Theoretical Approaches and Empirical Findings in Honduras
There are high expectations that education can help to reduce poverty in rural areas. This book investigates the inter relation of education and the living conditions of farm-households. On one hand the access to factors of production (land, labor, capital, and education) have an impact on the total household income. On the other hand total household income determines the access to factors of production. The previous relation is influenced by regional conditions. Regional conditions that reduce transaction cost (asphalted roads, electricity, health services) and allow working in the complete chain of value (field production, processing and commercialization) have a strong positive impact on the production capacity and income of farm-households. Regional conditions are in hands of regional planners, policy makers, researchers, and personnel in charge of implementation. The education of these actors determines the efficacy of the policies. Higher education level is found to be more related to higher household income at regional and household level. Improvements in the higher education system are required as precondition to improve primary and secondary education. In relation to methodologies “Man Power planning” is a methodology that can be used to identify the needs of the country to achieve social and economic goals, later methodologies that identify relation among variables can be used to define policy interventions. Finally cost-benefit analysis can be used to identify options to reduce cost at the moment of educating the critical human resources needed.
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There is a widespread belief that traditional livestock keeping in Southern Madagascar poses a serious threat to the environment while contributing little to the livelihood or food security of the population. This book analysis the role of livestock within the framework of household food and nutrition security focusing on the role of cattle as a safety against crop shortfalls. The study compares two consecutive years: the first with a good harvest, that covered the needs of the farming community and the second with severe crop shortfalls due to drought and, consequently, loss of self-sufficiency with regard to food and loss of cash income from sales of crops. The results show that cattle, and to a lesser degree sheep and goats, form an integral part of the social-cultural life and the household economy. The livelihood of households is based on both crop and animal husbandry. In times of crop shortfalls both selling livestock, especially cattle, and hiring out the own labour force are the most important alternative resources of households to earn the money needed to compensate the repercussions of crop failure. However, the possibilities to make a living with activities other than crop and animal husbandry are very limited in the remote and semiarid study area. The investigation shows that there is need to further develop potential strategies for nutritional risk management by taking into account the social, cultural and economic habits of the population, specially in the field of animal husbandry but also in farming and marketing.
Sudan was traditionally one of the world's largest producers of long-stable cotton and medium producer of medium-stable cotton. In the Sudan cotton has been the most important cash crop and foreign-currency earner for the past 50 years. During the seventies and up to late eighties cotton alone contributed between 45 and 65 percent of the total foreign-currency earnings however, it contribution dropped below 3% in 2001. In addition, cotton is considered as a main source of income for about 13 percent of the total labor-force. In spite of the economic importance of cotton for the Sudan economy big fluctuations in cotton area, production and yield occurred. Gezira Scheme (GS) contributes about 60 % of the total cotton produced in Sudan. The study answers the following research questions (1) What are the main driving factors and the reasons for the decrease of cotton production in the GS; (2) Is the cotton yield variability among the tenants in the GS due to random variability or due to the tenants’ technical inefficiency or scheme management factors? What are the main factors behind technical inefficiency?; (3) What are the economic losses as a result of cotton production variability in the GS? and (4) If the tenants are free to choose what to produce, what are the crop combinations they will select and how close are they to the current crop combination?
Assessment of Socio-economic and Environmental Implications
Obtaining enough food for survival is a fundamental challenges in most of the developing countries. The livestock sector is of paramount importance to sustain the agrarian production, where mixed farming system is practiced. The possibility of increasing the consumption of animal protein in such countries requires an acceleration of the livestock’s productivity. One of the most feasible solutions in this regard is to enhance the efficiency of livestock farmers where intervention of development projects play decisive role. This book presents a stringent analyses of such interventions on socio-economic and environmental aspects at households level. The major issue is to isolate the impact on innovation in smallholder peasants, food self-sufficiency, natural resource management, institutional development, gender equity and production efficiency due to such intervention, and its overall effect on the living standard of beneficiaries and other stakeholders of the community. Besides, spillover impact was considered in terms of physical changes due to combined effect of activities transferred into the periphery as percolation. A With-Without project evaluation approach was applied as a research methodology. The findings are based on the primary information collected through household survey. The collected cross sectional information was analyzed using descriptive statistics, econometric models and qualitative analyses. The empirical findings obtained from such analyses confirm a substantial contribution of a project intervention as long as the activities are institutionalized for the sustainability of the accrued benefit over time.
