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Relative preferences for soil conservation incentives among smallholder farmers: Evidence from Malawi | American Journal of Agricultural Economics

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This paper uses framed choice experiments to examine the preferences of smallholder farmers in Malawi regarding alternative policy-based incentives to adopt conservation practices that reduce soil erosion and increase yields. The policy incentives offered in the choice experiments included an ideal index-based crop insurance contract, an index insurance contract with basis risk, cash payments, and fertilizer subsidies. Prior to implementing the choice experiments, the farmers participated in a workshop utilizing small group-based dynamic learning games that demonstrated how index-based crop insurance contracts function. The choice experiment results indicate that most farmers preferred cash payments to index insurance contracts, even when the insurance contracts offered substantially higher expected returns. Further, more risk averse farmers were more likely to prefer cash payments than less risk averse and risk loving farmers.

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A chat about insurance: Experimental results from rural Bangladesh | Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy

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Farmers throughout the developing world face multiple sources of uninsured risk to agricultural production and household assets. In this paper, we present results from an experimental demand-elicitation exercise in rural Bangladesh to shed light on smallholder farmers' interest in formal insurance products. We propose a suite of insurance and savings products, and we randomly vary                     the price of one insurance option (area-yield insurance) and the presence of one of the savings options (group savings). Consistent with economic theory, farmers buy more of the insurance products that cover the risks they primarily face. However, because farmers are subject to a variety of risks, they do not focus on only one type of insurance; instead, they evenly split their                     endowment between life and disability insurance and agricultural insurance. Demand for area-yield insurance falls with price; we also observe important cross-price elasticities with other insurance products. The presence of group savings does not alter                     demand for insurance, though group savings is found to be a particularly popular risk management tool, especially when decisions are made in groups.

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Introducing carbon taxes in South Africa | Applied Energy

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South Africa is considering introducing a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Following a discussion of the motivations for considering a carbon tax, we evaluate potential impacts using a dynamic economywide model linked to an energy sector model including a detailed evaluation of border carbon adjustments. Results indicate that a phased-in carbon tax of US$30 per ton of CO2 can achieve national emissions reductions targets set for 2025. Relative to a baseline with free disposal of CO2, constant world prices and no change in trading partner behavior, the preferred tax scenario reduces national welfare and employment by about 1.2 and 0.6 percent, respectively. However, if trading partners unilaterally impose a carbon consumption tax on South African exports, then welfare/employment losses exceed those from a domestic carbon tax. South Africa can lessen welfare/employment losses by introducing its own border carbon adjustments. The mode for recycling carbon tax revenues strongly influences distributional outcomes, with tradeoffs between growth and equity.

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Managing climate change risk in China's agricultural sector: The potential for an integrated risk management framework | Journal of Integrative Agriculture

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Climate change poses a serious threat to the future food security of China, which is among the most disaster-prone countries in the world. This paper discusses the implications of climate change for China's agricultural sector. Its main objectives are to identify the agricultural risks associated with climate change, to introduce a conceptual framework for agricultural climate risk management and to enumerate key adaptation strategies, challenges, and recommendations.

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Aligning public expenditure for agricultural development priorities under rapid transformation: The case of China | IFPRI Publication

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This paper provides a comprehensive review of agricultural policy and public agricultural expenditure (PAE) in China. China shifted away from taxing agriculture to supporting agriculture in the mid-2000s, but the sector faces mounting demographic, biophysical, and trade challenges. PAE in China is outpacing that of other developing economies in Asia, but its composition does not align perfectly with the development challenges and priorities the sector faces.

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Irrigation potential in Nigeria: Some perspectives based on factor endowments, tropical nature, and patterns in favorable areas | IFPRI Publication

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In this paper, we briefly explore these three perspectives that can be useful in the future assessment of irrigation potential in Nigeria: (1) factor endowments, (2) challenges inherent in the tropics, and (3) experiences in a favorable area within Nigeria.

