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Issue paper

2010

Agricultural Investment Funds for Developing Countries

This publication provides insight into the nature and operations of agricultural investment funds and draws lessons for development agencies, governments and investors. It was developed from “Agricultural investment funds for developing countries” (2009), a research study undertaken as a joint collaboration of ConCap Connective Capital (ConCap) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in order to better understand the growth and potential of agriculture and agribusiness investment funds. It included a stocktaking analysis of agricultural investment funds as well as case studies of distinct funds and fund management structures. This publication is enhanced with a complementary analysis of agricultural funds in the broader context [...]

Issue paper

2009

International Price Shocks and Technological Changes for Poverty Reduction in Burkina Faso. A General Equilibrium Approach. EASYPol Series 071

After sketching the mutual links between economic growth, agriculture, technology, poverty reduction and external factors, this paper analyses the implications of recent international price shocks on welfare and growth, notably energy and agricultural products, for Burkina Faso, a less industrialised, low-income, food-deficit, net oil-importing country. The socio-economic impacts of the above-mentioned external shocks are analysed by means of a Computable General Equilibrium model (CGE). The paper also discusses the extent to which technological changes in agriculture, specifically the introduction of “Good Agricultural Practices” (GAP) towards “conservation agriculture”, could mitigate the welfare and growth losses derived by international price shocks.  Additionally, it is shown [...]

Case study

2009

Initiative on Soaring Food Prices. Country Responses to the Food Security Crisis: Nature and Preliminary Implications of the Policies Pursued. EASYPol Module 062

This applied work intends to examine the short-term measures adopted by some 81 countries and is intended for policy makers and analysts. Prices of staple foods, such as rice and vegetable oil, have doubled between January and May 2008. High food prices together with record petroleum and fertilizer prices have spurred inflation. Poorer households with a larger share of food in their total expenditures are suffering the most from high food prices, due to the erosion of purchasing power, which has a negative impact on food security, nutrition and access to school and health services. Higher prices also result in pressure [...]

Issue paper

2009

Quantitative socio-economic policy impact analysis. A methodological introduction. EASYPol Series 068

This issue paper aims at introducing selected analytical approaches for quantitative analysis of the socio-economic impacts of policies. In the first part of the document, after considering a set of basic questions that a quantitative policy impact analysis has usually to address in order to be useful for informing decision-making processes; some definitions and insights on policy-relevant elements such as policy objectives, policy instruments and impact models are provided. The document then briefly describes the use of counterfactual analysis for socio-economic policy impact analysis. The second part of the work focuses on the review of selected quantitative analytical approaches frequently applied [...]

Issue paper

2009

Rethinking Public Policy in Agriculture. Lessons from Distant and Recent History. Policy Assistance Series 7

This report is based on “Applying Historical Precedent to New Conventional Wisdom on Public Sector Roles in Agriculture and Rural Development”, synthesizes the reviews of the history of agricultural policy in ten of today’s developed countries (Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United States of America) and in ten developing and transition economies (Chile, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hungary, India, Mexico, Ukraine, Viet Nam and Zambia). It draws lessons for today’s developing and transition countries that go beyond the so-called Washington Consensus. This report is supported by 10 country case studies and FAO tries [...]

Tool

2006

WinDASI: A Software for Cost-Benefit Analysis of Investment Projects. EASYPol Series 020

This analytical tool illustrates how to carry out cost-benefit calculations of investment projects in WinDASI, after data are entered in the database. It explains, by means of a step-by step procedure, how to calculate flows of physical quantities of outputs, inputs and investment items; flows of current, discounted and cumulative costs, benefits, and net benefits; flows of incremental (With-Without project) current, discounted and cumulative net benefits; and project indicators such as the Net Present Value (NPV), the Internal Rate of Return (IRR), the Benefit/Cost Ratio, (BCR), the Switching Values (SVs) and Sensitivity Analysis. Instructions are provided on how to carry out [...]

Issue paper

2006

Food Security and Agricultural Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Building a Case for More Public Support. Policy Assistance Series 2

There are four main reasons for which agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) deserves more public support.  First is a moral imperative: SSA governments cannot and should not ignore a sector on which about 70 percent of their population directly depend for their livelihoods, if they are serious about their commitment to MDG1. Second, in spite of their generally poor performance, SSA countries do not have any realistic strategic option that they can rely upon for achieving sustainable economic development, other than agriculture. Third, there is evidence that appropriate policies and direct public sector investment have combined to trigger agriculture sector-led [...]

Tool

2005

Decentralization of Agricultural Services. Decentralization of Input Supply and Marketing Services. EASYPol Series 015

This paper examines the main characteristics of agricultural inputs and marketing services, including factors affecting demand and supply for major categories of services, namely fertilizers and chemicals, seeds and planting materials, agricultural machinery and equipment, and crop marketing. The main sources of market failure are outlined. The conceptual framework which underpin the main approaches to decentralization of these services and key factors that need to be considered are next discussed. The importance of the regulatory role and adoption of a regulatory strategy are highlighted. Policy implications, in terms of possible options for decentralization (divestment, deconcentration, devolution and establishing partnerships), and [...]

Tool

2005

Decentralization of Agricultural Services: Decentralization of Rural Financial Services. EASYPol Series 014

This paper first examines the characteristics of rural financial services, including demand and supply factors in rural financial markets. It draws attention to past failures of centralized and directed rural credit services, and the emergence of a new broader vision of rural financial services, based on liberal economics and decentralization policies. The conceptual framework for reform of rural financial services is discussed, and important principles of decentralization reiterated. Policy implications, in terms of options for decentralization, and the roles and responsibilities of the government are next examined. Various options which might be considered under deconcentration, devolution, and diversification of ownership of [...]

Issue paper

2005

Decentralization and Agricultural Development: Decentralization of Agricultural Services. EASYPol Series 013

This issue paper provides an overview of “Decentralization of Agricultural Services”. It first explains the range and importance of agricultural services; the traditional role that governments had assumed in their provision; consequences of public sector interventions; and the perceived need for institutional reform, including a reduced role for central government in service provision. It then examines the conceptual framework for policy decisions. Aspects highlighted are the economic rationale for government intervention; functional responsibilities for service provision; and challenges and risks in diversifying provision. Options for reforming agricultural services and how the reform process would need to be planned and managed [...]
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