Food insecurity is an important element in the poverty that is plaguing Nigeria. Dealing with the issue entails tackling the problems faced by the principal food producers, which are the rural smallholder farmers. Using the farming systems approach, this book focuses on an exposition of the underlying factors affecting food insecurity and poor living standard among rural families in the humid zones of Nigeria. Through multistage stratified sampling procedure, primary data was collected by field survey from 31 villages in Osun state. The analytical tools include descriptive statistics, econometric and the goal-programming model. Specific peculiarities of each household member was utilised for deriving calorie balance. Results show that poor living standard and food insecurity could be adduced to poor infrastructure, low input and resource availability. 59% and 41% of the households are calorie sufficient and deficient respectively. Modelling results reveal the negative impact of increasing risk factors that guides production decisions and some level of resource under utilisation and misallocation in actual practice partly adduced to risk avoidance behaviours therefore, the greater potential for farm families to be able to meet up with their food security goals through appropriate actions. Impact assessments show the need for improved cropping practices, credit facilities, land tenure changes and changes in the cocoa sector to improve food security.
The Case of West Tocantins
The rainforest zone in Brazil is under pressure through encroachment of farming and other sectors, which lead to ecologically unbalanced development, reducing the living potential of indigenous communities. The Bananal Island wetland is located in the transition zone between the Amazon and Cerrado (Savannah) ecosystems. The conflicting interest of the rural actors on using the natural resources lead to the demarcation of most of its territory as Indigenous Lands. This book attempts to analyze the socio-economic potentials of indigenous and non-indigenous systems presented in the adjacent zone of Bananal Island, along the Javae River. Special emphasis is given to the relationship of the indigenous communities with smallholders expelled out of the island and large-scale farm and ranch systems; and how this relationship may affect the living standard of the two less economically favorable groups. The results show that for indigenous communities some of the actions of the government had improved a few components of their living standard raising them up to the level of smallholders and the fishermen found in the region. The smallholders were allocated in settlements. The poor infrastructure of the settlement studied and the absence of financial incentives for agricultural activities push these smallholders to establish small enterprises in order to guarantee their living standard. The large-scale farms and ranches are mainly market oriented and are dependent mostly on the national economic fluctuation. They are high dependent of external labour to run their production activities. There is a concern about the scarcity of specialized technical labour in the region. The training of the smallholders could fill this gap and avoid future encroachments into Bananal Island as occurred in the past.
This book presents an analysis of the impact of animal production in mountainous farming systems development in Northwest of Vietnam. The research areas are located in a typical transect in the mountainous zones. This transect represents a gradient from urban to remote areas, with changes in production condition (livestock types and breeds), degree of market orientation (feed stuffs), and socio-economics conditions (knowledge and production habit) due to different ethnic groups of the families. Information used came from interviews in panel survey, collected twice over two years.
The descriptive analysis, historical analysis and comparative analysis show that family resources become increasingly scarce along the gradient from the market proximity to remote areas. The economic success follows the same trend with increasing remoteness, and the farm, off-farm and family income decrease. The study also found a relation between resource availability for crop and livestock and the size of the land. The livestock contribution to income is important for the bigger farms with a low production potential as well as for the small farms with high production potential. Fluctuations of resource availability and use over two years show that the resources are over-used. There is increasing utilisation of land in order to increase income while land quality seems to decrease. Results of regression models show that a small change in the animal sector impacts greatly the income and living standard of the families, offering an opportunity for the development of mixed farming systems, and hinting at its high potential for their future development. The impact analyses of potential future strategies were made using linear programming models at family level. Increasing the capacity of stables in order to increase herd size as well as comprehensive veterinary care could improve income. Improving income for families in remote areas is usually very hard to achieve.
