Development Knowledge and Learning

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The Development Knowledge and Learning series is geared toward making specialized World Bank knowledge rapidly available to policy makers and the development community. Studies in the series comprise the knowledge outputs of the Bank's operational work, tend to be focused on narrowly defined topics, and can include works in progress that are disseminated for discussion purposes.

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    Revising Public Agricultural Support to Mitigate Climate Change
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020-05-04) Searchinger, Timothy D. ; Malins, Chris ; Dumas, Patrice ; Baldock, David ; Glauber, Joe ; Jayne, Thomas ; Huang, Jikun ; Marenya, Paswell
    Agriculture generates roughly one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. By 2050, without major mitigation efforts, agricultural emissions are likely to reach levels that would make meeting global climate targets practically unachievable. Meanwhile, countries that produce two-thirds of the world's agricultural output provided US$600 billion per year in agricultural financial support on average from 2014 to 2016. By evaluating these support programs, both overall and with six case studies, this report finds that many governments have moved to make their farm support less likely to distort what farmers produce, but only a modest portion of programs support environmental objectives, and even fewer support the mitigation of climate change. Out of US$300 billion in direct spending, only 9 percent explicitly supports conservation, while another 12 percent supports research and technical assistance. Instances in which receiving government funding is contingent upon supporting environmental objectives provide models on which to build but so far have produced only modest environmental benefits. Because crop and pasture yields need to grow dramatically to avoid more deforestation and other conversion of native habitats, mitigation priorities include help for farmers to boost yields and livestock productivity. Yet to avoid inadvertently encouraging more conversion, this aid must be conditioned on the protection of forests and other native areas. Overall, climate-oriented support for agriculture should have as a guiding principle increasing the efficient use of land and other natural resources. Incentive programs should be structured so that they offer graduated payments for higher climate performance. Governments should also prioritize coordinated projects across multiple producers to explore critically needed innovations in farm management, and should support those projects with research and technical assistance.
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    Strengthening Cross-Border Value Chains: Opportunities for India and Bangladesh
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020) Kathuria, Sanjay ; Mathur, Priya ; Kathuria, Sanjay ; Mathur, Priya ; Gitau, Ciliaka Millicent W. ; Khanna, Aman ; Manghnani, Ruchita
    It is widely agreed that, over the past decade, accelerating infrastructure investments in India's North Eastern Region (NER) and neighboring countries, along with connectivity agreements with Bangladesh, hold immense promise for unlocking NER's economic potential. Other global trends, such as the growing incomes and consumer awareness in India and neighboring countries; a rising preference for fresh, healthy, safe, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible products; the growing role of services in manufacturing; and increasing demand for skilled resources are also very favorable for NER. Together, these developments can help NER showcase its strengths in agriculture and services, thereby developing value chains in these sectors, which will lead to sustainable, better-paying, job opportunities for the people of NER. In this context, the World Bank, in consultation with stakeholders--government, private sector, and academia--analyzed two cross-cutting constraints that are encountered across all value chains and sectors in NER: connectivity and logistics, and product standards and quality infrastructure. These are discussed in Playing to Strengths: A Policy Framework for Mainstreaming Northeast India (Kathuria, S., and P. Mathur, eds., 2019, World Bank). This volume is a companion piece to that report; it analyzes four value chains--fruits and vegetables, spices, bamboo and related products, and medical tourism--and provides an assessment of how Bangladesh can benefit from NER’s increasing connectivity and growth prospects. The sector studies emphasize the need to reorient the supply base in NER toward serving the changing global demand and puts an explicit focus on women as well as the bottom 40 percent of the workforce. In light of the mutual benefit offered by economic exchange, improvements in connectivity offer a win-win opportunity for NER and Bangladesh.