Working papers


by IFPRI | August 25, 2016

Latest Working Papers

Assessing agricultural trade comparative advantage of Myanmar and its main competitors: Findings from UN Comtrade
Zhang, Huaqi; Chen, Kevin. Washington, DC 2019

DOI : 10.2499/p15738coll2.133204
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This paper aims to provide a better understanding of Myanmar’s agricultural export performance against its competitors in different regions and determine the policy actions for improving Myanmar’s export performance. The normalized revealed comparative advantage (NRCA) index is computed to compare the agricultural competitiveness between Myanmar and its competitors from 2007 to 2016. The results show that: 1) Myanmar’s agricultural export sector enjoys comparative advantage in the global market, but it is not competitive when compared with its major competitors; 2) Myanmar reveals a high level of NRCAs in black gram & pigeon peas, natural rubber, sesame seeds, rice, and frozen fish, while it has low NRCAs in crustaceans and dried fruits; and reveals no comparative advantage in bananas, fish fillets, maize, nuts, and watermelon in certain years. Three major policy implications are drawn, including diversifying Myanmar’s export portfolio, strengthening export promotion and development, and attracting foreign direct investment to upgrade the cross-border value chain.
Production shocks, exports and market prices: An analysis of the rice sector in Myanmar
Dorosh, Paul; Win, Myat Thida; Van Asselt, Joanna. Washington, DC 2019

DOI : 10.2499/p15738coll2.133220
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Since 2012/13, rice exports to China (which may have reached two million tons in 2015/16) boosted total demand for Myanmar’s rice and rice prices. In mid-2016, however, China stopped rice imports through the main land entry point, putting substantial downward pressure on prices. Analysis presented in this paper, based on econometric estimates of consumption parameters and a simple model of Myanmar’s rice supply and demand, suggests that market prices would fall by 26 to 43 percent or more (in real terms) in the absence of increased exports to the world market and/or government domestic procurement. Such a decline in prices could have seriously harmed Myanmar’s rice producers, including many poor farmers with marketable surpluses. Model simulations suggest that government procurement of about one million tons would limit the estimated price decline to only 17 to 30 percent. Further refinements in the simulations are needed to take account for the seasonal nature of paddy production in Myanmar, possible price-responsiveness of export demand and the effects of changes in paddy incomes on farmer demand for rice. Medium-term analysis of procurement, storage and future sales is needed to analyze fiscal costs under various scenarios, as well, covering alternative shocks to production, export demand and world prices. Nonetheless, the main results are clear: without substantial market interventions on the order of one million tons (milled rice equivalent), the paddy (rice) price could fall dramatically when production increases or export demand declines.
Dairy contract farming in Bangladesh: Implications for welfare and food safety
Islam, Abu Hayat Md. Saiful; Roy, Devesh; Kumar, Anjani; Tripathi, Gaurav; Joshi, Pramod Kumar. Washington, DC 2019

DOI : 10.2499/p15738coll2.133227
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Contract farming is emerging as an important institutional innovation in the high value food chain in developing countries including Bangladesh, and its socioeconomic implications are topic of interest in policy debates. This study is an empirical assessment to explore the determinants of participation and the impact of contract farming on welfare and adoption of food safety practice in Bangladesh. Our analysis indicates that contract farmers are more likely to have better access to agricultural extension services, attended proportionately more community meetings, households members are member of organizations, access more credit, are located farther from output market, and have larger herd sizes. We also find that network variables such as time spent with cooperatives and other institutions and price fluctuation and average prices received experience before participation in contract are strongly associated with participation in contract farming. We find that contract farming has a robust positive impact on welfare measured by expenditure, farm profit and farm productivity, and food safety practice adoption even after innovatively controlling for observed and unobserved heterogeneity among dairy farmers. More specifically results indicate that a one unit increase in the likelihood of participating in contract farming is associated with a 42, 35,34 and 9 percent increase in household expenditure, gross margin and net margin per cow, and food safety practice adoption rate respectively, among other positive impacts.
Drivers of the Bangladesh fish economy: Projections of future fish supply and demand
Comstock, Andrew; Dorosh, Paul A.. Washington, DC 2019

DOI : 10.2499/p15738coll2.133251
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Fish play a major role in the Bangladesh food system. Fish production, processing and marketing are major source of incomes for many households, and fish consumption accounts for a significant share of protein consumption in the Bangladeshi diet. Moreover, fish production and consumption are growting rapidly, with the aquaculture subsector as a major driver of change of both supply and demand. In this paper, we present estimates of demand elasticities for four categories of fish (aquaculture, inland capture, mixed production, and marine) using a modified Quadratic Almost Ideal Demand System. These demand estimates are then used in projections of future supply and demand for these different types of fish under different productivity growth assumptions. Our results show that, at current rates of productivity increase, growth in fish production will outpace increases in demand from population and income growth, resulting a decline in real prices over time. A more rapid increase in productivity would lead to even larger supply increases and corresponding price declines. These effects are most keenly felt by the poorest households who see significant increases in fish consumption. Fish production from aquaculture is likely to have higher rates of productivity growth than the more extensive inland capture and marine systems, leading to a long term shift increase in the share of aquaculture production and consumption.
The role of agriculture in the structural transformation of Indonesia
Morley, Samuel; Kennedy, Adam; Pradesha, Angga; Hadiwidjaja, Gracia. Washington, DC 2019

