ReSAKSS ASIA Publications

RESAKSS ASIA PUBLICATIONS

by IFPRI | August 27, 2016

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ReSAKSS ASIA working papers

Public food transfers during a pandemic: Insights from Bangladesh
Chowdhury, Shyamal; Bin Khaled, Muhammad Nahian; Raghunathan, Kalyani; Rashid, Shahidur. Washington, DC 2021

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Public food transfer program provide a lifeline for the poor in both high- and low-income countries, and many countries stepped these up in response to COVID-19. But little is known about how effective these programs have been in reaching the poor during the crisis. This brief reviews the findings of an evaluation of Bangladesh’s Food Friendly Program, pointing to the difficulties encountered during the pandemic and lessons to help these program perform better in future crises.
Awareness and practices among dairy producers and consumers in Sri Lanka
Gedara, Pradeepa Korale; Roy, Devesh; Sonkar, Vinay Kumar; Weerahewa, Jeevika; Kanthilanka, Hemali; Hemachandra, Dilini; Vithanage, Kasun; Rathnasekara, Hasara; Boss, Ruchira. Washington, DC 2021

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Provision of food safety requires not only regulation but also a demand pull where value chain participants demand food safety or are able to play their role in providing safe food. In both cases, producer, and consumer awareness about requirements for food safety is a precondition for delivery of food safety. In this paper, focusing on dairy in Sri Lanka, we assess the awareness and choice of practices by producers and consumers towards food safety. Sri Lanka has unique features in the dairy sector, with very high import penetration and form of consumption, i.e., powdered milk, that actuates formalization.
Looking at different segments of the population, including rural, urban and estate, and different management systems, the evidence suggests only a moderate level of food safety awareness in dairy in middle-income consumers in Sri Lanka. Considering the differences across systems, the degree of adoption of food safety is lowest among farmers in the extensive system, while it is highest among farmers in the intensive system. However, in terms of choice between powdered and fresh milk, food safety consciousness is one of the most significant determinants where fresh milk is considered comparatively unsafe.
Even when food safety issues arose in powdered milk, only small adjustments occurred in consumption, both because the health effects were limited, and the choice sets were circumscribed by the number of brands across which some consumers switched following the food safety scare. In the push toward promotion of fresh milk consumption, ensuring food safety and convincing consumers about merits of fresh milk would be required in Sri Lanka beyond the preference change from well-established powdered milk consumption.
Effects of COVID-19 and other shocks on Papua New Guinea’s food economy: A multi-market simulation analysis
Diao, Xinshen; Dorosh, Paul A.; Fang, Peixun; Schmidt, Emily. Washington, DC 2021

