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Linking smallholders with rapidly transforming markets: Modernizing smallholder agriculture through value chain development in China | IFPRI Publication

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The larger objective of this report is to shed light on the context and evolution of agri-food value chains in China’s rural sphere, from the perspective of small farmers and the rural poor. Relevant strategies and policy recommendations are made for development projects supported by governments and donors. Specifically, four objectives are: (i) To examine the changes taking place in the functioning and organization of China’s food systems and to identify challenges for the inclusion of smallholders. (ii) To identify good practices for linking smallholders with markets in China. (iii) To identify how the government and international organizations can facilitate the development of more efficient agri-food value chains in China, with due attention paid to smallholders. (iv) To identify lessons from experience to date in China for development project design and management.

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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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Subtituting for Rice Impacts in Ghana | IFPRI Publication

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As rice imports surge ahead of production in Ghana, increasing rice production and yields has become a priority. Annual per capita consumption of rice in Ghana grew from 17.5 kg during 1999–2001 to 24 kg during 2010–2011. President Mahama, concerned with rising importation costs, suggested that rice should be produced locally (Asare‐Boadu & Syme 2014). As only 5 percent of global production is traded, local production would also protect consumers from price shocks in the world rice market (World Bank 2013). While substantial investments in national rice production have been made, local production is still not able to keep up with growing demand for rice in Ghana.

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Summary of Hydrological modeling of sustainable land management interventions in the Mizewa watershed of the Blue Nile Basin | IFPRI Publication

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This analysis utilizes recent hydrological and meteorological data collected from the Mizewa watershed in Fogera woreda in order to better understand the physical impact of sustainable land and watershed management (SLWM) investments. The effectiveness of the simulated conservation practices (terraces, bunds, and residue management) are evaluated using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model taking into account investment decisions on different terrain types. Simulations compare the limited investments that currently exist with increases in terracing and residue management activities within the watershed. The results suggest mixed impacts on surface run-off and erosion depending on terrain and management practices. However, the type and amount of investment (and therefore costs) in SLWM have different implications with respect to labor input and utilization of agricultural land, and the consequent socio-economic effects on households.

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Assessing progress made toward shared agricultural transformation objectives in Mozambique | IFPRI Publication

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What has been the recent performance of the agricultural sector in Mozambique and the progress made thus far toward achieving the objectives established under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) initiative for Mozambique that began in late-2011?

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The agrarian reform experiment in Chile: History, impact, and implications | IFPRI Publication

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This paper presents what is known about the role of agrarian reform and the subsequent counter reform in producing a successful dynamic evolution of Chilean agriculture.

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FishPaCT: An Investment Policy Model of Fisheries Sector in the Pacific Coral Triangle Countries | IFPRI Publication

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To alleviate the detrimental impacts of changing climate and degrading ecosystems on the fisheries sector that harm the food security and livelihood opportunities of the coastal communities in the Pacific Region, the Environment and Production Technology Division of IFPRI implemented an economic analysis study on “Future Prospects and Adaptation Strategies for the Fisheries Sector under Climate Change in the Pacific Coral Triangle Countries” in 2011‐2013.

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Smallholder farming and crop variety choice: Maize variety choice in Zambia | IFPRI Publication

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Micronutrient deficiency, especially vitamin A deficiency, is a major problem in developing countries (Aguayo and Baker 2005; Black et al. 2008; Kennedy et al. 2003). Various strategies have been developed to combat vitamin A deficiency, including vitamin A supplementation (in the form of capsules), food fortification, and the promotion of household vegetable gardens. In Zambia, where more than half of preschool children are at risk for vitamin A deficiency (Micronutrient Initiative 2009), biannual capsules are provided to children in combination with vaccinations, and sugar is fortified with retinol, the pure form of vitamin A (Fiedler et al. 2013). Unfortunately, rural households are harder to reach with supplementation, and they do not consume many of the fortified processed foods.

