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September 5, 2013

Subsidizing Farmers and Biofuels in Rich Countries: An Incoherent Agenda for Food Security

At the beginning of the new millennium, a key development concern was the impact of agricultural policies in high-income countries on poor farmers in the rest of the world. Over the ensuing decade, the focus swung from the role of price-suppressing farm subsidies to the role biofuel policies play in driving food prices up. While development advocates are right to criticize the trade-distorting costs and environmental risks of current biofuel policies, agricultural subsidies and trade barriers in rich countries remain in place and the distorting impact of those policies will rise again when prices decline.

August 27, 2013

Estimating Income / Expenditure Differences across Populations: New Fun with Old Engel’s Law - Working Paper 339

How much larger are the consumption possibilities of an urban US household with per capita expenditures of 1,000 US dollars per month than a rural Indonesian household with per capita expenditures of 1,000,000 Indonesian Rupiah per month? Consumers in different markets face widely different consumption possibilities and prices and hence the conversion of incomes or expenditures to truly comparable units of purchasing power is extremely difficult. We propose a simple supplement to existing purchasing power adjusted currency conversions.

August 19, 2013

Revisiting the Quality of Agricultural Official Development Assistance

The Quality of Agricultural Official Development Assistance (Ag QuODA) measures how well donors giving agricultural aid score on the dimensions of aid quality that evidence and experience suggest lead to effective aid. Improvements in the data quality and availability are making sector-specific assessments like Ag QuODA more feasible, but further improvements are needed to allow a deeper understanding of aid effectiveness.

Edward Collins and Kimberly Ann Elliott
August 21, 2012

Assessing the Quality of Aid for Agriculture

This paper presents the results of applying the QuODA methodology to agriculture, explains the limitations of the approach, and compares donor performance with the original QuODA results.

Edward Collins
September 29, 2011

Dial "A" for Agriculture: A Review of Information and Communication Technologies for Agricultural Extension in Developing Countries - Working Paper 269

Agriculture can serve as an important engine for economic growth in developing countries, yet yields in these countries have lagged far behind those in developed countries for decades. One potential mechanism for increasing yields is the use of improved agricultural technologies, such as fertilizers, seeds and cropping techniques. Public-sector programs have attempted to overcome information-related barriers to technological adoption by providing agricultural extension services. While such programs have been widely criticized for their limited scale, sustainability and impact,the rapid spread of mobile phone coverage in developing countries provides a unique opportunity to facilitate technological adoption via information and communication technology (ICT)-based extension programs.

This article outlines the potential mechanisms through which ICT could facilitate agricultural adoption and the provision of extension services in developing countries. It then reviews existing programs using ICT for agriculture, categorized by the mechanism (voice,text, internet and mobile money transfers) and the type of services provided. Finally, we identify potential constraints to such programs in terms of design and implementation, and conclude with some recommendations for implementing field-based research on the impact of these programs on farmers’ knowledge, technological adoption and welfare.

January 6, 2011

Food Crisis, Household Welfare, and HIV/AIDS Treatment: Evidence from Mozambique - Working Paper 238

Using panel data from Mozambique collected in 2007 and 2008, the authors explore the impact of the food crisis on the welfare of households living with HIV/AIDS. While HIV households have not suffered more from the crisis than others, infected people who experienced a negative income shock also expereinced a reduction or a slower progression in outcomes when treating their illness.

Damien de Walque , Harounan Kazianga , Mead Over and Julia Vaillant
April 14, 2010

Financing Food Assistance: Options for the World Food Programme to Save Lives and Dollars - Working Paper 209

The World Food Programme has world-class logistics, but its ability to manage financial risk is extremely limited. The WFP should consider implementing a targeted hedging pilot strategy for increased predictability. Greater commitments of untied cash from donors and support for the proposed Food Security Trust Fund at the World Bank would help.

April 1, 2010

Open Markets for the Poorest Countries: Trade Preferences That Work

The CGD Working Group on Global Trade Preference Reform shows how changes to trade preference programs could greatly benefit those living in the poorest countires at very little cost to preference-giving countries.

The CGD Working Group on Global Trade Preference Reform

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