LAC Occasional Paper Series

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The LCSSD Occasional Paper Series is a publication of the Sustainable Development Department (LCSSD) in the World Bank’s Latin America and the Caribbean Region. The papers in this series are the result of economic and technical research conducted by members of the LCSSD community. The series addresses issues that are relevant to the region’s environmental and social sustainability; water, urban, energy and transport sector development; agriculture, forestry and rural development; as well as cross-cutting topics related to sustainable development such as climate change; logistics; crime and violence; and spatial economics. While all papers in this series are peer reviewed and cleared by the LCSSD Economics Unit on behalf of the Director of LCSSD, the findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed in this paper, as in all publications of the LCSSD Occasional Paper Series, are entirely those of the authors and should not be attributed in any manner to the World Bank, to its affiliated organizations or to members of its Board of Executive Directors or the countries they represent. The World Bank does not garantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequences of their use.

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  • Publication
    Agricultural Support Policies and Programs in Jamaica 2006-2011
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-11) Arias, Diego; Gurria, Martin; Pena, Hector; Brown-Knowlton, Mildred; Boyce, Rachel; Smikle, Conrad
    An 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.
  • Publication
    Determinants of Agricultural Extension Services : The Case of Haiti
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-05-24) Arias, Diego; Leguía, Juan José; Sy, Abdoulaye
    The Haitian population is among the poorest in the world, with over 78 percent living on less than United States (U.S.) 2 dollar a day and over 50 percent living on less than U.S. 1 dollar a day. This paper extracts relevant lessons from historical data on factors influencing the receipt of extension services in Haiti, taking stock of the use of agricultural extension services prior to the 2010 earthquake. The goal is to influence future policies and development projects involving the provision of extension services as well as the type of extension services offered. This paper uses data from the 2010 agricultural census and examines the characteristics of farmers in Haiti receiving extension services by gender, education, agricultural training, farm size, and type of crop. Through in-depth study of each variable and a review of trends in the receipt of agricultural extension services, the study analyzes the equilibrium between the demand for and supply of extension services to particular farmer groups. The study draws the following nine key conclusions: (1) the proportion of households receiving agricultural extension services in Haiti is non-negligible; (2) location is an important determinant of the recipients of agricultural extension services; (3) there are no statistical differences between men and women in terms of receipt of extension services; however, the impact of agricultural training and farm size change when the head of household is a woman; (4) education level has a positive, yet small, effect on receiving extension services; (5) prior agricultural training is a major determinant of the recipients of extension services; (6) rehabilitation of the Ecoles Moyennes Agricoles (EMAs) for vocational and farmer field education on a nationwide scale will increase the demand for extension services, especially among small farmers; (7) farmers with larger farms receive more agricultural extension services; (8) coffee producers make more use of extension services than other farmers; and (9) promoting a hybrid system of extension may be more efficient than supporting only public or Non-governmental organizations (NGO) provided extension services.
  • Publication
    Agro-Logistics in Central America: A Supply Chain Approach
    (Washington, DC, 2012-06) World Bank
    This chapter uses supply chain analysis (SCA) to identify transport and logistics bottlenecks that add costs, times and uncertainty to the exportation of perishable agricultural products from Central America. Macro-level analyses of logistics performance, including the logistics performance index, Doing Business Reports and Enterprise Surveys of the World Bank, as well as the Global Competitiveness Index of the Global Economic Forum, often leave policy-makers unclear on exactly what poor performance means for exporters and producers in Central America. How does poor road quality eat away at the profit margins of my country's producers? Extensive procedures add time to export processes, but how much time? How and to what extend does this additional time hurt the competitiveness of key industries? How does this effect vary by product type? By tracking the movement of seven carefully selected exports, these supply chains complement macro-level analyses by answering these questions for some of the region's key agricultural exports. A range of unique characteristics makes the success of perishable exports exceedingly dependent on the efficiency of the related logistics systems and the ability to connect effectively and reliably to global supply chains. Remote production zones add cost, time and variability to transport from the farm gate to the distribution, collection or processing center. Increasingly complicated international sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS) add institutional and procedural complexity to the supply chain. Above all, the time sensitivity of most perishable products increases the value of time and makes cold chain infrastructure and the availability of refrigerated containers essential for successful exportation.
  • Publication
    Freight Flows,Logistics Costs, and Efficiency: Optimal Path Analysis
    (Washington, DC, 2012-06) World Bank
    In Central America, cargo is transported almost entirely by road. The movement of imports and exports to and from international seaports is done by truck. Rail service is almost nonexistent and air transport serves less than one percent of the cargo generated within the Central American Common Market (SIECA, 2004). Intra-regional trade is much more important in Central America than it might seem at first glance. The second largest trading partner of Central America is the region itself. In 2010, one quarter of the exports from Central America were destined for final consumption within the region. Half of the exports of Central America (54 percent in 2010) correspond to agricultural products and a large proportion of them supply markets inside the region. Nearly 40 percent of intra-regional exports consist of food, beverages, animals and plants (SIECA, 2011). Perishable food products are transported on trucks, and spatially restricted by the geography and the road infrastructure. In this context, inefficiencies in the supply chain and delays in freight flows lead to economic losses and amplify the negative impact of the distance to the markets on trade. A gravity model of trade showed that the negative effect of distance1 on total intra-regional exports is 77 percent higher in Central America than in the European Union (World Bank, 2010). More precisely, an increase in distance by 1 percent is expected to reduce intra-regional bilateral exports in Central America by 1.65 percent. In terms of volume, the negative effect of distance within the region exceeds the effect in Europe by 50 percent in grains and up to 550 percent in processed food. In the latter case, an increase in distance by 1 percent is expected to reduce intra-regional bilateral exports of processed food in Central America by 2.88 percent.
  • Publication
    Improving Agricultural Productivity and Market Efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean : How ICTs Can Make a Difference?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-03) Goyal, Aparajita
    Agricultural growth rates in the Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region have been much slower than the rest of the developing world. In the regions of East Asia, South Asia and Middle East and North Africa, the annual growth of agricultural Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1980-2004 exceeded 3 percent, while growth in Sub- Saharan Africa averaged almost 3 percent. This paper attempts to present an overview of the agricultural sector in LAC, discuss its distinctive features, and the potential role of Information and Communication Technology's (ICTs) in improving agricultural productivity and market efficiency in this region. The discussion in this paper will refer to the evidence provided by studies that evaluate the impact of ICTs interventions. While the emphasis will be put on the studies that evaluate interventions in the LAC region, there will also be references to studies in other developing economies whenever these are pertinent to the LAC context. The commercialization of agricultural products has suffered important transformations in recent decades, posing big challenges for farmers in the LAC region. Finally, the adoption of agricultural technologies will also be constrained by insecure land rights. Investing in technologies with long-run returns will not be attractive if farmers are uncertain about their property rights in the future (Jack, 2011). This is certainly an issue in several countries in LAC, where land conflicts, expropriation and de facto ownership are common.
  • Publication
    Implications of the Organization of the Commodity Production and Processing Industry : The Soybean Chain in Argentina
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-01) Regunaga, Marcelo
    The study includes four sections: i) brief production background; ii) description of the Argentine soybean value chain; iii) evolution of the main policies and institutional regimes in Argentina; iv) lessons learned related to the political economy and the industrial organization. The study describes the main policies implemented in Argentina during the last two decades which had impact on the structure of the soybean value chain and its performance. The dramatic changes registered in some of such policies, as well as in the international scenario, provide interesting background to better understand the evolution and performance of the Argentine industry in the global soybean value chain.