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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-11) Arias, Diego ; Gurria, Martin ; Pena, Hector ; Brown-Knowlton, Mildred ; Boyce, Rachel ; Smikle, ConradAn analysis of Jamaica's agriculture support policies and programs shows that Jamaican consumers are financing the bulk of supports to the agriculture sector. This report estimates the agriculture public support policies and programs of Jamaica between 2006 and 2011. This analysis of the agriculture programs and policies provides an understanding of the level and composition by type of support for different crops and livestock producers during 2010-2011. The estimate of total agriculture supports (measured as the total support estimate, TSE) in Jamaica in 2011 was approximately United States (U.S.) 675 million dollars (J$58.071 million), representing 4.7 percent of total gross domestic product (GDP) and 22.7 percent of agriculture GDP. Jamaica has been facing significant development challenges over the last three decades. It is in this context of fiscal restrictions and potential further economic and social stagnation, that the Government of Jamaica and the World Bank have been prompted to take action to better understand the degree and type of support Jamaican farmers are receiving. Once the level of support is understood within Jamaica's economic context, policy and program recommendations can be made to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the support structure, addressing agriculture sector competitiveness issues and constraints. In this context, the report presents introduction; supports to agriculture; and summary and conclusions.
Integrating Central American and International Food Markets : An Analysis of Food Price Transmission in Honduras and Nicaragua(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03-17) Arias, Diego ; De Franco, Mario A.In 2004 the Central American countries of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic signed the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) with the United States and are currently negotiating another agreement with the European Union and others. This study examines the dynamics among international and domestic food markets by assessing the transmission of international prices to domestic prices of key agriculture commodities in Honduras and Nicaragua. It analyzes to what degree, if at all, a change in the international price of a given food product influences the domestic price of that same good, at the level of the consumer and producer and in different regions in each country. This analysis provides important evidence of the price dynamics that guide public policy recommendations for a complementary agenda of agriculture trade liberaliza-tion in the region. There are two methods for analyzing the relationship between international and domestic prices. The first is to conduct a price wedge analysis-to evaluate the difference between international and domestic prices. The second method is to conduct a price transmission analysis by analyzing the variation in the percent growth of international versus domestic prices. Evidence from Nicaragua suggests that for most of the agriculture supply chains studied (except for beans) there is little competition in the country's domestic market structure. A few Nicaraguan companies own the majority share of the market, both to purchase and export agricultural products and to import and sell food domestically. Obtaining information about the structure of domestic agriculture and food markets could shed light on country-specific impediments from domestic market structure to increasing agriculture growth, reducing poverty, and improving rural competitiveness. Information on domestic market structure was difficult to obtain for this study, particularly for Honduras. But, even in a context where the domestic market structure concentrates purchasing and selling power in a few agribusiness companies, price transmission could be high.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03-17) Arias, Diego ; Ferreira Lamas, Alfredo ; Kpaka, MusaA commodity exchange is a goods and financial market where different groups of participants trade commodities and commodity-linked contracts, with the underlying objective of transferring exposure to commodity price risks (UNCTAD). A commodity exchange that only trades goods is known as a physical or 'cash or forward' market, while the exchange that trades price derivatives is known as financial or 'futures and options' market (see Glossary for detailed definitions). Some agriculture commodity exchanges have both. Agricultural commodity exchanges date as far back as the early 18th century. Modern exchanges, notably the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was created in 1848, recently merged with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), is one the oldest and most successful futures exchanges worldwide. Today several agricultural commodity exchanges exist throughout the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. They facilitate trade and financial products in countries whose economies have a relatively large share of primary and secondary agricultural activities or either account for auctions on substantial food imports. This report looks at the current development of agricultural commodity exchanges in the LAC region and offers public policy recommendations that can foster the development of such exchange markets.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03-17) Arias, Diego ; Carneus, MaximeHaiti is an important rice consumer, and a big rice importer. Around 86 percent of the Haitian population consumes rice. The decision to implement an indirect subsidy was made based on the fact that import prices had in the past been transmitted fully and immediately to rice consumers. Thus, a subsidy to the price of rice at the level of the importers was expected to be passed on immediately into benefits (savings) to rice consumers. The Government also prohibited rice exports to the Dominican Republic in order to avoid re-export of subsidized rice. The subsidy scheme was implemented by forming a public-private sector Presidential Commission between the Central Bank of Haiti (BRH), the President's Office and rice importers. Although the rice price subsidy program did produce the intended savings to Haitian consumers during the 4-month period of the subsidy program (April-August 2008), this intervention caused medium term distortions in the domestic market of imported rice such that domestic prices of imported rice have risen beyond the price that consumers would have faced without a subsidy program. The actual prices consumers faced after the subsidy program was implemented were much more volatile than the estimated price without a subsidy program, pointing to also an increased consumer uncertainty about local market prices for rice. Using a targeted food voucher as a subsidy mechanism is not only more efficient, but can have higher impact on nutrition as it can be used for a wide variety.