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Moving Forward, Looking Back: The Impact of Migration and Remittances on Assets, Consumption, and Credit Constraints in the Rural Philippines

Agnes R. Quisumbing and Scott McNiven, FAO/ESA This paper investigates the impact of migration and remittances on asset holdings, consumption expenditures, and credit constraint status of households in origin communities, using a unique longitudinal data set from the Philippines. The paper examines the impact of remittances from outside the original survey villages on parent households, taking into account the endogeneity of the number of migrants and remittances received to characteristics of the origin households and communities, completed schooling of sons and daughters, and shocks to both the origin households and migrants.

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Food Prices and Food Security in Trinidad and Tobago

Christian Romer Løvendal, Kristian Thor Jakobsen and Andrew Jacque, FAO/ESA, 2007 The economy of Trinidad and Tobago is booming, in particular as a consequence of increased energy production and the historical high oil prices. Whilst general inflation has remained relatively low for much of the present economic boom, substantial increases in retail food prices have been observed, in particular since 2005. This paper looks at the development of retail food prices, its causes, the potential impact thereof in terms of food security and possible policy options for addressing this. It concludes that whilst households with low income are the groups most affected by the food price increases and will continue to be so in the wake of increasing international prices, it is unlikely that the price increases in isolation will throw off Trinidad and Tobago’s path towards meeting the MDG 1 hunger target and bringing the share of undernourished people down to 6.5% by 2015. However, food security problems will remain, in particular related to overweight and obesity caused by unbalanced diets.

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The Vanishing Farms? The Impact of International Migration on Albanian Family Farming

Juna Miluka, Gero Carletto, Benjamin Davis and Alberto Zezza This paper investigates the impact of international migration on technical efficiency, resource allocation and income from agricultural production of family farming in Albania. The results suggest that migration is used by rural households as a pathway out agriculture: migration is negatively associated with both labor and non-labor input allocation in agriculture, while no significant differences can be detected in terms of farm technical efficiency or agricultural income. Whether the rapid demographic changes in rural areas triggered by massive migration, possibly combined with propitious land and rural development policies, will ultimately produce the conditions for a more viable, high-return agriculture attracting larger investments remains to be seen.

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Agricultural Policy Impact Analysis with Multi-Market Models: A Primer

Many governments intervene directly in agricultural product, in particular food, markets. A quantitative assessment of the impact of the policy changes on the desired objectives is important as it helps inform and shape the policy debate on the reform alternatives and increases transparency of government policy. This paper reviews the literature on multi-market models which offer more accurate ex ante impact analysis than single-market models by including potentially important indirect effects. While fairly complex and requiring large amounts of data multi-market models are however much simpler than computable general equilibrium models. They are typically applied at the sector level and have proven quite popular in particular in agricultural policy reform impact analysis. While more recent work has emphasized the poverty reduction and income distribution objective the models can generate a range of information relevant to policy makers. Key Words: Multi-market models, agricultural policy impact analysis.

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Frequently asked questions on “Farmers’ Producer Company (PC)” an Institutional PC concept

To the best of our information and understanding ‘Producer Company (PC)’ or the Institutional Producer Company (IPC), a federation of PCs, as dreamt by us is nonexistent as of Jan 2007. It is a company like any other company in the corporate world but with a difference, and how we visualize it to be formed and functioning. This concept has been talked about for over a decade and at different fora and some components of it have been implemented at several locations in different countries but not in its wholesomeness as discussed below.

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Is high yield possible with biological approaches ?

Biological approaches such as crop residues and biomass as surface mulch; growing Gliricidia sepium on field bunds as source of nitrogen for crops; compost, vermicompost and microbial biofertilizers as soil-building elements; and sources of crop nutrients, and microbial and herbal biopesticides to protect crops have been widely reported as valuable for crop production. Scope of these approaches to meet crop nutrients and crop-protection needs in place of chemical fertilizers and pesticides was examined. Published literature and websites were scanned to look for logically sound comparisons, particularly at on-farm scale. Because farmers using organic farming practices were the major users of some (not all) of the biological approaches, we ended up comparing organic and conventional farms. Experiments with treatments of biological versus conventional inputs (e.g. chemical fertilizers) within a given experiment were the other source of relevant data for comparative performance. Discussion in this paper is restricted to marginal and small farmers in rain fed areas. From the limited evidence, it was apparent that yields comparable to conventional agriculture were harvested by using biological approaches. In addition, a substantial improvement in soil quality due to the biological approach was reported suggesting that these yields would also be sustainable.

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The Economic Effects of Land Reform in Tajikistan

The purpose of this study is to analyze the economic effects of land reform policies in Tajikistan on the country’s agricultural sector and rural households. There is a conspicuous lack of evidence-based policy dialogue with the government on the effectiveness of land and agricultural policies in Tajikistan. Though the majority of rural inhabitants live in poverty and many are food insecure, a scientifically proper evaluation of the effects of land and farm policy reforms has yet to be done. The present study is an attempt to fill this void by offering a description of land reform and an analysis of its economic consequences in Tajikistan.

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Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security

The purpose of these Voluntary Guidelines is to serve as a reference and to provide
guidance to improve the governance of tenure of land, fisheries and forests with the
overarching goal of achieving food security for all and to support the progressive
realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security.

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A new index to assess soil quality and sustainability of wheat-based cropping systems

Sustainability index was calculated to assess soil quality under the influence of different fertilizer management practices. It is based on the area of the triangle in which nutrient index, microbial index and crop index of soil represented the three vertices of a triangle. Nutrient index reflected the nutrient status of soil and was calculated from the measurements of various soil chemical parameters. Microbial index was calculated by determining various soil microbial and biochemical activities and crop index by measuring of crop yield parameters. Eighteen soil indicators were determined to assess nutrient index, microbial index and crop index in order to compare the effect of different sources of nutrients such as green manure, farmyard manure and chemical fertilizer in a rice/corn– wheat rotation. The indices were applied to assess the sustainability of five field experiments with respect to the different fertilizer treatments. The long-term application of organic manures in rice/corn–wheat cropping system increased the index value because it increased the nutrient index, microbial index and crop index of soils. The use of only chemical fertilizers in the rice–wheat cropping system resulted in poor soil microbial index and crop index. In corn–wheat system, additional application of FYM at 10 t ha−1 before sowing corn made the system more sustainable than application of 100%NPK; the sustainability index values were 2.43 (the highest for this system) and 0.93, respectively.

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Evaluation of Crop Production Systems Based on Locally Available Biological Inputs

Crop production systems that require chemical fertilizers, pesticides, machinery for
tillage, and irrigation water are expensive. In countries such as India, they have started
to undermine the water security of future generations, contributing to soil and water
pollution particularly when synthetic pesticides are not used properly. It is true that
agriculture as practiced 100 years ago without modern inputs had lower productivity
than present systems of production. However, many premodern practices, such as the
use of organic manures to enhance soil fertility and of herbal extracts to protect crops,
can be made more efficient by the scientific knowledge that has been gained over
the past century, making crop production more sustainable while still achieving high