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  • Author: Bruce Muirhead
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: As Robert Reich, a former labor secretary under Bill Clinton, once asked, with reference to the United States, “Where does the biggest gorilla sit? Anywhere it likes.” Dairy has long been a protected sector in the United States, which has a history of constructing its own reality with respect to freeing up international trade in agricultural products, milk included, and of ignoring or renegotiating commitments when they did not suit the government of the day. This background paper explores the historical evolution of US trade and agricultural policy as seen through its position on the dairy file in international trade regulations.
  • Topic: Agriculture, International Trade and Finance, Food, Food Security
  • Political Geography: United States of America
  • Author: Oeindrila Dube, Omar Garcia-Ponce, Kevin Thom
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We examine how commodity price shocks experienced by rural producers affect the drug trade in Mexico. Our analysis exploits exogenous movements in the Mexican maize price stemming from weather conditions in U.S. maize-growing regions, as well as export flows of other major maize producers. Using data on over 2,200 municipios spanning 1990-2010, we show that lower prices differentially increased the cultivation of both marijuana and opium poppies in municipios more climatically suited to growing maize. This increase was accompanied by differentially lower rural wages, suggesting that households planted more drug crops in response to the decreased income generating potential of maize farming.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Poverty, War on Drugs, Narcotics Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Latin America, Mexico
  • Author: Timmons Roberts, Guy Edwards
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: China's rapidly increasing investment, trade and loans in Latin America may be entrenching high-carbon development pathways in the region, a trend scarcely mentioned in policy circles. High-carbon activities include the extraction of fossil fuels and other natural resources, expansion of large-scale agriculture and the energy-intensive stages of processing natural resources into intermediate goods. This paper addresses three examples, including Chinese investments in Venezuela's oil sector and a Costa Rican oil refinery, and Chinese investment in and purchases of Brazilian soybeans. We pose the question of whether there is a tie between China's role in opening up vast resources in Latin America and the way those nations make national climate policy and how they behave at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations. We focus on the period between the 2009 Copenhagen round of negotiations and the run-up to the Paris negotiations scheduled for 2015, when the UNFCCC will attempt to finalize a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: China, Latin America
  • Author: Hafez Ghanem
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper examines how economic growth in Egypt can be made more inclusive through a focus on rural development and reducing regional disparities. Nearly all of the extremely poor in Egypt live in rural areas and 83 percent of them live in Upper Egypt. The youth in those rural areas feel particularly excluded.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: Africa, Arabia
  • Author: Marília Leão, Renato S. Maluf
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Brazil has achieved promising results in the fight against hunger and poverty. This paper describes the path toward building a new governance framework for the provision of public policies that initiated a virtuous cycle for the progressive elimination of hunger and poverty. However, it is important to emphasize that the country continues to be characterized by dynamics that generate inequalities and threaten social and environmental justice.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Poverty, Food, Governance
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: La pénétration du pastoralisme qui s'accentue depuis plusieurs années en Afrique centrale génère des conflits à la fois fréquents et ignorés dans un monde rural où l'empreinte de l'Etat est particulièrement faible. Ces conflits s'intensifient sous l'effet conjugué de plusieurs facteurs: l'insécurité croissante, le changement climatique qui pousse les pasteurs toujours plus au sud, l'éclatement des couloirs traditionnels de transhumance, notamment transfrontaliers, l'extension des cultures et l'augmentation des cheptels qui entrainent une compétition accrue sur les ressources naturelles. Même si les défis sécuritaires du pastoralisme ne sont pas de même intensité dans les trois pays étudiés dans ce rapport (Tchad, République centrafricaine et République démocratique du Congo), ils ont deux dénominateurs communs : l'impératif d'une prise en compte de ce problème par les pouvoirs publics et la nécessité d'une régulation de la transhumance qui inclue les différents acteurs concernés.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Natural Resources, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Jennifer Leavy, Naomi Hossain
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: Who wants to farm? In an era of land grabs and environmental uncertainty, improving smallholder productivity has become a higher priority on the poverty and food security agenda in development, focusing attention on the next generation of farmers. Yet emerging evidence about the material realities and social norms and desires of young people in developing countries indicates a reasonably widespread withdrawal from work on the land as an emerging norm. While de-agrarianisation is not new, policymakers are correct to be concerned about a withdrawal from the sector: smallholder productivity growth, and agricultural transformation more broadly, depend in part on the extent to which capable, skilled young people can be retained or attracted to farming, and on policies that support that retention. So who wants to farm, and under what conditions? Where are economic, environmental and social conditions favourable to active recruitment by educated young people into farming? What policy and programmatic conditions are creating attractive opportunities in farming or agro-food industry livelihoods?
