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Changing sources of growth in Indian agriculture: Implications for regional priorities for accelerating agricultural growth | IFPRI Publication

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Indian agriculture was transforming from a cereal-based production system toward high-value crops (HVC) during the 1990s. However, food security concerns resurfaced during the first decade of the 21st century, and the policy environment tilted in favor of cereal-based production systems, especially rice and wheat. This paper revisits an earlier study to evaluate how the policy shift influences the patterns and the sources of agricultural growth in India and assesses their implications for regional priorities for higher, more sustainable, and more inclusive agricultural growth.

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2014 Global hunger index: The challenge of hidden hunger | IFPRI Publication

2014 Global hunger index: The challenge of hidden hunger | IFPRI Publication | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it
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With one more year before the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the 2014 Global Hunger Index report offers a multifaceted overview of global hunger that brings new insights to the global debate on where to focus efforts in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. The state of hunger in developing countries as a group has improved since 1990, falling by 39 percent, according to the 2014 GHI. Despite progress made, the level of hunger in the world is still “serious,” with 805 million people continuing to go hungry, according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

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Food safety and developing markets: Research findings and research gaps | IFPRI Publication

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To better inform donor support for public food safety interventions, this paper reviews the literature on the impact of more stringent food safety standards on developing-country markets. This literature has primarily focused on the market access and economic implications of higher standards in export markets rather than on the extensive debate around market failure and public health benefits that dominates the literature in developed countries. We find that the market access benefits from compliance with public and private food safety standards are clear, as is the market exclusion that results from noncompliance. These benefits are now well documented, with more recent evidence pointing to added benefits of poverty reduction and spillovers for health and productivity.

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Promoting Agricultural Trade to Enhance Resilience in Africa ReSAKSS Annual Trends and Outlook Report 2013 | IFPRI Publication

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The 2013 Annual Trends and Outlook Report (ATOR) contributes to the emerging debate by analyzing Africa’s recent trade performance and future outlook at the global and regional levels, including discussions of the mechanisms of dealing with food price volatility, the scope for increasing trans-border trade, and the potential impacts of weather-related shocks and biophysical factors on intra-regional exports. The ATOR finds that Africa’s share of world trade of goods and services, and specifically of agricultural goods, made a turnaround and started increasing in the 2000s. Also, intra-Africa agricultural exports have grown rapidly in recent years, particularly in calorie terms, thus lessening the continent’s dependence on the West in terms of trade. The Report attributes the improved trade performance to recent improvements in economic growth and infrastructure on the continent, together with higher world prices for some key raw materials.

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Do girls pay the price of civil war? Violence and infant mortality in Congo | IFPRI Publication

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This paper documents the impact of the violent civil war affecting the Democratic Republic of Congo in the period 1997–2004 on infant mortality. It adopts an instrumental variable approach to correct for the nonrandom timing and location of conflict events using mineral price index variations by district, taking account of the mineral locations and prices, as instrument. Strong and robust evidence, including mother fixed effects regressions comparing siblings, shows that conflict significantly increases girl mortality. The paper also examines the mechanisms explaining this phenomenon, with a focus on disentangling the behavioral from the biological factors. The analysis suggests that gender imbalances in infant mortality are driven by the selection induced by a higher vulnerability of boys in utero rather than by gender discrimination.

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Modeling potential impacts of future climate change in Mzimba District Malawi, 2040-2070 | IFPRI Publication

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This study investigates possible climate change patterns over the period 2040 to 2070 in order to assess the potential economic impacts for crop-livestock integrating and non-integrating farmers in Mzimba district in northern Malawi. Thirty year historical climate data were used with 20 Global Circulation Models (GCM) to generate plausible future climates. Future maize yields then were simulated using the APSIM crop model. The Trade-Off Analysis model for Multi-Dimensional Impact Assessment (TOA-MD) framework was used with the crop model results for economic analysis.

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Public investment efficiency and sectoral economic growth in Pakistan | IFPRI Publication

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This paper compares the effects of aggregate and sectoral public investments on sectoral private investment, output, and employment. We estimate the elasticities of private investment with respect to aggregate and sectoral public investments to find crowding-out or crowding-in phenomena in Pakistan. The study also reveals the changes in labor absorption or replacement due to additional capital and the effects on output. Our data covers eight sectors of the Pakistan economy and uses annual time series data from 1964 to 2011. This study uses vector autoregressive (VAR) techniques, as applied by Pereira (2000, 2001), which allows measuring the dynamic feedback effects among the variables.