Economic and Environmental Implications
There is a widespread belief that the low growth of agricultural production and the high depletion of natural resources base in Madagascar are partly due to lack of land tenure security. This book investigates the impacts of land property on the level of agricultural investment and on farmers’ level of productivity. The results show that these impacts vary across distinct sub-zone according to its institutional and socio-economic conditions. In regions where there is higher degree of agricultural commercialisation and where agricultural sector is better integrated into industrial sector, increased tenure security through land titling affects more positively farmers’ level of productivity. This occurs as the result of the increase in the use of tradable input and in the investment on equipment. In other regions, empirical results find evidence on lowland but not on upland. Therefore, degree of urgency for solution varies across different regions. It is rational to undertake a selective and progressive titling program, i.e. dealing first with the regions where land has high value, and then gradually extending the system.
The most criticisms of agricultural projects are that their design, management and monitoring are little efficient and consider little development needs of stakeholders. These weaknesses induce low impacts on sustainable development of beneficiaries, as well as low participation and adoption of modern technologies, which make the projects little sustainable. This book investigates therefore the impacts of the projects on sustainable development of stakeholders and the factors affecting their participation and adoption decisions, using a with-without approach and a structural modelling. The results show the impacts were positive, but depended closely on the area where the projects were implemented. As feedback, overall satisfactions that the stakeholders view from the impacts, human capital and access to production inputs were key factors of participation and adoption. Therefore, the solution for more sustainable impacts of agricultural projects lies on designing and implementing small-scale projects that target real development problems of stakeholders, improvement on human capital and access to production input.
Socio-economic development in the rural mountainous area of Northern Vietnam depends to a high degree on the use and exploitation of the natural resources. However, the population pressure is leading to an increasing demand on these resources and this in turn shows some kind of overuse and misuse of the natural resources. This again has a strong impact on the living standard and food security of the farmers in the region as well as has an implication on the sustainable development of the economy of the region and country. This book attempts to assess the socio-economic situation of families in the relevant to family resources especially natural resources and the living standard and food security of different settlement in three different altitude locations. These locations coincide with different ethnic groups and different level of remoteness, from urban centers. The study assessed the impact of future strategies concerning resources availability, use and management on the living standard and food security of farming families in the mountainous areas.
A case study from Northwestern China
In order to deal with the water scarcity problem, public and private sectors have made tremendous efforts worldwide. China is facing severe water shortage due to climatic, geographical and demographic factors. Especially, inefficient management and under-developed water conservation technology in agricultural sector are big problems for the government and farmers. The book provides theoretical and quantitative tools to manage water resource and irrigation projects efficiently. Meanwhile farmers’ choices of modern irrigation technology are taken into account to evaluate on-farm water efficiency. The study investigates the impact of public and private investment on water resources allocation and social welfare in an irrigation area using a spatial mathematical programming model. The results of the study show that aggregate water efficiency in an irrigation area will be improved significantly by increasing public and private investment in water conservation activities.
Research on Micro- and Regional Scale in North West Vietnam
On the example of a mountain region in the northwest of Vietnam, the study investigates, how the strengths of GIS and remote sensing can be transferred to farming systems research. Such an integration of both disciplines allows the consideration of spatial information that goes beyond the usual use of transportation cost in economics. In this way, the holistic farming systems approach can be based on a broader database that includes space in a different way as in the past. The spatial analysis of the physical and socio-economic environment enables the comparison of characteristics for spatially closed areas. Data from geo-informatics assess the spatial reference system of farming systems by means of their physical site conditions. The socio-economic site conditions for these framing systems are assessed through the classical farming systems research methodology based on family level surveys. Thus the spatial integration of socio-economic development allows to unify the strengths of both research areas. In doing so, GIS and remote sensing contribute to farming systems research by assessing the site conditions of the farming systems on a spatially explicit and on a regional basis. This can be achieved by means of instruments like 1. the spatial representation of gradients, 2. the classification of zones according to socio-economic criteria, 3. the regional assessment and valuation of the endowment of agricultural land and 4. the modelling of socio economic parameters, like income, on the basis of spatial data on regional scale.