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Improving the food policy process: Lessons from capacity strengthening of parliamentarians in Ghana | IFPRI Publication

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In this paper, we document an approach to capacity strengthening of parliamentarians in Ghana and attempt to gauge to what extent and under what conditions such investments could lead to better debates and informed policymaking to promote growth and poverty reduction. We traced a group of Ghanaian parliamentarians to draw lessons after their study and exposure visit to India. Exposure visits changed participants’ knowledge, outlook, and thinking toward agricultural policies.

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Loan demand and rationing among small-scale farmers in Nigeria | IFPRI Publication

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To this end, this study seeks to (1) examine the nature of risks facing small-scale farmer-borrowers in Nigeria, (2) analyze the demand for agricultural credit by farmers and highlight the key determinants of this demand, (3) ascertain the extent to which farmers are credit rationed and the factors influencing the emerging rationing scenarios, and (4) suggest policy measures to address the problem of agricultural credit rationing and enhance the demand for credit. The study employs primary data obtained from 1,200 small-scale farmers through a survey conducted in 2013 across the six geopolitical zones of the country. Methodologically, the study extends the analysis of credit rationing beyond quantity rationing and presents explicit econometric models for analyzing the determinants of three types of credit rationing: quantity rationing, risk rationing, and price rationing.

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Inflation volatility: An Asian perspective | Economic Research-Ekonomska Istraživanja

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For the quarterly data of 10 Asian economies, ranging from the first quarter of 1991 to last quarter of 2012, we model inflation volatility as a time varying process through different symmetric and asymmetric GARCH specifications. We also propose to model inflation volatility on the basis of cyclic component of inflation obtained from an Hodrick Prescott (HP) filter instead of actual inflation when the latter does not fulfil the criterion of stationarity. Through news impact curves (NICs) we tried to highlight the behaviour of inflation volatility in response to lagged inflation shocks under different GARCH specifications. In our results the leverage parameter shows the expected sign and is significant for almost all countries suggesting strong asymmetry in inflation volatility. The hyperbolic sign integral shape of NICs based on Glosten-Jagannathan-Runkle GARCH (GJR-GARCH) highlights the importance of inflation stabilisation programmes particularly because of the subsequent evidence obtained in favour of bidirectional causality running between inflation and inflation volatility. There is also evidence in favour of the argument that a cyclic component of inflation obtained through an HP filter could be used as a suitable proxy of inflation for volatility estimation.

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Impact assessment: IFPRI 2020 Conference on building resilince on food and nutrition security | IFPRI Publication

Impact assessment: IFPRI 2020 Conference on building resilince on food and nutrition security | IFPRI Publication | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it
IFPRI’s 2020 conference in May 2014 did generate a wide variety of short-term impacts, some larger than others, felt both at the level of individual conference participants and within the organizations that sent them to Addis, and last but not...
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IFPRI’s 2020 conference in May 2014 did generate a wide variety of short-term impacts, some larger than others, felt both at the level of individual conference participants and within the organizations that sent them to Addis, and last but not least within the organizing institutions. Most of these impacts took the form of accelerated learning and increased coordination across organizations, for project development and program advancement. Many of these impacts were expected to be durable rather than just temporary. By intent, the 2020 conference in Addis was designed to produce impacts large in number and variety, but not immediately visible to outsiders. The conference agenda was not focused on one issue, or even on a single grouping of issues. There was no push on the agenda toward a single goal. More than 140 speakers shared information and views regarding the resilience-building activities they were already engaged in, and multiple simultaneous parallel sessions and side-events provided a broad menu of choices for attendees to find one another, compare notes, and make plans, but the 2020 Conference did not immediately lead to any single headline-grabbing change.

