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Distributional impacts of agricultural policies in Zambia: A microsimulation approach









Gasior, K., S. Navarro, J. Pirttilä, and M. Kangasniemi (2022). ‘Distributional Impacts of Agricultural Policies in Zambia: A Microsimulation Approach’. WIDER Working Paper 2022/143. Helsinki: UNU-WIDER and FAO.


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    Agricultural policy incentives in sub-Saharan Africa in the last decade (2005–2016)
    Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) synthesis study
    2018
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    The study summarizes the results emerging from the 2017 update of the Monitoring and Analysing Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) indicators for the 2005-2016 period for 14 sub-Saharan African countries. These indicators - comparable across commodities, countries and years - are commonly used to assess the extent of policy support in agriculture. They measure the effect of trade and market policies and inefficiencies on the degree of price incentives faced by farmers in key commodity value chains, as well as the level and composition of public expenditures in support of the agriculture sector. Despite results being very heterogeneous across countries and commodities, aggregate figures indicate that price incentives to agriculture are overall increasing across the period. Policies focused on supporting domestic production, through import tariffs and price support, are likely to be the main drivers of such a trend, following the food price crises period (2007–2011) when policy-makers were mainly concerned about consumer protection. Despite that, market inefficiencies still persist as a source of price disincentives to farmers and a major constraint on agricultural development. Consistently, public expenditure indicators confirm that direct budget transfers in support of producers, mainly in the form of input subsidies, continue to represent the largest part of agriculture expenditure in most countries. In general terms, only a few countries increased the share of agricultural expenditure within total public budgets in 2015. Expenditures on research and knowledge dissemination are overall stagnant or declining. Food crops continue to dominate public budgets while spending on cash crops or “innovative” products as well as on value chain integration and commercialization remains limited. Some efforts to convert resources that were previously allocated to input subsidies into investments in agricultural and rural infrastructures are seen.
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    Evaluating the impacts of the FAO’s Cash+ Programme in Mali 2021
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    This report presents findings from a study of the economic and food security impacts of the FAO project "Productive safety nets as a tool to reinforce the resilience in the Sahel" (hereinafter referred to as the project/programme Cash+) that took place from April 2015 to February 2017. The project aimed to strengthen the resilience of households vulnerable to shocks and heavily affected by food insecurity and was carried out in two countries: Mali and Mauritania. Unconditional in-cash and in-kind transfers were distributed to the most vulnerable households, which also benefited from other training and technical activities which aimed to strengthen their productive capacity. This report focuses on Mali, where the FAO Cash+ project targeted 36 villages in the Nioro Cercle (“Cercle de Nioro du Sahel”) of Kayes region. Two sets of intervention of equal financial value have been provided to the beneficiaries: i) one called "Cash Only" consisting primarily of a cash transfer and ii) another called "Cash+" associating a cash transfer with distribution of goats, training on good practices of livestock breeding and raising awareness of children's nutrition. The main objective of this report is evaluating the impacts of the FAO’s Cash+ programme in Mali and investigating eventual heterogenous effects of the two types of treatment. Using data collected nine months after the project ended, we analyse its lasting impacts across various livelihood aspects, namely food security, dietary diversity, hygiene practices, food and non-food expenditures, livestock production, non-farm activities, aspirations and expectations.
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    Local Economy-wide Impact Evaluation (LEWIE) of Zambia’s Child Grant Programme 2014
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    The Zambia Child Grant Programme (CGP) provides a bi-monthly cash transfer to households with children under five years of age, with the goal of reducing “extreme poverty and the intergenerational transfer of poverty” in programme households. The CGP provides a significant infusion of cash into Zambia’s rural economy. When beneficiaries spend the cash transfer they transmit the impact to others inside and outside the local economy, more often to households not eligible for the cash transfer who tend to own most of the local businesses. The impact of the CGP on the local economy was simulated using a LEWIE (Local Economy Wide Impact Evaluation) model, focusing on the three districts where the programme is located and included in the CGP impact evaluation. The LEWIE model for the CGP found that the transfers could lead to relatively large income multipliers of ZMK 1.79. That is, every Kwacha transferred to poor households had the potential to raise local income by ZMK 1.79. Eligible hous eholds receive the direct benefit of the transfer, while ineligible households receive the bulk of the indirect benefit. However, if labour, capital and land markets do not function well upward pressure on prices could result. This would raise consumption costs for all households and lead to a real income multiplier that is lower than the nominal multiplier. This real income multiplier could be as low as ZMK 1.34. Complementary programmes that increase the supply response (such as access to cred it to invest in capital) could increase the real-income and production impacts of the programme.

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