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  • Author: Michael Cohen
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: International narratives on Argentina's recovery from the crisis of 2001-02 tend to emphasize the role of rising commodity prices and growing demand from China. Argentina is said to have been 'lucky', saved by global demand for its agricultural exports. The international narrative has also been used by local agricultural exporters to justify their objections against higher export taxes during periods of high commodity prices. These narratives are not correct. Data on the country's recovery show that it was not led by agricultural exports but was fuelled by urban demand and production. When the Convertibility period ended and the peso was devalued in 2002, price increases for imports stimulated the production of domestic goods and services for consumers. This production in turn generated multiplier effects which supported small and medium-sized firms and helped to create many new jobs. This later produced a revival of the construction and then the manufacturing sectors as well.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: China, Argentina, Latin America
  • Author: A. J. E. Charman
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper considers the impact of livelihoods oriented agricultural service provision for smallholder farmers on gender relationships and food security. The paper contents that the democratization and liberalization of agricultural services towards participatory, bottom-up approaches, from the early 1990s has brought favourable gender gains to women. The paper examines the background to this shift in agricultural service provision. The resulting gender gains, we argue, should be seen in terms of Sen's notion of entitlements. We examine evidence of these gains from developments and cases in Malawi and Zambia and draw supporting evidence from Zimbabwe and South Africa.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Africa, Zimbabwe
  • Author: Benjamin Davis, Calogero Carletto, Angeli Kirk, Paul Winters
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper uses a duration analysis based on adoption data spanning over 25 years from six communities in the Central Highlands of Guatemala to explore how household characteristics and external trends play into both the adoption and diffusion processes of non-traditional exports among smallholders. Adoption was initially widespread and rapid, which led NTX to be hailed as a pro-poor success, reaching all but the smallest landholders. However, over time more than two-thirds of the adopters eventually dropped out from NTX production. Based on the analysis, NTX production.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: South America, Yugoslavia, Tunisia
  • Author: B. Valentine Joseph Gandhi, M. Cynthia Serquiña Bantilan, Devanathan Parthasarathy
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper discusses the livelihood dynamics in the fragile landscape of the semi-arid tropics (SAT) of Andhra Pradesh. SAT is home to the poorest of the poor who live in conditions of persistent drought, subsistence agriculture and poor access to markets. This paper is a case study focusing particularly on labour migration, its role in influencing the health risk behaviour of migrants and in the spread of the HIV epidemic among SAT rural households. The most vulnerable population in these drought-prone regions are the migrant labourers, and their vulnerability is influenced by three major factors—the vulnerability and unstable productivity in the degraded and marginal landscape, the caste system that has traditionally kept them backward and vulnerable, and experiences in the external environment to which they migrate. This study—based on a theoretical framework, whereby livelihood risks lead to health risks, particularly HIV infection—outlines the process that causes a further deterioration of the household and the occurrence of cyclical health risk. The paper calls for a multisectoral approach to tackle the issue of migrant vulnerability, and for interventions with a more migrant-need sensitive approach.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Health, Migration
  • Political Geography: Andhra Pradesh
  • Author: Colin Andrews, Margarita Flores
  • Publication Date: 04-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper examines the imperative for improved classification and analysis of food crises in different fragile contexts. Recognizing the persistence and protracted nature of food crises, the paper questions how prevention and response mechanisms could be improved to help decisionmakers better address the underlying causes of vulnerability and hunger. The paper draws on case study information to examine real life opportunities and constraints in applying a recently developed food security classification system, named the analytical frameworks at country level, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). Developed originally in Somalia, this classification framework is now being applied in a range of country contexts within and outside of Africa by national governments, UN agencies, donors and NGO organizations. The paper draws on early applications of the IPC to consider opportunities and constraints in the application of common classification systems, taking into account issues of institutional adaptation, methodologies, data and analysis.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Non-Governmental Organization
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Liangzhi You
  • Publication Date: 03-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper looks at differences in spatial and temporal variation of rice yields in China and Brazil. We find that rice yields in China have converged over time and that rice production has become more and more homogeneous. In contrast, rice yields in Brazil have diverged over time, primarily due to variations in upland rice yields. Three hypotheses are put forward to explain the different behaviour of rice yields in Brazil and China: (i) differences in production systems (i.e., irrigated in China versus upland in Brazil); (ii) changes in rainfall patterns and (iii) bias in agricultural R favouring irrigated rice. Our empirical analysis provides support to the first two hypotheses by establishing that upland rice is subjected to much greater variation in yields than irrigated rice and that changing rainfall patterns affect mostly upland rice. We also provide evidence of the bias towards irrigated systems by looking at the patterns of varietal release.