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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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Summary of Determinants and impact of sustainable land and watershed management investments | IFPRI Publication

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Ongoing debate over water resource management and land degradation suggests a need for efficient sustainable land management mechanisms to improve agricultural output in the Blue Nile basin in Ethiopia. Numerous econometric and hydrological models have been developed to assess the effects of sustainable land and watershed management (SLWM) investments. However, these models fail to address the trade-offs faced by rural farmers in maintaining such structures. This study combines household survey data that evaluates the economic determinants of program sustainability with a detailed hydrological model that explores location specific effects of SLWM structures. Simulations suggest that more comprehensive investments (such as SLWM with increased fertilizer application) may reap more economically significant increases in household income. Cost benefit analysis suggests that a packaged investment approach is needed in order to outweigh the opportunity costs (foregone labor, particularly) of investing in SLWM infrastructure at farm level.

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Summary of Efficiency and productivity differential effects of the land certification program in Ethiopia | IFPRI Publication

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Although theory predicts that better property rights to land can increase land productivity through tenure security effects (investment effects) and through more efficient input use due to enhanced tradability of the land (factor intensity effect), empirical studies on the size and magnitude of these effects are very scarce. Taking advantage of a unique quasiexperimental survey design, this study analyzes the productivity impacts of the Ethiopian land certification program by identifying how the investment effects (technological gains) would measure up against the benefits from any improvements in input use intensity (technical efficiency). For this purpose, we adopted a data envelopment analysis–based Malmquist-type productivity index to decompose productivity differences into (1) within-group farm efficiency differences, reflecting the technical efficiency effect, and (2) differences in the group production frontier, reflecting the long-term investment (technological) effects.

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Program impact pathway analysis of a social franchise model shows potential to improve infant and young child feeding practices in Vietnam | Journal of Nutrition

Program impact pathway analysis of a social franchise model shows potential to improve infant and young child feeding practices in Vietnam | Journal of Nutrition | IFPRI Research | Scoop.it
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By mapping the mechanisms through which interventions are expected to achieve impact, program impact pathway (PIP) analysis lays out the theoretical causal links between program activities, outcomes, and impacts. This study examines the pathways through which the Alive & Thrive (A&T) social franchise model is intended to improve infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices in Vietnam. Mixed methods were used, including qualitative interviews with franchise management board members (n = 12), surveys with health providers (n = 120), counseling observations (n = 160), and household surveys (n = 2,045). Six PIP components were assessed: 1) franchise management, 2) training and IYCF knowledge of health providers, 3) service delivery, 4) program exposure and utilization, 5) maternal behavioral determinants (knowledge, beliefs, and intentions) toward optimal IYCF practices, and 6) IYCF practices. Data were collected from A&T-intensive areas (A&T-I; mass media + social franchise) and A&T-nonintensive areas (A&T-NI; mass media only) by using a cluster-randomized controlled trial design. Data from 2013 were compared with baseline where similar measures were available. Results indicate that mechanisms are in place for effective management of the franchise system, despite challenges to routine monitoring. A&T training was associated with increased capacity of providers, resulting in higher-quality IYCF counseling (greater technical knowledge and communication skills during counseling) in A&T-I areas. Franchise utilization increased from 10% in 2012 to 45% in 2013 but fell below the expected frequency of 9–15 contacts per mother-child dyad. Improvements in breastfeeding knowledge, beliefs, intentions, and practices were greater among mothers in A&T-I areas than among those in A&T-NI areas. In conclusion, there are many positive changes along the impact pathway of the franchise services, but challenges in utilization and demand creation should be addressed to achieve the full intended impact.

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Strategies to control aflatoxin in groundnut value chains | IFPRI Publication

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Groundnuts, which are widely consumed in West Africa, are prone to contamination by aflatoxin during production and storage. Although aflatoxin plays a role in many of the important health risks in developing countries, individuals and governments ignore the risks because their health effects are not immediate. In the developed world strong regulations remove contaminated kernels and their products from the food systems. The objective of this paper is to examine production and marketing practices, particularly grading methods, in Ghana’s groundnut value chain to obtain a clear understanding of the sources and levels of aflatoxin contamination in the crop and how such contamination can be sharply reduced.

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Smallholder farming and crop variety choice: Wheat variety choice in Pakistan | IFPRI Publication

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Zinc is an important nutrient for human health, especially for the growth of children (Caulfield and Black 2004). In 2011 Pakistan’s National Nutrition Survey found that zinc deficiency is high (47 percent) among children under-five years of age and women of child-bearing age. Nearly 42 percent of non-pregnant women, 48 percent of pregnant women, and 37 percent of children are estimated to be zinc deficient.

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