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Ghana Agriculture Production Survey (GAPS): Report on data quality and findings on key indicators 2011/2012 minor season survey | IFPRI Publication

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The Ghana Agriculture Production Survey (GAPS) undertaken by the Statistics, Research and Information Directorate (SRID) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is designed to provide data on community amenities, characteristics of farm families, utilization of land, use of inputs, outputs of major agricultural commodities, post-farm activities, household incomes, health of farm families, and health of farm animals on an annual basis.

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Mapping global cropland and field size | Global Change Biology

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A new 1 km global IIASA-IFPRI cropland percentage map for the baseline year 2005 has been developed which integrates a number of individual cropland maps at global to regional to national scales. The individual map products include existing global land cover maps such as GlobCover 2005 and MODIS v.5, regional maps such as AFRICOVER and national maps from mapping agencies and other organizations. The different products are ranked at the national level using crowdsourced data from Geo-Wiki to create a map that reflects the likelihood of cropland. Calibration with national and subnational crop statistics was then undertaken to distribute the cropland within each country and subnational unit. The new IIASA-IFPRI cropland product has been validated using very high-resolution satellite imagery via Geo-Wiki and has an overall accuracy of 82.4%. It has also been compared with the EarthStat cropland product and shows a lower root mean square error on an independent data set collected from Geo-Wiki. The first ever global field size map was produced at the same resolution as the IIASA-IFPRI cropland map based on interpolation of field size data collected via a Geo-Wiki crowdsourcing campaign. A validation exercise of the global field size map revealed satisfactory agreement with control data, particularly given the relatively modest size of the field size data set used to create the map. Both are critical inputs to global agricultural monitoring in the frame of GEOGLAM and will serve the global land modelling and integrated assessment community, in particular for improving land use models that require baseline cropland information.

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An interpretation of large-scale land deals using Boserup’s: Theories of agricultural intensification, gender and rural development. In Ester Boserup’s legacy on sustainability: Orientations for c...

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This chapter focuses on the contemporary debate surrounding large-scale land deals (also called “land grabs”), an issue that is at the intersection of two themes central to Boserup’s oeuvre, specifically her work on agricultural intensification and her work on gender and rural development. In this chapter, Boserup’s theories of agricultural intensification and of gender in rural development are used to shed light on aspects of large-scale land deals that have thus far received scant attention. The chapter begins with a brief summary of Boserup’s views on agricultural intensification and of her work on gender in rural development, followed by background information on the contemporary wave of large-scale land deals. Large-scale land deals are then presented as a contemporary example of intensification, leading to a discussion of which aspects of Boserup’s theory remain relevant and which are problematic in the present-day context. Boserup’s work on gender is then discussed in the context of large-scale land deals to highlight the necessity of including gender in any discussion of land acquisition.

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Agriculture and food security. In International development: Ideas, experience, and prospects | Oxford University Press

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The discourse about agriculture and its link to food security have evolved greatly over the past century. Early thinking focused solely on the ability to increase the production of staple foods to meet a real or assumed growth in population. Modern discourse looks at agriculture as a way to meet food security in all its facets, including availability of and access to food and nutrition diets among individuals and households, as well as the health of producers, consumers, and the environment. Furthermore, agriculture has a role in economic growth, at the national level as well as in the livelihoods of rural populations. Yet this holistic view of agriculture and food security is often challenging to put into practice, as evidenced by case studies from Asia and Africa. Recent food price crises put agriculture and food security back on the global agenda, giving the sector a chance to reinvent itself.

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Mobile phones and farmers’ marketing decisions in Ethiopia | World Development

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This paper examines the impact of mobile phones on farmers’ marketing decisions and prices they receive based on household- and village-level information collected from rural Ethiopia. It explains the reason for the weak impact of mobile phones observed in this study as well as in previous studies in Africa. We argue that even though many farmers participate in information searching, the number of farmers who use mobile phones for information searching is very small. The reason for such low use of mobile phones for information searching seems to be lack of relevant information that can be accessed through mobile phones.