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Capacity strengthening strategy through capacity needs assessment for country level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS): Ethiopia | IFPRI Publication

Capacity strengthening strategy through capacity needs assessment for country level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS): Ethiopia | IFPRI Publication | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it
The capacity needs assessment (CNA) was conducted at three levels: at the policy process/enabling environment level, organizational level, and individual level.
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The capacity needs assessment (CNA) was conducted at three levels: at the policy process/enabling environment level, organizational level, and individual level. The assessment focused on the thematic issues related to (1) strategic policy analysis, (2) M&E, and (3) knowledge management and sharing. Thirteen organizations were covered in this assessment: government ministries, research organizations, universities, and professional associations. In the Ethiopian agriculture policy process, this study noted that the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MoFED) has a role in initiating country‐level strategies, while the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) plays a role in initiating sector‐specific policies such as land policy, seed policy, and others. The Central Statistics Agency (CSA) is the major and the official source of data and information. Research centers and universities, on the other hand, are significant sources of rigorous research and policy analysis reports. The Parliament and the prime minister’s office mainly ratify and follow implementation of policies, while donors play a key role by providing technical expert advice and funds.

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Capacity strengthening strategy through capacity needs assessment for Country Level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS): Malawi | IFPRI Publication

Capacity strengthening strategy through capacity needs assessment for Country Level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS): Malawi | IFPRI Publication | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it
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This report presents findings of the capacity needs assessment for the Malawi Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS). The study was conducted from August to December 2012. The overall purpose of the country‐level capacity needs assessment was to develop a country‐specific capacity‐strengthening strategy to meet the strategic‐analysis and knowledge management objectives of the country Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) process. The specific objective of the capacity needs assessment in Malawi was to identify areas for improving the quality and utility of agricultural policy analysis, investment planning and implementation, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and knowledge management at the country level. The findings of the study have been used to draw up some recommendations and develop a capacity‐strengthening strategy for the Malawi SAKSS.

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Capacity strengthening strategy through capacity needs assessment for Country Level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS): Mozambique | IFPRI Publication

Capacity strengthening strategy through capacity needs assessment for Country Level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS): Mozambique | IFPRI Publication | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it
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This study was undertaken for the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System of Southern Africa (ReSAKSS‐SA) with the purpose of identifying country‐specific needs for strategic agricultural policy analysis, investment planning and implementation, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), and knowledge management. It also aimed to identify the capacities needed in the short, medium, and long term to strengthen SAKSS in Mozambique. Mozambique’s agricultural sector is the major source of income and the base for food security for the majority of the population. However, food insecurity and chronic malnutrition are still Mozambique’s major challenges. The government of Mozambique, in collaboration with partners, has been engaged in designing and implementing policies, strategies, programs, and projects aimed at improving the agriculture sector’s performance.

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Building good management practices in Ethiopian agricultural cooperatives through regular financial audits | Journal of Co-operative Organization and Management

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The government of Ethiopia views agricultural cooperatives as important for increasing agricultural productivity and driving farm income growth. However, management deficits, including the lack of regular financial audits, poses a threat to the sustainability and commercial success of these local voluntary associations and the positive impact that they might have on the welfare of their members. This paper considers how the provision of financial audit services for agricultural cooperatives can be strengthened. We assess the current status of agricultural cooperatives in the country and the demand and supply of financial audit services for them. We then review the approaches taken in 11 other countries for providing financial audit services to agricultural cooperatives in order to identify approaches Ethiopian agricultural cooperatives might consider. Insights are gained on the need for capacity building within cooperatives on financial oversight, building internal incentives for cooperatives to have conducted regular financial audits on their accounts, addressing the deficit of auditors within Ethiopia, and creating reporting mechanisms so that any emerging financial problems within a cooperative are made known and addressed in a timely manner.

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Climate change and economic growth prospects for Malawi : An uncertainty approach | Journal of African Economies

