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Favourable policies for family-based maize production in Ecuador

FAO Agricultural Development Economics Policy Brief 17












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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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    Agricultural policies for a sustainable rice supply chain in Ecuador
    FAO Agricultural Development Economics Policy Brief 18
    2019
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    The high cost to Ecuador’s national budget of maintaining a minimum guaranteed producer price for rice led to the introduction of a price bracket system in 2017. The minimum support price policy and a complimentary high import tariff were meant to protect small rice producers from competition from world markets and increase their incomes. However, farmers with greater productive capacity are currently accruing the highest income transfers from the guaranteed minimum rice price. Moreover, the policy has led to distortions throughout the marketing chain, only partially meeting its objective of price stability. The introduction of the price bracket system and Ecuador’s new comprehensive agricultural strategy, which takes an agricultural food system approach, represents an opportunity for small farmers to receive the necessary incentives to remain a part of the rural economy. However, more needs to be done to achieve a sustainable rice supply chain like decoupling social protection policies from farm output, diversifying agricultural programs, reforming border protection policy, and a rethinking of public interventions.
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    Assessing the policy environment for cash crops in Malawi: what could hinder the achievement of the National Export Strategy objectives? 2017
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    This paper examines the main issues affecting producers of export crops in Malawi that could compromise the attainment of the National Export Strategy (NES) 2013-2018 targets. The analysis assesses the level of policy support to the major export crops (cotton, groundnuts, sugar, tea and tobacco) for the period 2005-2013, by calculating the Nominal Rate of Protection (NRP), the Nominal Rate of Assistance (NRA) and the Market Development Gap (MDG) indicators for producers and by analysing public e xpenditure targeting the aforementioned commodities. The results show that trade and market policies resulted in disincentives of -15 percent on average for cash crop producers mainly due to poor infrastructure, lack of competition, weak enforcement and/or inefficiency of producer price policies, and limited budgetary support to cash crops value chain development. The analysis offers further evidence to guide the prioritization of policies and investments in view of fully attaining the NES objec tives, including facilitation of farmers’ access to markets, promotion of a more competitive environment for agri-business, and development of a transparent market information system.

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