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Input subsidy vs farm technology — Which is more important for agricultural development? | Agricultural Economics Research Review

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The input subsidy and technology are the two significant factors for the development of agriculture in India. Concerns are often expressed about a decrease or increase in input subsidy and inadequate investment in farm technology development. Policy planners often face the questions like what would happen to output supply, factor demand, agricultural prices and farmer income under alternative input subsidy and farm technology scenarios. and what would be the impact of input subsidy and technological innovation on the welfare of producer and consumer ? To find answer to such questions, empirical unified models for two major cereals — wheat and rice — have been developed and analyzed for input subsidy and farm technology. The study has revealed that technology is the most powerful instrument for neutralizing factor price inflation and safeguarding the interest of producers as well as consumers, while input subsidy has a weak effect on output supply. The study has observed that investments in irrigation, rural literacy, capacity building, research and extension and information flow are crucial to increase supply at a higher growth rate.

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Seasonal differences in food and nutrient intakes among young children and their mothers in rural Burkina Faso | Journal of Nutritional Science

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It is important to understand and account for seasonal variation in food and nutrient intakes when planning interventions to combat micronutrient deficiencies in resource-poor settings. The objective of the present study was to quantify food and nutrient intakes and assess the adequacy of micronutrient intakes among young children and their mothers during the lean and post-harvest (PH) seasons in rural Burkina Faso. We quantified food intakes by 24-h recall in a representative sample of 480 children aged 36–59 months and their mothers in two provinces in Western Burkina Faso. We calculated the probability of adequacy (PA) of usual intakes of ten micronutrients and an overall mean PA (MPA). Seasonal changes in nutrient intakes and PA were assessed by mixed linear regression and non-parametric tests, respectively. Energy intakes did not differ significantly between seasons for women or children, although the women's intakes were slightly higher in the PH season. Most of the micronutrient intakes were significantly higher in the PH season, with the exception of vitamin A which was lower and vitamin B12 and Zn which were similar across seasons. MPA increased significantly across seasons, from 0·26 to 0·37 for women and from 0·43 to 0·52 for children. PA of Ca, vitamin C, folate and vitamin B12 were very low. Staple grains and vegetables were major sources of micronutrients but intakes were not sufficient to meet nutrient needs for the majority of the subjects. Food-based strategies are needed to increase micronutrient intakes of women and children in Burkina Faso.

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Eliciting farmers’ valuation for abiotic stress-tolerant rice in India | IFPRI Publication

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Abiotic stresses such as droughts and floods significantly constrain rice production in India. New stress-tolerant technologies have the potential to reduce yield variability and help insulate farmers from the risks posed by these hazards. This study aims to explore the potential adoption of these risk-reducing technologies. Using discrete choice experiments conducted in rural Odisha, we estimate farmers’ valuation for drought-tolerant and submergence-tolerant traits embodied in paddy cultivars. We find that farmers value both yield-increasing traits and variability-reducing traits. Interestingly, we find exceptionally high willingness to pay for short-duration varieties. We also attempt to capture heterogeneity in preferences. Our results show that farmers in both drought-prone and flood-prone regions value the reduction in yield variability offered by cultivars.

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Product standards and Africa’s agricultural exports | IFPRI Publication

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The preponderance and stringency of product standards have implications for global trade, especially for developing countries. Despite the importance of this issue to Africa, only a few empirical studies exist in the area. It is on this basis that this study draws its objective, which is to investigate the impact of EU standards on Africa’s exports in relation to the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme. A two-step Heckman model is adopted using mostly unexploited standards data from Perinorm. Two high-value commodities were selected, fish and vegetable, as well as a traditional cash crop, coffee, at HS-6 digit level. The findings show that at the extensive margins of export, standards are trade-inhibiting in fish and coffee, while enhancing the export of the vegetable. At the intensive margin, standards are trade-inhibiting in vegetable and coffee exports while trade-enhancing in fish export.

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Implications of high vommodity prices on poverty reduction in Ethiopia and policy options under an agriculture-led development strategy | IFPRI Publication

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This research aims at measuring the potential impact of high commodity prices on Ethiopia’s prospects of maintaining agricultural growth objectives and poverty reduction targets set in the CAADP agenda. In view of this, we build a Computable General Equilibrium model which uses the Dorosh and Thurlow (2009) approach as a benchmark. We then introduce international oil and fertilizer price shocks along with a devaluation policy. A poverty analysis is conducted using the latest household income and consumption expenditure survey.

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Trends in public agricultural spending in Swaziland | IFPRI Publication

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Swaziland as a developing middle income country has continuously sought to create an enabling environment for the development of the agricultural sector. The country has enacted policies and strategies together with programs to facilitate the attainment of growth targets in the agricultural sector (World Bank, 2011). Consequently, this will lead to the attainment of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) targets, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and facilitate economic growth.

