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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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