The increasing demand for water in different sectors in the Middle East under the given water capacity has created an extreme shortage of water. This book deals with the socio-economics of the re-use of water in agriculture in a typical region in Jordan. In the framework of the farming systems approach, family resource allocation and living standard criteria were measured. Consumer perceptions of products produced with low quality water were analyzed. To determine the relationship between water quantity and quality, the dynamic system approach was applied. The assessments of the strategies of re-using water were estimated by using multi-periodical (dynamic) linear programming models. The empirical results of the analysis showed that the higher income level in the high quality water zones is due to the different use of other resources and potentials when compared to the low quality water zones. Water use efficiency as well as the economics of water use has a technical limitation when compared to zones of higher quality. The analysis of consumer response showed that with decreasing prices, products produced with low quality water become increasingly accepted. The high price elasticity of low income classes is not reflected when income is high. The most effective strategy of future development was to increase the substitution of treated water for fresh water given that the water quality is high enough to irrigate fruit trees in the low quality water zones and for planting vegetables in the others.
Water availability and quality is one of the most important and highly sensitive issues facing the Middle East. This book is dealt with the economic and the socio-economic impacts of the use of different water qualities in irrigation in such a way that improved and sustainable living standards of the farming population can be ensured in a study area of Al Faria’a in the West Bank.
A Geographical Information System (GIS) analysis was carried out to determine land use development over time, to stratify the study area in three different water quality zones and to determine the spatial distribution of farm income in relation to water quality and availability. The potential of farming systems development in the Al Faria’a under the water scarcity conditions was analysed and a future impact model applied.
The impact results shows that the use of water with decreasing quality will lead to a continuous reduction of farm income in the mixed as well as in the brackish water zone. Water allocation changes towards high valued crops, water efficiency increases and the total volume of water used on the farm is reduced. Off-farm jobs are especially relevant for families in the mixed quality water zone. Based on these results it can be concluded that using treated waste water for irrigation will contribute to sustainable income generation in farming families in the Al Faria’a basin by expanding the usable water capacity.
Since several regions in the West Bank have similar conditions, the results may also be relevant for other parts of the country.
A Case Study in Northern Thailand
In the Mae Tun Watershed of Northwestern Thailand, the environment has been degrading rapidly over the last 30 years due to the commercial logging of hardwoods and forest clearing for commercial farming systems. The demand for food and fuel wood is increasing because of the high population growth. The result is that household food security is threatened due to diminishing availability and use of forest food resources, fewer income earning opportunities for the rural poor and increased burdens on households in meeting their basic needs. In working out solutions to these problems, this piece of research has attempted to use methodologies such as Satellite Imagery Analyses (SIA) and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for investigating land use issues related to small-scale farming. The combined methodology of SIA and GIS has been developed for mapping land suitability classes for small-scale farming based on the available data for different factors taken into account in this study. In order to develop sustainable watershed management, agriculture systems and improving food security, effective land use monitoring is essential. It is necessary first to assess the land use pattern and its suitability for small farming system, so that protective measures can be taken and better decision-making can be achieved for policy planning and implementation.
An application of fuzzy theory. The case of West Tocantins, Brazil
Forest zones in the tropics are under pressure because of encroachment of farming systems leading to ecologically unbalanced development as well as creating economic and social problems. This book deals with the multidimensionality of this process. It considers the forest area where indigenous people live, the adjacent savannah region with large-scale agriculture and ranches as well as newly settled smallholders and gives special emphasis to the relationships between them. It analyses the potential of farming systems development in the savannah region to protect the forest zones and points out the consequences of not allowing groups other than indigenous people to enter natural reserves. In addition, an analyses of fishermen focuses on the use of water resources in protected forest zones (ecotones). These analyses are much related to risk and uncertainty as well as, to a large extent, to qualitative information. For this reason, the fuzzy theory and respective concepts have been designed and tested. The results indicate that the fuzzy concept applied is not only adequate but also improves our current methodological level in certain sectors. It adds another method of risk analysis and widens the methodological spectrum. The fuzzy concept has also been used for measuring the impact of future development strategies. Those strategies tested deal with economic development eliminating the necessity to enter the rainforest zones and use resources therein.
A Case from Northern Thailand
Rural development processes in mountain zones of Northern Thailand show links between highlands and lowlands and different ethnic groups, which have an impact on the sustainable use of natural resources. This leads to the general question of sustainable family and rural development and the security of farm families as it affects the living standard. This book attempts to assess the socio-economic situation of families with special reference to farm resources and living standards in the different ethnic groups and spatial locations as well as to analyse the impacts of future development strategies on resource use, farm activities and living standards of farm families in Northern Thailand. Several economic and social criteria were considered as quantitative and qualitative parameters and applied in order to measure the living standards of farm families. For the future impact analysis of development strategies, multi-periodical (dynamic) models at the family level were designed based on linear programming techniques. The model was used in the framework of the Monte-Carlo Simulation to consider, in particular, the stochastic nature of some parameters and to allow a stochastic interpretation of results.