  • Topic: Agriculture
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Brazil, South America
  • Author: Paul Winters, Angeli Kirk, Benjamim Davis, Calogero Carletto
  • Publication Date: 02-2008
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: As developing countries continue on the path of economic liberalization, there is a compelling need to ensure that the benefits of globalization reach poor rural communities. Increased commercialization of agriculture and diversification into nontraditional exports (NTXs) is one strategy that has often been advocated as a way for developing countries to use their comparative advantage in lower labor costs and to achieve growth in the agricultural sector. Given the predominantly rural nature of most developing countries and the preponderance of poor people in these areas, high-value agricultural production is considered the ideal mechanism to extend the benefits of globalization directly to the rural poor:1 Allowing poor farmers to shift into the export sector and take advantage of internationally demand driven prices that are higher relative to traditional crops may reduce inequality while fostering overall economic growth (Nissanke and Thorbecke 2007).
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rimjhim M. Aggarwal
  • Publication Date: 09-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: It is often argued that an important reason why globalization may lead to GDP growth but fail to reduce poverty is because the poor are unable to participate in the new market opportunities and are marginalized. In this paper we examine the experience of resource-poor farmers in south India, who participated aggressively in the new market opportunities that opened up with trade reforms. However, these expanded market opportunities failed to improve their welfare. The paper examines why and how this happened.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Globalization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Regina Laub, Yianna Lambrou
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper explores the linkages between gender, local knowledge systems and agrobiodiversity for food security by using the case study of LinKS, a regional FAO project in Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Tanzania over a period of eight years and now concluded. The project aimed to raise awareness on how rural men and women use and manage agrobiodiversity, and to promote the importance of local knowledge for food security and sustainable agrobiodiversity at local, institutional and policy levels by working with a diverse range of stakeholders to strengthen their ability to recognize and value farmers' knowledge and to use gender-sensitive and participatory approaches in their work. This was done through three key activities: capacity building, research and communication. The results of the LinKS study show clearly that men and women farmers hold very specific local knowledge about the plants and animals they manage. Local knowledge, gender and agrobiodiversity are closely interrelated. If one of these elements is threatened, the risk of losing agrobiodiversity increases, having negative effects on food security. Increased productivity, economic growth and agricultural productivity are important elements in poverty reduction. The diverse and complex agroecological environment of Sub-Saharan Africa requires that future efforts be based on more localized solutions while maintaining a global outlook. Food security will have to build much more on local knowledge and agrobiodiversity with a clear understanding of gender implications while keeping in mind the continuously changing global socioeconomic and political conditions.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Gender Issues
  • Political Geography: Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Swaziland
  • Author: Samuel K. Gayi
  • Publication Date: 06-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The paper examines the state of food security in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), based on an analysis of a selection of indicators of food security and nutritional wellbeing during the period 1990-2002 within the context of the WTO Agreement on Agriculture. It argues that it may be advisable for those SSA countries with both static and dynamic comparative advantage in agriculture to pursue policies towards 'food self-sufficiency' as a means to attaining food security, considering their large rural farming population, at least until such time that international trade in agriculture is fully integrated into the WTO disciplines. This is particularly relevant in view of the fact that high agricultural protectionism in the north currently distorts price signals and thus the opportunity costs of allocating factors of production in these economies. The SSA countries that lack comparative advantage in agriculture may want to aim for a 'food self-reliance' strategy to attain food security.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Yujiro Hayami
  • Publication Date: 04-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Using a rice village in the Philippines as a social observatory, the impacts of modernization forces under globalization on rural poverty are assessed based on data collected from recurrent household surveys over the past three decades. After cultivation frontiers closed in the early 1950s relentless population increases continued to press hard on limited land resources in this village. This pauperizing force was counteracted to some extents by the development of irrigation systems followed by the diffusion of modern high-yielding varieties of rice. However, the much more important factor that prevented poverty incidence from increasing and income inequality from worsening was identified as the expansion of non-farm employment opportunities resulting from the increased integration of this village with wide urban and foreign markets. This finding does not lend support to the popular assertion that the encroachment of markets into traditional agrarian communities tends to result in greater inequality and misery of the poor.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Globalization, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Author: Mattia Romani