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Potential gains from water rights trading in the Aral Sea Basin | Agricultural Water Management

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Increasing water demand due to population growth, irrigation expansion, industrial development, and the need for ecosystem improvement under mounting investment costs for developing new water sources calls for the efficient, equitable and sustainable management of water resources. This is particularly essential in the Aral Sea Basin (ASB) where ineffective water management institutions are the primary reason of intersectoral and inter-state water sharing conflicts and lack of incentives for improving water use efficiency. This study examined market-based water allocation as an alternative option to the traditional administrative allocation to deal with water scarcity issues in the ASB. Potential economic gains of tradable water use rights were analyzed based on a newly constructed integrated hydro-economic river basin management model. The analysis differentiates between inter-catchment and intra-catchment water rights trading. The results show that compared to a baseline with fixed water use rights, inter-catchment water rights trading can increase basin-wide benefits by US$ 373–476 million. Under intra-catchment trading, gains are still US$ 259–339 million, depending on relative water availability. Gains from trade are larger under drier conditions. However, water rights trading carries a series of transaction costs. We find that in case transaction costs exceed US$ 0.05/m3 of water traded there is no additional economic gain from water rights trading. Enforcement of the rule of law, infrastructural improvements, participation of representatives of key water stakeholders in decision making processes, and mutual trust and cooperative relationships among the riparian countries are suggested as means for reducing transaction costs of water rights trading contracts.

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Formulas for failure? | World Trade Review

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This paper views tariff-cutting formulas as a potential solution to the free-rider problem that arises when market opening is negotiated bilaterally and extended on a most-favored-nation basis. The negotiators in the Doha Agenda chose formulas that are ideal from an economic efficiency viewpoint in that they most sharply reduce the highest – and most economically – costly tariffs. When the political support that gave rise to the original tariffs is considered, however, this approach appears to generate very high political costs per unit of gain in economic efficiency. The political costs associated with the formulas appear to have led to strong pressure for many, complex exceptions, which both lowered and increased uncertainty about members' market access gains. Where tariff cuts focus on applied rates, it seems likely that a proportional cut rule would reduce the political costs of securing agreements. However, detailed examination of the Doha proposals with their product exceptions suggests that negotiators are likely to find cuts with exceptions politically attractive but economically costly when cuts are based on bound tariffs with different degrees of binding overhang.

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Reimagining cost recovery in Pakistan's irrigation system through willingness-to-pay estimates for irrigation water from a discrete choice experiment | Water Resources Research

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It is widely argued that farmers are unwilling to pay adequate fees for surface water irrigation to recover the costs associated with maintenance and improvement of delivery systems. In this paper, we use a discrete choice experiment to study farmer preferences for irrigation characteristics along two branch canals in Punjab Province in eastern Pakistan. We find that farmers are generally willing to pay well in excess of current surface water irrigation costs for increased surface water reliability and that the amount that farmers are willing to pay is an increasing function of their existing surface water supply as well as location along the main canal branch. This explicit translation of implicit willingness-to-pay (WTP) for water (via expenditure on groundwater pumping) to WTP for reliable surface water demonstrates the potential for greatly enhanced cost recovery in the Indus Basin Irrigation System via appropriate setting of water user fees, driven by the higher WTP of those currently receiving reliable supplies.

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Games for groundwater governance: Field experiments in Andhra Pradesh, India | Center for the Study of Institutional Diversity (CSID)

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Groundwater is a common pool resource which experience depletion in many places around the world.  The increased use of irrigation and water demanding cash crops stimulate this development.  We present results of eld experiments on groundwater dilemmas performed in hard rock areas of Andhra Pradesh, India. Two NGOs (Foundation for Ecological Security and Jana Jagriti) ran the games in communities in which they were working to improve watershed and water management. Games were played with groups of ve men or ve women, followed by a community debrieng. Results indicate that longer time of NGO involvement in the village was associated with more cooperative outcomes in the games. Individuals with more education and with higher perceived social capital played more cooperatively, but neither gender nor method of payment had a signicantly eect on individual behavior. When participants could repeat the game with communication, similar crop choice patterns were observed. The games provided an entry point for discussion on the understanding of communities of the interconnectedness of groundwater use and crops choice.