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Food
  • Political Geography: Africa, Latin America
  • Author: Martin David
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute for Development and Peace
  • Abstract: The adverse effects of climate change are a genuine risk for global food security. Especially the populations of low income countries are highly depending on the agricultural sector and so particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. This paper evaluates a local program of adaptation to climate change in the Bolivian lowlands. The departmental government of Santa Cruz began a pilot-program to secure departmental food security and to acquire knowledge for the design of future politics of adaptation to climate change. In a Farmer Field School, implemented by a cooperating Nongovernmental Organisation, farmers were taught sustainable agricultural practices to make their crops more resistant against natural disasters, related to the effects of climate change. This theory-based cased study examines – using the method of fuzzy-set- Qualitative Comparative Analysis those conditions, which enabled and disabled the implementation of the program. It thus tries to shed light on the question, if transferred knowledge can lead to action. Based on this analysis recommendations are made for future designs of such types of cooperation.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Climate Change, Food, Governance
  • Political Geography: South America
  • Author: Bruce Muirhead
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: Canada's system of dairy supply management, where domestic supply is matched with domestic demand, has come under fire in recent years, criticized for being a regulated model in an increasingly deregulated world. This background paper explores the historical evolution of dairy in Canada, and why supply management was eventually implemented in the 1960s, bringing rationality and organization to an industry where none had existed before. It also examines the role of international trade negotiations, largely sponsored by the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and, after 1995, by the World Trade Organization (WTO), in addressing issues of agricultural protectionism and exceptionalism. It was not until the Uruguay Round (1986–1993), however, that agriculture was included in these negotiations, as neither the European Union (and its antecedents) nor the United States demonstrated any interest. While Uruguay was a tentative beginning, the subsequent Doha Round has dissolved over agricultural problems. In all these venues, supply management has been protected by Canadian governments, but rising international pressure has led Canada to begin to reconsider its support, especially as bilateral trade negotiations and partners are unequivocally opposed to dairy supply management.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, International Trade and Finance, World Trade Organization, Bilateral Relations
  • Political Geography: Canada, North America
  • Author: Alexandra Wanjiku Kelbert
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: How are rapid recent food price changes linked to climate and environmental change? How do people who are vulnerable to these changes view these links? This note explores the views of people living on low and precarious incomes on these connections, based on research designed to explore experiences of food price volatility in 2012, through qualitative research in 23 research sites in 10 countries. The research was not specifically designed to study perceptions of climate and environmental change; these views are collected here because they offer interesting, relatively unmediated insights into how people perceive the causal connections between their food security and environment across varied social and ecological settings.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Economics, Food
  • Author: Rachel Spichiger, Edna Kabala
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Land, and in particular agricultural land, is central to livelhoods in rural Zambia. Zambia is characterised by a dual legal system of customary and statutory law and by dual land tenure, with state land and customary land. A first wave of socialist-oriented reforms took place after independence in 1964, which abolished previously existing freehold land in favour of leasehold. Subsequent changes in government policies under the influence of structural adjustment programmes and a new government in 1991 paved the way for a market-driven land reform. The 1995 Lands Act introduced the privatization of land in Zambia and provided for the conversion of customary into state land, with the hope of attracting investors. However, the Act has been unevenly implemented, at least in rural areas, in part due to problems plaguing the land administration institutions and their work, in part due to opposition to the main tenets of the Act from chiefs, the population and civil society. Civil society, with donor support, calls for more attention towards women's precarious situations with regard to access to and ownership of land under customary tenure, but it still expresses a desire for customary tenure to remain. However, civil society also recognizes that customary practices are often also discriminatory towards women who depend on male relatives for access to land.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Gender Issues, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Rachel Spichiger, Paul Stacey
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: Ghana has been implementing a land administration reform since 1999. The Land Administration Project (LAP), an ambitious programme supported by donors, aims to strenghten land administration institutions and increase land holders' security of tenure on both state and customary land. This working paper reviews the literature on this land reform process, with a focus on issues related to gender. At first absent from the 1999 Land Policy, gender concerns were later incorporated into the project and a gender strategy was developed in 2009, with the goal to mainstream gender in land-related agencies and activities. Although donors have contributed to the gender strategy, the inclusion of gender equality has not been at the forefront of their priorities.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Gender Issues, Governance
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Water has long been a major cause of conflict in Central Asia. Two states – Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan – have a surplus; the other three say they do not get their share from the region's great rivers, the Syr Darya and Amu Darya, which slice across it from the Tien Shan, Pamir Mountains, and the Hindu Kush to the Aral Sea's remains. Pressures are mounting, especially in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The population in Central Asia has increased by almost ten million since 2000, and limited arable land is being depleted by over-use and outdated farming methods. Extensive corruption and failing infrastructure take further toll, while climate change is likely to have long-term negative consequences. As economies become weaker and states more fragile, heightened nationalism, border disputes, and regional tensions complicate the search for a mutually acceptable solution to the region's water needs. A new approach that addresses water and related issues through an interlocking set of individually more modest bilateral agreements instead of the chimera of a single comprehensive one is urgently needed.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Treaties and Agreements, Bilateral Relations, Natural Resources, Water
  • Political Geography: Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
  • Author: Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher Udry, Lori Beaman
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We partnered with a micro-lender in Mali to randomize credit offers at the village level. Then, in no-loan control villages, we gave cash grants to randomly selected households. These grants led to higher agricultural investments and profits, thus showing that liquidity constraints bind with respect to agricultural investment. In loan-villages, we gave grants to a random subset of farmers who (endogenously) did not borrow. These farmers have lower – in fact zero – marginal returns to the grants. Thus we find important heterogeneity in returns to investment and strong evidence that farmers with higher marginal returns to investment self-select into lending programs.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Batchelor Simon, Scott Nigel, Valverde Alvaro, Manfre Cristina, Edwards David
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This paper from the Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on ICTs for Sustainability (ICT4S 2014) reviews findings from detailed consultation with 50 global experts in Agriculture and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). The study explores how ICTs (particularly mobile phones) could be used to accelerate the uptake of sustainable agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. The paper develops a detailed conceptual model, built around the smallholder farmer, for understanding the flow of information through the agriculture sector.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Human Rights, Human Welfare, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Rich Karl, Magda Rich, P.G. Chengappa, Arun Muniyappa, Yadava C.G, Ganashruthi M.K., Pradeepa Babu B.N., Shubha Y.C.
