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Sustainable, Inclusive Agriculture Sector Growth in Armenia: Lessons from Recent Experience of Growth and Contraction(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2017-05) Christensen, GarryThis Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) for Armenia has been prepared with the aim to identify key challenges and opportunities to advance the twin goals of ending absolute poverty and boosting shared prosperity. The review of Armenia’s agriculture sector forms part of this background material. Following an overview of the sector’s major characteristics, the study analyses the determinants of agriculture sector growth from 2004-2015, a period characterized by both expansion and contraction. The links between this growth and employment creation are then considered, followed by review of the inclusiveness of observed sector growth. Agriculture sector resilience to exogenous shocks is also examined, at both sector and household level. The study concludes by assessing the implications of the analysis for the four original hypotheses
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02) Broka, Sandra ; Giertz, Åsa ; Christensen, Garry ; Rasmussen, Debra ; Morgounov, Alexei ; Fileccia, Turi ; Rubaiza, RhodaAgriculture is among the most risk-prone sectors in the economies of Central Asia. Production shocks from weather, pests and diseases and adverse movements in agricultural product and input prices not only impact farmers and agri-business firms, but can also strain government finances. Some of these risks are small and localized and can be managed by producers. Others are the result of more severe, exogenous shocks outside agriculture that require a broader response. Failure to respond adequately to these more severe risks leads to a perpetual cycle of ‘shock-recovery-shock’ which reinforces poverty traps and compromises long-term growth. A broad-based program to improve livestock productivity is recommended to strengthen the resilience of livestock production systems and rangeland use in Kazakhstan. Proposed interventions include measures to: (i) reverse degradation of water, soil and vegetation cover; (ii) safeguard the long-term viability of rangeland ecosystems, while ensuring sustainable access to grazing land; and (iii) strengthen livestock services (veterinary, animal health, feed and fodder supply, destocking, water and grazing access, and weather and market information). These measures will enable farmers to manage their resources better, to respond to climate and market signals and to protect their resource base in times of drought. The recommendations developed under these three solution areas continue the underlying emphasis on mitigation as the foundation for risk management. They also highlight the mutually reinforcing benefits of measures to improve crop and livestock productivity for both risk management and sector growth.
Publication(Washington, DC, 2002-10-30) Jaisaard, Rapeepun ; Christensen, Garry ; Smith, Garry ; Gue, David ; Nacev, AleksandarEconomic progress in Macedonia has been variable and slow during the last 10 years. This slow progress is attributable to the succession of political and economic shocks, and the failure to complete economic reform. Agriculture is an important sector in the Macedonia economy, with production and processing contributing around 18% of GDP. As a small economy with a structural deficit in most food commodities, agricultural trade is essential for Macedonia. Current agricultural trade policy, however, constrains agricultural trade. Most Macedonian imports are covered by free trade agreements under the Stabilization and Association Agreement and with regional trading partners. Direct support for agriculture derives from the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy, and the activities of the State Office for Commodity Reserves (SOCR). Budget support is minimal due to the severe current fiscal restrictions. Most support comes from SOCR, through its purchases of wheat and tobacco to maintain official floor prices. Macedonia has 1.28 million ha of agricultural land, about half cultivable and half pastures. All socially owned land was nationalized in 1993. Existing irrigation schemes have been reduced from 40% to 13%. The state of the country's irrigation system is poor and crop damage during the variable summer dry period is prevalent. Produce quality suffers from lack of needed infrastructure supporting post-harvest treatment and packing. The priority areas for agriculture, the expansion of production, and increase in productivity, require that resources be available to efficient private producers, including efficient small ones, and a processing and marketing chain, so that they can expand in areas where they are competitive. This will require a comprehensive restructuring of government policies and support.