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World Health Organization infant and young child feeding indicators and their associations with child anthropometry: A synthesis of recent findings | Maternal and Child Nutrition

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As the World Health Organization (WHO) infant and young child feeding (IYCF) indicators are increasingly adopted, a comparison of country-specific analyses of the indicators' associations with child growth is needed to examine the consistency of these relationships across contexts and to assess the strengths and potential limitations of the indicators. This study aims to determine cross-country patterns of associations of each of these indicators with child stunting, wasting, height-for-age z-score (HAZ) and weight-for-height z-score (WHZ). Eight studies using recent Demographic and Health Surveys data from a total of nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa (nine), Asia (three) and the Caribbean (one) were identified. The WHO indicators showed mixed associations with child anthropometric indicators across countries. Breastfeeding indicators demonstrated negative associations with HAZ, while indicators of diet diversity and overall diet quality were positively associated with HAZ in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India and Zambia (P < 0.05). These same complementary feeding indicators did not show consistent relationships with child stunting. Exclusive breastfeeding under 6 months of age was associated with greater WHZ in Bangladesh and Zambia (P < 0.05), although CF indicators did not show strong associations with WHZ or wasting. The lack of sensitivity and specificity of many of the IYCF indicators may contribute to the inconsistent associations observed. The WHO indicators are clearly valuable tools for broadly assessing the quality of child diets and for monitoring population trends in IYCF practices over time. However, additional measures of dietary quality and quantity may be necessary to understand how specific IYCF behaviours relate to child growth faltering.

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Aspirations: An approach to measurement with validation using Ethiopian data | Journal of African Economies

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Individuals' aspirations and their consequences on future-oriented behaviour have received increased attention in development economics literature in recent years. At this stage, each study relies on ad hoc empirical instruments to measure aspirations, thereby limiting comparability of the results obtained. This paper proposes a set of simple measurement instruments, spanning several dimensions that can be aggregated via individual-specific weights. We use a purposefully collected data set to test for the usability, reliability and validity of the instruments, based on a test–retest approach, along with random variations within the questionnaire and the information set available to respondents, and differential enumerator experience. Our results support the proposed set of measurement instruments, with the caveat that the instrument requires experienced enumerators capable of adequately probing respondents

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Having a son promotes clean cooking fuel use in urban India | Economic Development and Cultural Change

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Urban Indian households with a male first child are approximately 2 percentage points more likely to use clean cooking fuel than comparable households with a female first child. Given Indian son preference, there are at least two mechanisms by which child sex could affect fuel choice: by improving the intrahousehold status of women, who bear more of the costs of traditional fuels, or by presenting an opportunity to invest in children’s health, in the context of a preference for healthier boys. If child sex is not selected for by biased abortion or other processes, then the sex of a first child has an exogenous causal effect on household fuel choice. We show that the association between fuel choice and child sex is not driven by terminated pregnancies or by household wealth or family size. Among a range of outcomes we study, the effect of child sex is unique to fuel choice; our finding that there is no effect on other assets indicates that it is unlikely that the result is confounded by real or subjectively anticipated wealth. In addition to the National Family Health Survey NFHS-3, the main data source studied, we approximately replicate the result using the NFHS-2 and the District Level Health and Facilities Survey DLHS-3. Finally, we show evidence for a “first-stage” effect of having a first son on women’s social status: such women have a greater body mass index, on average.

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Expanding the shopping cart or improving its contents: A study on “Modern” retail in India | Journal of Agricultural and Food Industrial Organization

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Several factors (including rising incomes, urbanization, a young population, and more women in the labor force) have influenced retailing in India in recent years, with the emergence and rapid spread of supermarkets being the most dramatic change. Without disputing the high growth rates of organized retail in the food sector, in this study we test whether supermarket growth is associated with greater demand for nonprice attributes such as food safety and customization of products. Using on-site surveys at supermarkets in three Indian cities of different population sizes and income levels, and using ordered models for consumer choice, we find that nonprice attributes remain subordinate to price for consumers in supermarkets. At the same time, rising import penetration in supermarkets creates an outlet where some consumers can satisfy their demand for nonprice attributes that are not provided by domestic products. The fact that such attributes are not demanded of domestic products and that imports fill in to provide these nonprice attributes implies that demand pull for back-end development is weak in Indian food retail. This is important, because a command approach by the government to induce back-end development will work only if enforcement is strong, which seems unlikely.