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Understanding how the Papua New Guinea (PNG) agricultural economy and associated household consumption is affected by climate, market and other shocks requires attention to linkages and substitution effects across various products and the markets in which they are traded. In this study, we use a multi-market simulation model of the PNG food economy that explicitly includes production, consumption, external trade and prices of key agricultural commodities to quantify the likely impacts of a set of potential shocks on household welfare and food security in PNG.
In this study, we use a multi-market simulation model of the PNG food economy that explicitly includes production, consumption, external trade and prices of key agricultural commodities to quantify the likely impacts of a set of potential shocks on household welfare and food security in PNG. We have built the model to be flexible in order to explore different potential scenarios and then identify where and how households are most affected by an unexpected shock. The model is designed using region and country-level data sources that inform the structure of the PNG food economy, allowing for a data-driven evaluation of potential impacts on agricultural production, food prices, and food consumption. Thus, as PNG confronts different unexpected challenges within its agricultural economy, the model presented in this paper can be adapted to evaluate the potential impact and necessary response by geographic region of an unexpected economic shock on the food economy of the country.
We present ten simulations modeling the effects of various shocks on PNG’s economy. The first group of scenarios consider the effects of shocks to production of specific agricultural commodities including: 1) a decrease on maize and sorghum output due to Fall Armyworm; 2) reduction in pig production due to a potential outbreak of African Swine Fever; 3) decline in sweet potato production similar to the 2015/16 El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate shock; and 4) a decline in poultry production due to COVID-19 restrictions on domestic mobility and trade. A synopsis of this report, which focuses on the COVID-19 related shocks on the PNG economy is also available online (Diao et al., 2020).1
The second group of simulations focus on COVID-19-related changes in international prices, increased marketing costs in international and domestic trade, and reductions in urban incomes. We simulate a 1) 30 percent increase in the price of imported rice, 2) a 30 percent decrease in world prices for major PNG agricultural exports, 3) higher trade transaction costs due to restrictions on the movement of people (traders) and goods given social distancing measures of COVID-19, and 4) potential economic recession causing urban household income to fall by 10 percent. Finally, the last simulation considers the combined effect of all COVID-19 related shocks combining the above scenarios into a single simulation.
A key result of the analysis is that urban households, especially the urban poor, are particularly vulnerable to shocks related to the Covid-19 pandemic. Lower economic activity in urban areas (assumed to reduce urban non-agricultural incomes by 10 percent), increases in marketing costs due to domestic trade disruptions, and 30 percent higher imported rice prices combine to lower urban incomes by almost 15 percent for both poor and non-poor urban households. Urban poor households, however, suffer the largest drop in calorie consumption - 19.8 percent, compared to a 15.8 percent decline for urban non-poor households. Rural households are much less affected by the Covid-19 related shocks modeled in these simulations. Rural household incomes, affected mainly by reduced urban demand and market disruptions, fall by only about four percent. Nonetheless, calorie consumption for the rural poor and non-poor falls by 5.5 and 4.2 percent, respectively.
Contract farming, profitability, and adoption of food safety measures in broiler production in Bangladesh
Roy, Devesh; Tripathi, Gaurav; Islam, Abu Hayat Md. Saiful; Kumar, Anjani. Washington, DC 2021

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This study, based on a primary survey conducted in Bangladesh in 2016, assesses the impact of contract farming in broiler production on profits and the adoption of food safety measures at the farm level. It also estimates the determinants for participation in contract farming, finding a farmer’s education and broiler-housing structure to be significant determinants. This study uniquely assesses the association of contract farming with the provision of well-defined food safety attributes. It finds that contract participation enhances farmers’ net returns by as much as 215–280% and raises compliance with food safety measures by around 13%. Increased productivity and provision of non-price attributes such as food safety in the product account for the difference in farmer returns.
Papua New Guinea agri-food trade trends: Dietary change and obesity
Schmidt, Emily; Fang, Peixun. Washington, DC 2021

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The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique challenge to governments across the globe, reinforcing the need to improve understanding of domestic and international trade trends to provide more informed options for policy response. During the last several months, IFPRI has been analyzing a variety of Papua New Guinea (PNG) national and global datasets with the goal of expanding analytical tools to evaluate potential production shortfalls and food price shocks, and their associated impacts on household food security and livelihoods. This research note focuses on agri-food import and export trends during the last two decades to better evaluate potential changes in related import demand and export potential in PNG. In doing so, this research note informs an upcoming economy-wide multi market model analysis that will model a variety of potential shocks to household welfare to identify policies to manage potential ensuing food security threats.
PNG’s growth in international agri-food trade (both export and import) will continue to be important to overall food security outcomes among rural and urban households. Rural households that produce key export cash-crops (e.g., coffee, cocoa, palm oil) depend on the cash economy to supplement overall food consumption, while urban households depend on rice and other agri-food imports (as well as domestic goods) for consumption. Agri-food imports are also contributing to important increases in the availability of protein-dense foods, with the value of poultry imports growing, on average, 30 percent per capita per year from 2001 – 2016. Although PNG’s agri-food import data suggest a greater demand for higher value food items such as animal-sourced foods, the total import value of ultra-processed foods, such as sugary drinks, are also increasing rapidly within PNG.
The profitability and growth of agricultural exports and imports are driven by several factors, including levels of public investment in infrastructure, weather and climate shocks, security and political stability, and conditions in the world market. Government economic policies, including exchange rate, trade and price policies, also heavily influence agricultural trade. Policy to promote and facilitate domestic movement of goods, as well as macro-economic policies that influence the relative price of tradable to non-tradable goods (the real exchange rate) should be managed appropriately to support and incentivize greater agri-food production and trade. These policies could also be paired with an expanded set of education programs that integrate nutrition-sensitive information to address current increases in demand and consumption of high-saturated and sugary processed goods, of which total import values are rapidly increasing in PNG. Finally, a greater portfolio of organized databases, analytical tools and policy resources are warranted to facilitate real-time policy analysis that can inform key development investments and initiatives.

