulation of the government’s policies and extension advice on sustainable agriculture.

2008-06-19

Production Function Analysis of Soil Properties and Soil Conservation Investments in Tropical Agriculture

This paper integrates traditional economic variables, soil properties, and variables on soil conservation technologies to estimate agricultural output among small-scale farmers in Kenya’s central highlands. The study finds that integrating traditional economics and soil science is invaluable, especially as omitting measures of soil capital can cause omitted-variable bias. The central policy implication is that while fertilizers are generally beneficial, their application is a complex art, and more is not necessarily better.

2008-06-03

Fast Track Land Reform, Tenure Security, and Investments in Zimbabwe

There is evidence that the Fast Track Land Reform Program created insecurity among its beneficiaries and adversely impacted investments in soil conservation. However, households in the study that believed investing in land enhanced tenure security invested significantly more in soil conservation measures than other households.

2008-04-30

Can the restrictive harvest period policy conserve mopane worms in Southern Africa? A bio-economic modelling approach

Imbrasia Belina also known as the mopane worm, like other edible insects and caterpillars, is a vital source of protein to Southern African countries. The worms live and graze on mopane trees, which occupy agricultural land. With increasing commercialization of the worm, the management of the worm, which was hitherto organized as a common property resource, has degraded to a near open access.

2008-04-08

Market Imperfections and Farm Technology Adoption Decisions: A Case Study from the Highlands of Ethiopia

This examination of the impacts of market and institutional imperfections on technology adoption found that Ethiopian farmers’ decisions to adopt fertilizer significantly and negatively depended on whether they also adopted soil conservation, but not vice versa. Market imperfections were significant factors in explaining variations in decisions to adopt farm technology, such that relieving market imperfections could increase adoption of farm technologies.

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