DOI : 10.2499/p15738coll2.133263
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Indonesia has managed to combine high rates of growth, rapid reductions in rural poverty and a significant structural transformation of its economy all at the same time without a big increase in urban manufacturing. Agriculture was a critical part of this transformation through two important channels. First, export-oriented agriculture, particularly palm oil and rubber contributed to rising foreign exchange receipts and helped make compatible rapid growth without balance of payments pressure on the macro economy. Second, through the release of workers from low productivity agriculture to more productive nonagricultural activities, structural change contributed between 25 and 50 percent of the rise in national labor productivity depending on the period. The government also played an important role in agricultural development and productivity growth. Public investments in irrigation in combination with subsidies for fertilizer and improved seeds increased agricultural productivity generating an adequate supply of food for domestic needs with less labor.
Evolution of agricultural mechanization in Vietnam: Insights from a literature review and multiple rounds of a farm household survey
Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Liu, Yanyan; Nguyen, Cuong Van; Masias, Ian. Washington, DC 2019

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Vietnam has experienced rapid growth in agricultural mechani-zation lately; particularly in the use of tractors and combine-harvesters. A recent IFPRI study documented the evolution of the growth of mechanization in Vietnam based on an extensive review of the existing literature and several rounds of a nationally repre-sentative household survey. The level of tractor use in Vietnam was relatively high in the 1970s and the early 1980s but declined through the late-1980s before it started taking off again in the 1990s. The relatively high level of tractor uses up to the early-1980s were partly due to political and military reasons, as both the West and the Soviet Union gave substantial support in providing heavy machinery, including tractors. In this note, we focus on the evolution of mechanization from 1990s to 2000s.
Evolution of agricultural mechanization in Vietnam: Insights from a literature review and multiple rounds of a farm household survey
Takeshima, Hiroyuki; Liu, Yanyan; Cuong, Nguyen Van; Masias, Ian. Washington, DC 2018

DOI : 10.2499/1037800745
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Despite the reportedly rapid growth of mechanization, as well as its unique history in economic and social systems, information on the patterns of agricultural mechanization growth in Vietnam has been limited. Through an extensive review of existing literature and several rounds of nationally representative household survey data, we document the evolution of mechanization (particularly tractors and combine harvesters) in Vietnam, including the heterogeneity across regions and farm sizes, and the emerging roles of the private sector in the supply of machinery and hiring services.
Drivers, trends, and consequences of changing household employment patterns in rural Bangladesh
Sen, Binayak; Dorosh, Paul; Ahmed, Mansur; Van Asselt, Joanna. Washington, DC 2018

DOI : 10.2499/1041943541
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This paper focuses on rural nonfarm development via the route of salaried employment. The analysis is at the rural household level for two types of households: “mixed” households whereby some workers remain in the farm sector and others pursue nonfarm activities and the rural households who are exclusively dependent on nonfarm employment (rural nonfarm). The study has produced three major findings. First, compared with the mixed or farm-only households, nonfarm households seem to have more income. Second, nonfarm households discourage unpaid work, especially among female workers, in sharp contrast to the increasing share of unpaid work in both farm and mixed households. Third, nonfarm households increasingly rely, for their livelihoods, on salaried employment, which is likely to be of a more durable nature than the juggling of multiple occupations observed in the case of mixed households. Analysis of possible factors influencing the formation of nonfarm households shows the importance of human capital, non-land assets, and proximity to larger towns, while natural shocks seem to encourage the formation of mixed households and remittance from abroad tends to stimulate the farm orientation.
Nepal’s 2072 Federal Constitution: What are the implications for governance of the agricultural sector?
Kyle, Jordan; Resnick, Danielle. Washington, DC 2018

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In September 2015, Nepal’s Constituent Assembly passed a new constitution aimed at transforming Nepal from a unitary country into a federal republic with three levels of government: the federation, the province, and the local level. This institutional shift will have wide-ranging social, political, and economic implications for the country. However, this brief focuses specifically on the implications of these federal reforms for the agricultural sector and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoAD). Agriculture is the backbone of the Nepali economy, providing a livelihood for approximately two-thirds of the population, contributing one-third of the country’s GDP, and constituting over half of its exports. With greater authority and autonomy granted to more subnational units of government, ensuring that the agricul-tural sector is guided by coordinated planning, retains sufficient human capacity, and receives adequate fiscal resources will be of para-mount importance during the transition to a federal republic. Consequently, this brief addresses how the sector can be restructured to meet the constitutional provisions while simultaneously ensuring that MoAD delivers on its agricultural objectives, especially those out-lined in its Agricultural Development Strategy (ADS).
Transformation of the Thai broiler industry
Chokesomritpol, Phunjasit; Naranong, Viroj; Kennedy, Adam. Washington, DC 2018

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The Thai broiler industry is an innovative and successful story of transformation from a traditional “backyard” production system to a fully industrialized agri-industry. It is among the first agricultural products in Thailand that developed into a modern value chain that is fully integrated and able to expand its production to keep prices in check whilst making chicken the go-to source of protein. Highlighted by its expansion into regional and global markets through trades and investments, the success of the industry is largely a result of strong and visionary business models that calculated risks yet were clear on their objectives on how to secure emerging markets. This paper describes the development of the Thai broiler industry, documenting its path and reasons behind its success. Focus is particularly placed on the Thai industry’s leader, Charoen Pokphand Group (C.P.), and its business decisions over the years that enabled the company to gain a foothold in the highly competitive international market for chicken meat.

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