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ReSAKSS Asia Policy Notes

Effects of COVID-19 on Papua New Guinea’s food economy: A multi-market simulation analysis
Diao, Xinshen; Dorosh, Paul A.; Fang, Peixun; Schmidt, Emily. Washington, DC 2020

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Developments in the agricultural economy of Papua New Guinea have major impacts on household food consumption decisions. A household’s ability to produce and sell food is affected by climate and associated agricultural potential, market opportunities (domestic, import and export) and unexpected shocks. Each of these factors affects the overall food system, thereby influencing production and consumption of all food products and the markets in which they are traded. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a challenge far more complex than an agricultural production shock, such as those due to El Niño or pests. Rather than directly affecting agricultural output and rural household welfare, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected economies across the globe via trade disruptions (logistic challenges; international trade barriers), social distancing policies (domestic food market and nonessential business closures), and transportation restrictions (road closures; air travel cancellations). The measures aimed to curb the spread of COVID-19 have affected household incomes via urban job losses, reduced market interaction, and dramatic changes in world food prices. While rice prices have increased, luxury food prices, such as for chocolate (i.e. cocoa), have decreased. PNG’s unique and highly varied biophysical landscape has shaped agricultural production patterns, outcomes, and livelihoods for centuries. Understanding how the PNG agrifood economy and resulting household consumption is affected by COVID-19 therefore requires attention to linkages and substitution effects across various products and the markets in which they are traded.
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.
Mechanization policy- Creating an enabling environment for private-sector investment
Kennedy, Adam. Washington, DC 2018

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Mechanization increases the power applied to agricultural operations and is one tool among many for improving farm productivity. It alone cannot drive the transformation of agriculture (Pingali 2007). Farmers will mechanize to lower costs and ensure timeliness of operations, allowing a greater area of land to be cultivated. The demand for mechanization is therefore determined by the stage of agricultural transformation reflecting the use of complementary inputs (improved seeds, fertilizer), the intensity of farming, land hold-ings, and rural labor supply. Countries across developing Asia have mechanized at different rates corresponding to their level of agricul-tural transformation but also strongly influenced by government policies. ReSAKSS-Asia organized a knowledge exchange event entitled “Agriculture and Rural Transformation in Asia: Past Experiences and Fu-ture Opportunities” to discuss, among many topics, insights into how agricultural mechanization has evolved in countries with different agroecological, institutional and political settings, and what common lessons can be learned for those countries at the early stage of mechanization. This brief summarizes some of the key lessons shared by participants.
Agricultural mechanization in the dry zone of Myanmar
Filipski, Mateusz J.; Belton, Ben; Van Asselt, Joanna. Washington, DC 2018

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This brief evaluates the extent of agricultural mechanization in four townships in Myanmar’s Dry Zone. It provides evidence that rapid mechanization is underway. Mechanical land preparation is now common-place, due to thriving machine rental markets, falling equip-ment prices, and better financing options. The mechanization of harvesting and threshing is also occurring but is concentrated in rice. These findings suggest that Dry Zone agriculture is at a technological crossroads.
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).

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