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Agricultural R&D in Paraguay | IFPRI Publication

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By world, and even regional standards, Paraguay’s agricultural R&D investments and institutions are comparatively small and almost entirely dependent upon government and donor funding. The institutional structure has remained virtually unchanged over the past three decades, with the majority of research conducted by the crop and livestock directorates of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

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Variable returns to fertilizer use and its relationship to poverty: Experimental and simulation evidence from Malawi | IFPRI Publication

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Despite the rise of targeted input subsidy programs in Africa over the last decade, several questions remain as to whether low and variable soil fertility, frequent drought, and high fertilizer prices render fertilizer unprofitable for large subpopulations of African farmers. To examine these questions, we use large-scale, panel experimental data from maize field trials throughout Malawi to estimate the expected physical returns to fertilizer use conditional on a range of agronomic factors and weather conditions. Using these estimated returns and historical price and weather data, we simulate the expected profitability of fertilizer application over space and time. We find that the fertilizer bundles distributed under Malawi’s subsidy program are almost always profitable in expectation, although our results may be reasonably interpreted as upper-bound estimates among more skilled farmers given that the experimental subjects were not randomly selected.

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Climate change and extreme events: Impacts on Pakistan’s agriculture | IFPRI Publication

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Due to its arid to semi-arid climate, water is the single most constraining factor to Pakistani agriculture. Water resources are heavily appropriated for productive uses, and agriculture is the main user of water resources. Over eighty percent of crop value comes from irrigated agriculture. Demand for water is increasing from population growth and industrial and agricultural development. Moreover, water resources are threatened by drought and long-term climate change through its effect on temperature, precipitation, and glacier runoff.

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Resilience programming among nongovernmental organizations: Lessons for policymakers | IFPRI Publication

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This food policy report reviews resilience processes, activities, and outcomes by examining a number of case studies of initiatives by nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to enhance resilience capacity, and draws implications for policymakers and other stakeholders looking to strengthen resilience.

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Do shocks affect men’s and women’s assets differently? Evidence from Bangladesh and Uganda | IFPRI Publication

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Households in developing countries use a variety of mechanisms to cope with shocks, such as selling assets, accessing capital markets, reallocating labor, and receiving private or public transfers. Among these responses, selling assets is often a last resort because irreversible asset losses may put the household at risk of future poverty. This policy note summarizes research focusing on the extent to which various kinds of adverse events (that is, shocks) affect men’s and women’s behavior in relation to asset accumulation and divestiture and whether the different types of shocks result in men’s and women’s changing their stock of assets in different ways.

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The political economy of MGNREGS spending in Andhra Pradesh | IFPRI Publication

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While government spending on pro-poor community asset creation and income-transfers could have compounding positive effects on poverty reduction, it is important to first study trends in the allocation of funds, particularly as they relate to the susceptibility of the program to political clientelism. This paper uses expenditure data at the local level in Andhra Pradesh from India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, a rights-based program distributing both public and private goods, to investigate the relationship between voting outcomes and program intensity in the seven years straddling a major election. By focusing on one state where accountability and transparency mechanisms have been employed and implementation efforts have been applauded, the authors do not find evidence of blatant vote buying before the 2009 election but do find that patronage played a small part in fund distribution after the 2009 election. Indeed most variation in expenditures is explained by the observed needs of potential beneficiaries, as the scheme intended.

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Maize Productivity in Ghana | IFPRI Publication

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Maize is an important food crop in Ghana, accounting for more than 50 percent of the country’s total cereal production. The Ghana Grains Development Project (1979–1997) and the Food Crops Development Project (2000–2008) made major investments to improve maize yield. Despite these efforts, the average maize yield in Ghana remains one of the lowest in the world, much lower than the average for Africa south of the Sahara.

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Synopsis of 2014 Global hunger index: The challenge of hidden hunger | IFPRI Publication

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The 2014 Global Hunger Index (GHI) report—the ninth in an annual series—presents a multidimensional measure of national, regional, and global hunger. It shows that the world has made progress in reducing hunger since 1990, but still has far to go, with levels of hunger remaining “alarming” or “extremely alarming” in 16 countries. This year’s report focuses on a critical aspect of hunger that is often overlooked: hidden hunger. Also known as micronutrient deficiency, hidden hunger affects more than an estimated 2 billion people globally. The repercussions of these vitamin and mineral deficiencies are both serious and long-lasting. Where hidden hunger has taken root, it not only prevents people from surviving and thriving as productive members of society, it also holds countries back in a cycle of poor nutrition, poor health, lost productivity, persistent poverty, and reduced economic growth.

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How to build resilience to conflict: The role of food security | IFPRI Publication

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This Food Policy Report explains why there is a need to place even higher priority on food security-related policies and programs in conflict-prone countries, and offers insights for policymakers regarding how to do so.  To understand the relationship between conflict and food security, this report builds a new conceptual framework of food security and applies it to four case studies on Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. It argues that food security-related policies and programs build resilience to conflict insofar as they are expected not only to help countries and people cope with and recover from conflict but also to contribute to preventing conflicts and support economic development more broadly: by helping countries and people become even better off.

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Bioenergy and agriculture: Promises and challenges | IFPRI Publication

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This set of policy briefs examines the potential opportunities and risks bioenergy may pose for poor people and farmers in developing countries. The briefs consider economic, social, environmental, and science and technology issues. They look at how increased bioenergy production may affect the global food balance and examine the need for further research and development in the bioenergy field.