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Malawi confronts a growth and development imperative that it must meet in a context characterised by rising temperatures and deep uncertainty about trends in precipitation. This article evaluates the potential implications of climate change for overall growth and development prospects in Malawi. We combine climate, biophysical and economic models to develop a structural analysis focused on three primary impact channels: agriculture, road infrastructure and hydropower generation. We account explicitly for the uncertainty in climate forecasts by exploiting the best available information on the likely distribution of climate outcomes. We find that climate change is unlikely to substantially slow overall economic growth over the next couple of decades. However, assuming that global emissions remain effectively unconstrained, climate change implications become more pronounced over time. Reduced agricultural yields and increased damage to road infrastructure due to increased frequency and intensity of extreme events are the principal impact channels. Owing to the potential for positive impacts in the near term, the net present value of climate impacts from 2007 to 2050 (using a 5% discount rate) can be positive or negative with an average loss of about USD 610 million. The main implication of our findings is that Malawian policy makers should look to exploit the coming decade or two as these represent a window of opportunity to develop smart and forward looking adaptation policies. As many of these policies take time to develop, implement, and then execute, there is little cause for complacency.

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The investment climate and enterprise performance in rural Pakistan : Implications for rural non-farm employment generation | Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy

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This paper provides a descriptive analysis of the profile of village and small-town enterprises in Pakistan drawing on a large-scale survey of enterprises. Although the enterprise sector does not appear to be particularly dynamic, the data indicate that there has been employment growth in this sector. The average annual compound employment growth has been about 1% in village enterprises and 3% in small-town enterprises. Access to formal finance, the cost of finance and cumbersome loan procedures pose major challenges for rural entrepreneurs in Pakistan, particularly in terms of availing of long-term financing for investment purposes. Access to and quality of electricity supply, marketing difficulties and transportation-related problems also pose major obstacles. These obstacles have a negative impact on enterprise productivity and the level of investments made by existing firms and discourage the start-up of new enterprises. Addressing the constraints faced by non-farm business in villages and small towns is needed to promote private investments, generate employment and reduce poverty.

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Resettlement for food security’s sake: Insights from a Malawi land reform project | Land Economics

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In several African contexts, households are unable to enhance agricultural production due to land constraints. Few governments have explored the use of resettlement to alleviate land scarcity and facilitate rural-to-rural migration. We examine whether a resettlement project in southern Malawi improved food security in the long term. Our findings indicate resettled households achieved greater long-term food security, owing to additional land coupled with a more diversified crop portfolio. We also find the formalization of property rights improved land security for male and female household heads, but resettlement jeopardized the land security of women in maleheaded households.

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Droughts, distress, and policies for drought proofing agriculture in Bihar, India | IFPRI Publication

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This study was undertaken to assess if various drought-proofing and drought-relief programs are effective in mitigating the impact of droughts on crop production and household consumption in rural Bihar, India. This study is relevant as Bihar has experienced four drought years since 2009. The drought in 2009 led to an increase in the number of poor people in the state from 2004-2005 to 2009-2010, in spite of rapid growth of gross domestic product in this period. The government of Bihar runs a number of drought-proofing and drought-relief programs to mitigate the impact of drought, but with little effect. The two largest social safety net programs-the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) and the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS)-provide little relief to drought-affected families in rural Bihar. Additional subsidy on diesel to irrigate Kharif crops in drought-affected areas does not reach many farmers. Delays, uncertainties, and high transaction costs in its disbursal to farmers further reduce the subsidy’s effectiveness. Public tubewells and subsidy on private wells and pump-sets fail to provide wide-scale relief for the drought-stricken area. The results of our year-long study of 160 farmers with access to cheap irrigation from solar powered pump-sets in Bihar showed that these farmers grew paddy in all their land in Kharif in 2013, in spite of low rainfall.

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Business operations of agrodealers and their participation in the loan market in Nigeria | IFPRI Publication

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This study employs primary data collected through structured questionnaires from 300 agrodealers and uses a Tobit type-II model for the analysis. The results show that interest rate, debt, value of asset, membership of trading association, and source of credit are major determinants of loan demand. Agrodealers need to organize themselves into input trading associations to enhance their creditworthiness and to unleash the inherent social capital and information advantages for improved agrodealership financing.