The problem of food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa continues to attract the attention of researchers and development practitioners. This book examines aspects of this in the eastern region of Nigeria, It is a collection of papers by researchers and academics working and residing in the region. In twelve chapters aspects ranging from policy framework, farm level issues, crop, soil and livestock are examined. The book evidences the increasing reliance on sources within Nigeria, even as Nigeria´s dependence on food imports is on the increase. Problems observed include those on land degradation, resource scarcity, pests, low level technology, and lack of technical progress.
This book describes the impact of foreign trade policy liberalisation and external market shocks on Bangladesh economy in general and on the agricultural sector of the economy in particular. To assess the impact, farmers and agricultural development officials are interviewed and simultaneously a computable general equilibrium model is developed and with the help of the model different policy and shock scenarios are simulated. The simulations are: Reduction/elimination of import tariff, devaluation of the real exchange rate, export and import (petroleum and chemical) price shocks in the world market, fall in workers remittance, and increase in productivity in the agricultural sector.
The findings of the study show that there is a need for the presence of a strong government in order to help the farmers to reap the maximum benefit of the trade policy liberalisation. Further the results show that the reduction / elimination of import tariff may help to improve the performance of the economy and could help to mitigate the impact of international market price shocks through increasing the competitiveness of the economy. Substitution of imported petroleum by domestic natural gas may help the country to insulate Bangladeshi economy from petroleum price shocks in the international market.
Die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit in Deutschland wird von einem weiten Spektrum an unterschiedlichen Organisationen durchgeführt. Die Unterschiede der Organisationen liegen vor allem in ihrer Größe (nach Finanzvolumen und Personalbesatz), in der Herkunft der Finanzmittel (staatliche Zuschüsse, Spenden oder Eigenmittel) und in den Schwerpunkten der Zielsetzung. Weite Bereiche der Aufgaben, Tätigkeiten und Absichten dieser Organisationen überlappen sich oder sind deckungsgleich. Vor dem Hintergrund zunehmender Ressourcenknappheit wird dabei die Frage immer dringender, in welchem Umfang diese Organisationen ihre Mittel durch die Nutzung von Synergien durch Kooperationen effizienter einsetzen können.
In welchen Bereichen ergeben sich nun solche Potentiale? Um diese Fragen zu klären, geht die vorliegende Arbeit von den einzelnen Phasen eines Projektablaufes aus und untersucht verschiedene betriebswirtschaftliche Bereiche, bei denen Synergiepotentiale in Form von Verbundvorteilen durch Kooperationen mit anderen Organisationen erzielt werden können. Es schließt sich die Frage an, ob und in welchem Umfang die Organisationen bereit sind, Synergiepotentiale auszunutzen.
The savannah region around the tropical rainforest in Latin America shows great economic potential and at the same time signs of ecologically and socially unbalanced development. Soil losses, contamination of rivers, destruction of gallery forests and extinction of plant and animal species are all taking place in the area. Ecologically sound and economically viable development could enable the savannah to contribute in various ways to environmental protection. Evidence shows that the savannah region has the capacity to alleviate pressure on the Amazon rainforest by absorbing capital investment, providing employment in agribusiness and by new ways to generate higher farming incomes in the savannah region. This study provides some socio-economic components to develop a strategy for ecologically sound and economically viable management of the savannah’s resources and farming systems. It analyses the development potential and environmental, social and economic consequences of predominant savannah systems.
Increasing population density and the movement of farming into marginal zone of mountainous areas have resulted in mountain farming systems which tend to overuse land. As a consequence living standards of people may become unsustainable. Maintaining or enhancing land productivity through reversing the present trend of land degradation is a challenge that Ethiopia has to face today. Apart from the immediate causes of land degradation, socio-economic circumstances and the policy environment in which the custodians of the rural land, the farmers, live dictate how land is managed. This book attempts to assess factors affecting choice of land management techniques, the economic competitiveness of a mechanical soil conservation and water harvesting technique, and the future impact of adoption of a soil conservation strategy on resource use, credit need, cash balance and living standard of farm families in the Ethiopian highlands.