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Inaccurate fertilizer content and its effect on the estimation of production functions | China Economic Review

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Discrepancy between the labeled content and the real content of fertilizer is a growing problem. It exists in many countries, such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Nigeria, Tanzania, Vietnam, and more. We analyze in our article the effect of low quality fertilizer, which contains less nitrogen than is advertised on the packaging. We show that this could lead to bias in the estimation of production functions. Using panel data from the Hebei Province of China and the Monte Carlo simulation, we examine the magnitude of the bias across different levels of fertilizer quality under various scenarios of uncertainty. We find that ignoring the uncertainty leads to an overestimation of fertilizer's effectiveness. Depending on the scenarios of uncertainty, the bias could even switch the sign of fertilizer's partial elasticity.

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Safety nets in Bangladesh: Which form of transfer is most beneficial? Operation performance of the transfer modality research initiative | IFPRI Publication

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The overall objective of the Transfer Modality Research Initiative (TMRI) is to provide evidence that can be used to streamline the social safety net system in Bangladesh, with the goal of improving the food and nutrition security and livelihoods of the very poor in a cost-effective way. The research will inform policymakers which type of program can best improve the income status and food and nutrition security of the poor and thus be a valuable tool to the government as it prepares its social protection strategy.

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Rainfall and economic growth and poverty: Evidence from Senegal and Burkina Faso | IFPRI Publication

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This paper assesses the effects of rainfall shocks on poverty in Burkina Faso and Senegal using a computable general equilibrium model. An index quantifying effects of rainfall fluctuations shows that, due to a predicted increase in annual rainfall, Senegal will experience a decline in poverty, while Burkina Faso will experience an increase in its poverty rate in conjunction with a trend of declining rainfall. The implementation of mitigating policies in Burkina Faso can affect the rate of increase in poverty, but future rainfall trends are expected to have positive effects on poverty in Senegal and negative effects in Burkina Faso.

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The role of livestock in the Kenyan economy: Policy analysis using a dynamic Computable General Equilibrium model for Kenya | IFPRI Publication

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The major significance of this study is thus, to give the already existing dynamic CGE model the ability to better treat the livestock sector by capturing its complete natural picture through coupling of the stock–flow feature of the sector into the model.

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Strengthening storage, credit, and food security linkages: The role and potential impact of warehouse receipt systems in Malawi | IFPRI Publication

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This study considers the extent to which smallholder farmers, including those who do not necessarily produce a surplus for the market, might benefit from participating in warehouse receipt systems (WRS) in terms of improved income and food security. We consider three potential channels: efficient food markets; reduced post-harvest losses; and access to credit. Firstly, we find that WRS, through its potential to increase demand for storage and facilitate temporal arbitrage, could address high price seasonality driven by high transport margins and thin commodity markets. By lowering price seasonality, WRS would benefit net-consuming households that tend to sell low and buy high. However, since temporal arbitrage transactions are associated with costs and price risks, engaging in them becomes undesirable if prices do not follow predictable seasonal patterns. Prices tend to be less predictable in countries such as Malawi where government market intervention is highly discretionary.

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Reducing child undernutrition | World Development

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As the post-MDG era approaches in 2016, reducing child undernutrition is gaining high priority on the international development agenda, both as a maker and marker of development. Revisiting Smith and Haddad (2000), we use data from 1970 to 2012 for 116 countries, finding that safe water access, sanitation, women’s education, gender equality, and the quantity and quality of food available in countries have been key drivers of past reductions in stunting. Income growth and governance played essential facilitating roles. Complementary to nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs and policies, accelerating reductions in undernutrition in the future will require increased investment in these priority areas.

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Whole-farm economic and risk effects of conservation agriculture in a crop-livestock system in western China | Agricultural Systems

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Researchers advocate using conservation agriculture as a tool to improve farmer livelihoods, with crop residue retention being an integral component of conservation agriculture. Crop residues are used for mulch, livestock feed, and fuel material in crop-livestock farming systems. In this article, we conducted long-term simulation modelling to compare the economic effects of different crop residue retention practices for a crop-livestock agricultural household in semi-arid China. We calculated the average profit and net present value (and associated variability) of different crop residue retention practices using planning horizons of 3, 6, 10, and 20 years. Crop residue retention increased grain production, reduced forage production leading to smaller livestock flock sizes, and increased family heating and cooking costs. The net effect was that retaining minimal crop residues gave the highest profits using the three year planning horizon.

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