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.

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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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    Scenario Planning to Guide Long-term Investments in Agricultural Science and Technology : Theory and Practice from a Case Study on India
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-11) Rajalahti, Riikka ; Janssen, Willem ; Pehu, Eija
    This note for India is based on the paper Scenario Planning to guide long-term investments in Agricultural Science and Technology (report no. 37066). Scenarios are an important and useful tool, providing a neutral space for discussion, and helping to build consensus among various stakeholders. The objective is to examine possible future developments that could impact individuals, organizations, or societies to find directions for decisions will most benefit any future environment. Useful in strategy formulation, scenarios can be used in policy development, conflict resolution, group learning, and rehearsing management decisions. The note analyzed results of workshops organized to define the way forward relative to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The lessons learned include: (a) applying the analysis on larger, global issues may be far more challenging; (b) it is recommended the scenario process be implemented ahead of project preparation; (c) it is essential to allocate sufficient time and resources for creating client ownership and understanding; (d) it is of paramount importance to compose a multidisciplinary scenario team led by experienced scenario leaders; and (e) it is also very important to include participants of the groups the process aims to influence.