Increasing population density and the movement of farming into marginal zone of mountainous areas have resulted in mountain farming systems which tend to overuse land. As a consequence living standards of people may become unsustainable. In Northern Thailand, this is related to different ethnic groups with variations in knowledge, market access and land availability. This book analyses land availability and land use and investigates the impact of land use change on sustainable development of farming and rural systems in northern Thailand. The main information base comes from own surveys as well as from others primary sources in a research team in Thailand. Farming systems analyses was applied and addresses such questions as: what are the driving factors and economic consequences of changes in land use, land availability and land ownership structures? Considerable changes in land use are observed over time as the results of changes in prices structure, introduction of new crops and soil degradation. In future impact analyses different strategies on land availability and policy options have been assessed in family models applied under different land ownership systems and user rights. The results of the impact analyses confirms that the ownership and tenancy system in relation to credit availability is crucial to the living standard in farming systems and rural development in Thai areas and important for the subsistence of the hill tribes.
The study focuses on a mountainous region in northern Pakistan where due to the higher income potential farmers have moved from cereals to horticultural crops. Since the prices of these crops fluctuate, farmers’ income have become more unstable. Also, they depend more on outside markets for their inputs and outputs and have to use more capital and labour. The study investigates how farmers perform in the new situation with respect to resource use and profits obtained. Using quadratic risk programming models the study concludes that, provided some pre-conditions are met, farmers could adopt more risk- and profit-efficient cropping plans. Furthermore, the book provides a compendium of information about the study area.
One of the most common criticisms of currency devaluation in developing countries is that it causes disproportionate suffering among the poor. This book investigates the impact of devaluation of the CFA Franc on food security and welfare of farm households in southern Benin using a household model approach. The results of the study showed that the responses of farm households to the devaluation were not up to the expectations. Farmers’ responses were constrained by structural and institutional factors, in particular the insufficiency of infrastructure, the inadequacy of inputs and capital markets and the low attractiveness of improved production methods. The solution lies therefore in improving rural infrastructure, promoting alternative production patterns which require research and extension services that aim at encouraging farmers to adopt more sustainable production practices and promoting credit.
The basic facts of economic development of countries in transition reveal the importance of identifying the comparative advantage. Restructuring the economy and reallocation of resources change the characteristics of the previous equilibrium and create a new equilibrium, which implies also changes in comparative advantage ratings.
Based on the analysis of production, consumption and industrial processing of grapes in Armenia and applying the methodology of Domestic Resource Cost analysis this book investigates the resource allocation efficiency for production of grapes, wine and brandy in Armenia. The analysis of the international market of brandy provides background for assessing the market opportunities of Armenian brandy, applying the methodology of spatial equilibrium analysis in the form of an interregional trade model (using GAMS). The optimal values of production, consumption and export quantities of brandy, the equilibrium prices, values of consumer and producer surpluses and net social welfare are presented.
Conducting sensitivity analysis the study does investigations on the effects of certain policy decisions on grape and brandy production and derives conclusions, based on which it draws recommendations and policy implications.
Farming and Rural Systems Economics Vol. 37
In many areas in West Africa, the overuse of land shows an increasing degradation of soils and an increasing unsustainability of farming. New technologies have been developed, but adoption rates are below expectations. This book focuses on the contribution of cash income from off-farm activities and on the impact of gender in the adoption process. The main information base comes from own surveys as well as from others primary sources in a research team in Benin. Farming systems analyses was applied. In future impact analyses different innovations in combating soil degradation have been assessed in family models applied under different off-farm employment and gender conditions. Special reference have been given to the decision-making process between husband and several wives of different age. The results of the analyses confirm what can be seen in many countries in West Africa: increasing scarcity of land and reduction of natural fallow could not be compensated by modern technology adoption. In part-time farming families with scarcity of labour, off-farm income has not positively contributed to adoption process, especially when hiring of external labour is expensive. In cases where farming is the dominant activity of the family, off-farm income was used to introduce soil conservation measures. With respect to gender, the models show that the adoption of the new technology can lead to a future increase of family income. In all cases of increasing family income, the income of the wives did not increase.
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