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Revisiting the labor demand curve: The wage effects of immigration and women’s entry into the US labor force, 1960–2010 | IFPRI Publication

The debate over the wage effects of immigration for native workers is an old one.
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The debate over the wage effects of immigration for native workers is an old one. One side of the debate claims that immigration has little if any negative impact on wages among natives, whereas others suggest that immigration has large, negative effects on native wages. On the latter side of the debate, many point to the work of Borjas (2003), who takes a national view of the US economy and estimates a wage elasticity of -0.4 with respect to immigration. In this paper, we replicate and update Borjas with the 2010 US census data, and use the method to study an even larger, concurrent labor supply shock, namely the entry of women into the labor force. We both find a much lower wage elasticity than Borjas to immigration (-0.2) and estimate a positive, statistically significant relationship between men’s wages and women’s entry into education-experience cells when wages are annualized. We take this evidence to suggest that the Borjas model is misspecified as it inadequately specifies substitution between immigrants and natives, and inadequately controls for structural change in the US economy.

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Mendeley: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Case Study | Elsevier

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The research conducted at the IFPRI is essential to advancing its mission of a hunger, malnutrition, and poverty free world. Furthermore, the complexity of the challenges and the global impact of the institute’s work require the timely organization and dissemination of information. This can only be achieved in a dynamic forum that cultivates the transfer of knowledge and facilitates engagement and exchange among stakeholders.

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Smartphone platform survey-scale heart rate collection | Association for Computing Machinery

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Heart rate variability (HRV), a common method of assessing human autonomic status calculated from the heart beat over time, has traditionally been collected in laboratory based models unsuitable for mass or survey-scale collection. Here, we field-trial a solution for the collection of heart rate data, using a photoplethysmographic sensor via a smartphone platform in a pilot sample (n=679). Internal and test-retest reliability of the data over time is excellent, reproduces expected demographic relationships (age/gender vs. HRV) and compares favorably to existing experimental models. The system is suitable for future work in development economics, to assess cardiac / autonomic health in parallel with survey measures of economic development.

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Impact assessment: IFPRI 2020 Conference on building resilince on food and nutrition security [report synopsis] | IFPRI Publication

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IFPRI’s 2020 conference in May 2014 did generate a wide variety of short-term impacts, some larger than others, felt both at the level of individual conference participants and within the organizations that sent them to Addis, and last but not least within the organizing institutions. Most of these impacts took the form of accelerated learning and increased coordination across organizations, for project development and program advancement. Many of these impacts were expected to be durable rather than just temporary.

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Capacity strengthening strategy through capacity needs assessment for Country Level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS): Tanzania | IFPRI Publication

Capacity strengthening strategy through capacity needs assessment for Country Level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS): Tanzania | IFPRI Publication | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it
IFPRIKM's insight:

The overall purpose of this study is to develop a country‐specific capacity‐strengthening strategy to meet the strategic analysis and knowledge management objectives of the country CAADP process. The specific objective is to identify areas for improving the quality and utility of agricultural policy analysis and investment planning and implementation, M&E, and knowledge management at the country level. The study’s findings will be useful in designing and establishing the country SAKSS. Targeted respondents for the study included government ministries and agencies, local organizations involved in agricultural and food policy research, local and international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and institutions of learning and research.

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Capacity strengthening strategy through capacity needs assessment for Country Level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS): Rwanda | IFPRI Publication

Capacity strengthening strategy through capacity needs assessment for Country Level Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS): Rwanda | IFPRI Publication | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it
IFPRIKM's insight:

This study aims at assessing the capacity needs for different stakeholders involved in food and agricultural policy processes in order to develop a country specific capacity strengthening strategy to meet the strategic analysis and knowledge management needs of the Rwandan agricultural sector and rural development. Specifically the study intends to assess specific needs for strategic agricultural policy analysis and investment planning, monitoring and evaluation, and knowledge management in Rwanda. The study also seeks to identify what individual and organizational capacities are needed and to show how the existing capacities can be harnessed through their effective use in the organizations involved in the CAADP process. The study further highlights the current organizational and capacity constraints underpinning the policy process for the policy organizations to effectively play their role in meeting the objectives of CAADP. Finally, the study proposes a capacity development strategy for implementing SAKSS in Rwanda.

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