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: There is increasing evidence to suggest that a fundamental source of information for farmers on how to access and use new agricultural technologies comes from interacting with neighbours. Economic research on adoption of innovations in a rural context has only partially addressed the issue of how the social structure of a village can affect adoption and the final impact on productivity of farmers. This paper investigates the role of proximity interpreted not only in geographical terms but also along the line of ethnic similarities among neighbours (what we define as 'social proximity'). We use a panel dataset collected in Côte d'Ivoire to define the probability of accessing the knowledge network. The main results indicate that farmers from ethnic minorities are less likely to access, and benefit less from, extension services. But they seem to try to re-equalize their condition by putting more effort than dominant ethnic group neighbours in sharing information among themselves.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Demographics, Economics, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Maiju Perälä
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper examines growth successes and failures across countries and notes the latter's perplexing predominance among ex ante low-income economies. An explanation for this persistence of underdevelopment is proposed through an empirical investigation that brings forth evidence on the importance of natural resource endowment type on growth or, more appropriately, lack of it. The results show that, in the absence of social cohesion, the nature of natural resource abundance bears great significance as a natural resource endowment characterized by oil and/or mineral resources is more negatively correlated with growth than a resource endowment that is agricultural. The robustness of this result is tested across a number of growth regression specifications within the literature.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Author: Betina Dimaranan, Thomas Hertel, Roman Keeney
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: An AGE model with detailed farm supply and substitution relationships is used to analyze impacts of OECD domestic support reform on developing economy welfare. Stylized simulations indicate reforms best suited for reducing trade distortions with least impact on farm incomes. Comprehensive reforms result in welfare losses for LDCs and large declines in OECD farm incomes. Shifting from market price support to land-based payments designed to maintain farm incomes results in increased welfare for most developing countries. LDCs should focus on improved market access to OECD economies while permitting said economies to continue domestic support payments not linked to output/variable inputs.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Author: Kym Anderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper offers an economic assessment of the opportunities and challenges provided by the WTO's Doha Development Agenda, particularly through agricultural trade liberalization, for low-income countries seeking to trade their way out of poverty. After discussing links between poverty, economic growth and trade, it reports modelling results showing that farm product markets remain the most costly of all goods market distortions in world trade. It focuses on what such reform might mean for countries of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa in particular, both without and with their involvement in the MTN reform process. What becomes clear is that if those countries want to maximize their benefits from the Doha round, they need also to free up their own domestic product and factor markets so their farmers are better able to take advantage of new market-opening opportunities abroad. Other concerns of low-income countries about farm trade reform also are addressed: whether there would be losses associated with tariff preference erosion, whether food-importing countries would suffer from higher food prices in international markets, whether China's WTO accession will provide an example of trade reform aggravating poverty via cuts to prices received by Chinese farmers, and the impact on food security and poverty alleviation. The paper concludes with lessons of relevance for low-income countries for their own domestic and trade policies.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, China
  • Author: Finn Tarp, Tarp Jensen Henning
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper makes use of a 1997 computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to analyse three potential strategies that Mozambique can pursue unilaterally with a view to initiating a sustainable development process. They include (i) an agriculture-first strategy, (ii) an agricultural-development led industrialization (ADLI) strategy, and (iii) a primary-sector export-oriented strategy. The ADLI strategy dominates the other development strategies since important synergy effects in aggregate welfare arise from including key agro-industry sectors into the agriculture-first development strategy. Moreover, the ADLI strategy can be designed so it has a relatively strong impact on the welfare of the poorest poverty-stricken households, and still maintain the politically sensitive factorial distribution of income.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Human Welfare
  • Political Geography: Africa