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Costing alternative transfer modalities | IFPRI Publication

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Discussions regarding the merits of cash and food transfers by academics and implementers alike focus on their relative impacts. Much less is known about their relative costs. We apply activity-based costing methods to interventions situated in Ecuador, Niger, Uganda, and Yemen, finding that the per transfer cost of providing cash is always less than that of providing food. Given the budget for these interventions, an additional 44,769 people could have received assistance at no additional cost had cash been provided instead of food. This suggests a significant opportunity cost in terms of reduced coverage when higher-cost transfer modalities are used. Decisions to use cash or food transfers should consider both impacts and costs.

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Teff: nutrient composition and health benefits | IFPRI Publication

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Teff (Eragrostis tef), has been cultivated and used for human consumption in Ethiopia for centuries. However, teff’s global use for human consumption has been restrained partly due to limited knowledge about its nutrient composition and the processing challenges faced in making teff-based food products. Over the past decade, the recognition that teff is gluten-free has raised global interest. Consequently, literature on the nutritional composition, processing quality, and health benefits of teff has grown considerably. The existing literature suggests that teff is composed of complex carbohydrates with slowly digestible starch. Teff has a similar protein content to other more common cereals like wheat, but is relatively richer than other cereals in the essential amino acid lysine. Teff is also a good source of essential fatty acids, fiber, minerals (especially calcium and iron), and phytochemicals such as polyphenols and phytates.

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Policies, Institutions, and Markets: Stronger evidence for better decisions | IFPRI Publication

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Sound policies, robust institutions, and well-function­ing markets complement technological discovery in agricultural science to ensure that consumers have access to nutritious and affordable food, producers have incentives to plant and harvest, and the myriad participants in complex value chains are well linked in mutually beneficial connections. The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) provides foundations of anal­ysis and knowledge for food systems that help smallholder farmers and poor consumers live better lives.

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The emergence and transformation of Batkhela (Malakand) Bazaar: Ethnic entrepreneurship, social networks, and change in disadvantageous societies | IFPRI Publication

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This study is an inquiry into the emergence and transformation of Batkhela bazaar in the North West of Pakistan. It investigates the emergence of the bazaar in the face of historical conditions that were characterized by social stratification and political exclusivity. It then probes the transformation of Batkhela bazaar and it’s functioning in the current socio-political conditions. We investigate the above processes with a focus on entrepreneurs of the bazaar. Particularly we examine their efforts in challenging historical conditions during the emergence of the Batkhela bazaar and their continuous endeavor to keep the bazaar functioning. The study also reflects on the social and political embeddedness of the entrepreneurial activities of the bazaar.

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Aspirations in rural Pakistan | IFPRI Publication

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Understanding the role that aspirations play in promoting growth requires an understanding of where aspirations come from and how they can be raised through policy. A recent IFPRI report, “Aspirations in Rural Pakistan: An Empirical Analysis,” uses the 2012 Pakistan Rural Household Panel Survey (RHPS) data to study the aspirations of over 3,500 men and women in rural Pakistan. The analysis explores aspirations of four types: income, wealth, education, and social status. The report concludes that particular groups—especially women, the uneducated, and agricultural wage laborers—have especially low aspirations.

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Implications of productivity growth in Pakistan – an economy wide analysis | IFPRI Publication

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This policy note describes the economy wide implications of public investments and policies developed under Pakistan’s new Framework for Economic Growth. Policies based on this Framework are expected to lead to substantial gains in productivity in the industrial and service sectors of Pakistan’s economy. We use Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) analysis to compare the implications on welfare and growth under different distributions of productivity growth across sectors.

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Gender, climate change, and group-based approaches to adaptation | IFPRI Publication

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Climate change poses great challenges for poor rural people in developing countries, most of whom rely on natural resources for their livelihoods and have limited capacity to adapt to climate change. It has become clear that even serious efforts to mitigate climate change will be inadequate to prevent devastating impacts that threaten to erode or reverse recent economic gains in the developing world. Individuals, communities, and policymakers must adapt to a new reality and become resilient to the negative impacts of future climate changes.

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The impact of shocks on gender-differentiated asset dynamics: Evidence from Bangladesh | IFPRI Publication

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Husbands and wives accumulate and own assets both individually and jointly, and they use these assets differently to cope with adverse events, that is, shocks (for more information, see the companion policy note on this research by Quisumbing, Kumar, and Behrman). These dynamics are important because female con­trol over assets positively affects household well-being, especially regarding children. It is important to consider the various types of assets involved in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of the impact of shocks on household assets. This policy note summarizes research that builds on existing studies on the gender-differentiated impacts of shocks on household asset holdings in Bangladesh, which is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change because of its densely populated coastal area and large population living below the poverty line.

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The family business: Is there a future for small farms? | IFPRI Publication

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The United Nations declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming. Although many forms of production were once family-based, agriculture is now one of the few that are still dominated by families. Because family farms are so prevalent, making them more productive could help combat poverty and hunger in many rural areas around the world. Family farms are mostly small in scale, but they are highly diverse in other ways, and their pathways out of poverty will vary. The feature article in this issue of Insights looks at the prospects for supporting family farmers and, in some cases, encouraging workers to move off of farms in favor of other opportunities.

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