  • Publication Date: 03-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Certification programs has been employed in many agricultural products as a means to encourage and communicate compliance with standards associated with various attributes, such as organic, fair-trade, GMO free, and eco-friendly, among others. Such programs further seek to provide added value, through a price premium, to producers and supply chain actors associated with the label. In this paper, we review a number of global labeling and certification programs that could add value for coffee farms in India through the promotion of conservation and environmental protection. We provide results from a survey conducted on a sample of coffee farms in Coorg district, India to assess their awareness and perceptions related towards certified coffee and environmental conservation in general. Survey results illustrate strong positive associations with the environment by coffee planters, particularly among certified and organic producers. However, price premiums for certified and organic coffee are relatively small. While the potential of conservation-oriented certification for coffee in Coorg could be relatively limited outside of a few individual-level niches, branding Coorg more generally as a conservation-oriented region could hold promise, leveraging and personalizing the uniqueness of the natural offerings from Coorg and tapping into burgeoning associations with place and region in India.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: India
  • Author: Zhang Hongzhou, Cheng Guoqiang
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: National food security will continue to be the top strategic issue confronting Chinese policymakers. In the next two decades of rapid income growth, China's total demand for agricultural products will increase in the face of diminishing water and land resources, and the task of feeding the 1.3 billion Chinese people will be even more challenging. The authors suggest that a global agricultural strategy is the strategic choice for China because it enables China to safeguard national food security and at the same time, tackle its rising domestic demand for agricultural resources in the face of environmental pressures.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Development, Emerging Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: East Asia
  • Author: Yared Teka Tsegay, Masiiwa Rusare, Rashmi Mistry
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: South Africa is considered a 'food-secure' nation, producing enough calories to adequately feed every one of its 53 million people. However, the reality is that, despite some progress since the birth of democracy in 1994, one in four people currently suffers hunger on a regular basis and more than half of the population live in such precarious circumstances that they are at risk of going hungry.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Poverty, Food
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • Author: John McArthur, Gordon C. McCord
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The Brookings Institution
  • Abstract: This paper uses cross-country panel data to estimate the agronomic inputs that lead to cereal yield improvements and the consequences for developing countries' processes of structural change. The results suggest a clear role for fertilizer, modern seeds and water in boosting yields. It then estimates empirical links in developing economies between increased agricultural yields and economic growth; in particular, the spillover effect from yield growth to declines of labor share in agriculture and increases of non-agricultural value added per capita. The identification strategy for the effect of fertilizer includes a novel instrumental variable that exploits variation in global fertilizer price, interacted with the inverse distance between each country's agriculturally weighted centroid and the nearest nitrogen fertilizer production facility. Results suggest that a half ton increase in staple yields (equal to the within-country standard deviation) generates a 13 to 20 percent higher GDP per capita, a 3.3 to 3.9 percentage point lower labor share in agriculture five years later, and approximately 20 percent higher non-agricultural value added per worker a decade later. The results suggest a strong role for agricultural productivity as a driver of structural change.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Economics, Labor Issues
  • Author: Devesh Kapur, Mekhala Krishnamurthy
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for the Advanced Study of India
  • Abstract: Mandis or physical, primary agricultural markets are old and ubiquitous institutions of economic life in many parts of India. Wherever they form, they are usually dense sites of economic, social and political activity, connecting and shaping the relations between town and countryside, and between local markets for commodities and larger, national and global circuits of capital and commerce. According to available estimates, there are over 7500 regulated agricultural markets in India today, operating under different state level acts covering a huge variety of notified agricultural produce.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Emerging Markets, Food
  • Political Geography: India, Asia