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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

Agricultural Reforms and Trade Liberalization in China and Selected Asian Countries. Lessons of Three Decades. Policy Assistance Series 6

How did the Asia-Pacific region rescue over 700 million people from extreme poverty between 1980 and 2005? What policy lessons can we learn and implement to improve conditions for the nearly 1 billion people in the region who continue to live in poverty? Examining Asia’s recent agricultural reform and trade liberalization experiences, in the context of current global crises, presents an occasion to reflect on past achievements and consider future opportunities. This publication synthesizes the proceedings and presents technical papers from a policy forum convened by FAO and China's Ministry of Agriculture. The first part summarizes key points from presentations, panel [...]

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 [...]

Case study

2008

Sharing JFFLS Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools experiences and challenges

The purpose of this report is to document some of the Junior Farmer Field and Life Schools (JFFLS) experiences to date, and allow readers to reflect on approaches used in the various JFFLS in the countries where they have been set up. The JFFLS approach, developed by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP), has been operational since 2003 and has been recently adapted to provide a response to emergency situations. The goal of the JFFLS is to empower vulnerable youths, giving them livelihood options and long-term food security while minimizing [...]

Report

2008

The State of Food and Agriculture 2008. Biofuels: Prospects, Risks and Opportunities

The State of Food and Agriculture 2008 explores the implications of the rapid recent growth in production of biofuels based on agricultural commodities. The boom in liquid biofuels has been largely induced by policies in developed countries, based on their expected positive contributions to climate-change mitigation, energy security and agricultural development. The growing demand for agricultural commodities for the production of biofuels is having significant repercussions on agricultural markets, and concerns are mounting over their negative impact on the food security of millions of people across the world. At the same time, the environmental impacts of biofuels are also coming under closer scrutiny. But biofuels also offer [...]

Tool

2007

Social Welfare Analysis of Income Distributions: Social Welfare, Social Welfare Functions and Inequality Aversion. EASYPol Series 041

This analytical tool illustrates the concept of social welfare and the possible ways to define social welfare functions. In particular, it deals with how to pass from inequality to social welfare analysis and how social welfare analysis may embody different attitudes with regard to inequality aversion. A step-by-step procedure and numerical examples are also discussed to give operational content to the tool. For more information, see also: Charting Income Inequality. The Lorenz Curve. EASYPol Series 000 Social Welfare Analysis of Income Distributions: Ranking Income Distributions with Lorenz Curves. EASYPol Series 001 Social Welfare Analysis of Income Distributions: Ranking Income Distributions with Generalised Lorenz Curves. [...]

Case study

2007

Future Expansion of Soybean 2005-2014. Implications for Food Security, Sustainable Rural Development and Agricultural Policies in the Countries of Mercosur and Bolivia. Synthesis document. Policy Assistance Series 3

The purpose of this document is to provide greater insight into the possible implications of soybean expansion for food security, rural development and agricultural policies in these countries for the period 2005-2014. Based on country studies carried out for the investigation, this document summarizes the causes of soybean expansion in the last ten years and presents the main changes that have accompanied the process. It also quantifies in approximate terms, the growth of soybean and its products (meal and oil) between 2005 and 2014, explores the main implications of this expansion and offers a number of analytical conclusions.

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 [...]

Tool

2006

Policy Impacts on Inequality: Simple Inequality Measures. EASYPol Series 080

This module illustrates the simplest ways to measure inequality drawing on the statistical concepts of location, shape and variability. In particular, the following measures will be addressed: a) the range; b) the relative mean deviation; c) the variance; d) the coefficient of variation; and e) the standard deviation of logharitms. For all these measures, step-by-step procedures and numerical examples are also discussed. For more information, see also: Charting Income Inequality. The Lorenz Curve. EASYPol Series 000 Social Welfare Analysis of Income Distributions: Ranking Income Distributions with Lorenz Curves. EASYPol Series 001 Policy Impacts on Inequality: Inequality and Axioms for its Measurement. EASYPol Series 054 This [...]