Agricultural and Rural Development Notes

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This series on commodity risk management aims to disseminate the results of World Bank research that describes the feasibility of developing countries’ ability to utilize market-based tools to mitigate risks associated with commodity price volatility and weather.
Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under 25 years old by 2050, is a diverse ...

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    Gender and Governance in Agricultural Extension Services : Insights from India, Ghana, and Ethiopia
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2010-03) Madhvani, Sonia ; Pehu, Eija
    The gender and governance in rural services insights from India, Ghana, and Ethiopia report aims to generate policy-relevant knowledge on strategies for improving agricultural service delivery, with a focus on providing more equitable access to these services, especially for women. The project has been implemented in India, Ghana, and Ethiopia. These countries were chosen to capture variation in important macro-factors, especially the level of economic development; various aspects of governance, such as political system and party system; the role of women in society; and strategies adopted to promote gender equity. The project focused on agricultural extension as an example of a critical agricultural service. In India, the main problem is the lack of overall capacity resulting from a past policy of not hiring agricultural extension providers. The study indicates that access to agricultural extension is low in Ghana, despite the fact that an extension agent-to-farmer ratio is comparatively high. Agricultural extension is a high for the Ethiopia government priority, but coverage of extension services across regions varies widely, and extension agents have limited discretion to adapt technology packages to the context of individual communities. The gender gap in access to extension can also be improved.
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    Can Water Undermine Growth? Evidence from Ethiopia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2006-09) Sadoff, Claudia
    In Ethiopia the centrality of water is clear. With little water resources infrastructure, relatively weak management institutions and capacity, extreme hydrological variability and seasonality, and a highly vulnerable economy, Ethiopia faces an enormous challenge in building the minimum platform of water infrastructure and management capacity needed to achieve water security. But until water security is achieved, growth will continue to be severely constrained. A World Bank study (World Bank 2006) estimated the magnitude of the impacts of high water variability on growth and poverty so that the government can better manage water and manage other parts of the economy (trade, transport) to reduce the impacts of water shocks. The study found that considering the effects of water variability reduced projected rates of economic growth by 38% per year and increased projected poverty rates by 25% over a twelve year period. Furthermore, the variability of rainfall increased value-added of water investments, such as irrigation, that reduce vulnerability to rainfall. The study also found that transport infrastructure played a major role in the inability of local economies to adjust to localized crop failures, as it allows areas with food surpluses to sell to areas in food deficit. This analysis, undertaken in cooperation with the Ethiopian government, helped to make the issue of water resource management a central focus of the government's national poverty reduction strategy.