Global Practice on Agriculture
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Agriculture, Rural development
Global Practice on Agriculture
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Madhur Gautam is a Lead Economist with the Agriculture Global Practice at the World Bank. He has a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Maryland. His experience at the World Bank over the past 25 years spans Development Economics (Research), the Agricultural Policies Unit, the Independent Evaluation Group, and Operations. He has focused mainly on agricultural and food policy analysis and strategy, and has wide experience in economic and policy analysis and dialogue in Africa and South Asia.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 8 of 8
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-03) Ahmed, Syud Amer ; Gautam, MadhurThis paper reviews Pakistan's agriculture performance and analyzes its agriculture and water policies. It discusses the nature of rural poverty and emphasizes the reasons why agricultural growth is a critical component to any pro-poor growth strategy for Pakistan. It supports these arguments by summarizing key results from recent empirical analysis where the relative benefits of agricultural versus non-agricultural led growth are examined. The results also provide an illustration of farm and non-farm linkages. It summarizes recent performance of the agriculture sector, and discusses key characteristics of its sluggish productivity growth. Three key issues related to increasing productivity are discussed: namely technology, water use and water management, and policy reforms related to markets and trade that can strengthen the enabling environment and contribute to the promotion of diversification towards high value agriculture.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016-06-15) Gautam, Madhur ; Faruqee, RashidThe rural economy in Bangladesh has powerfully advanced economic growth and substantially reduced poverty, especially since 2000, but the remarkable transformation and unprecedented dynamism in rural Bangladesh remain an underexplored, underappreciated, and largely untold story. Dynamics of Rural Growth in Bangladesh: Sustaining Poverty Reduction tells that story and inquires what specific actions Bangladesh might take—given the residual poverty and persistent malnutrition—to accelerate and channel its rural dynamism to sustain the gains in eliminating poverty, achieving shared prosperity, and advancing national aspirations to achieve middle-income status. The central element of this study, undertaken with the Government of Bangladesh Planning Commission to address key questions elicited through extensive consultation, is an empirical analysis that illuminates the underlying dynamics of rural growth, particularly the role of agriculture and its relationship to the nonfarm economy. Using all sources of data available for the macro-, meso-, and microhousehold levels, the analysis provides new evidence on changes in the rural economy and the principal drivers of rural incomes. It also examines market performance for high-value agricultural products and agriculture–nutrition linkages, based on new surveys and analysis. The resulting evidence, examined in light of the rich knowledge of rural development in Bangladesh, is used to delineate the implications for policy and the strategic priorities for sustaining future rural development, poverty reduction, food security, and nutrition. The effects of policy reforms, changes in technology, and investments in infrastructure and human capital described here, along with the persistent enterprise of rural Bangladeshi households, offer a compelling case study of how mutually reinforcing actions can trigger the highly-sought-after virtuous cycle of rural development. The findings clearly demonstrate the pro-poor nature of agricultural growth and its catalytic role in stimulating the rural nonfarm economy. They show that households have no linear or predictable pathway out of poverty; instead, they wisely employ a combination of farm and nonfarm income strategies to climb out of, and then stay out of, poverty. The results represent a strong contribution to the global thinking on rural transformation and on how agriculture in particular sustains the economic momentum that fosters poverty reduction and more widespread prosperity.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012) Zorya, Sergiy ; Kshirsagar, Varun ; Gautam, Madhur ; Odwongo, Willy ; Sebudde, RachelAgriculture is critical for sustainable development and poverty reduction, and agricultural growth can be a powerful means for inclusive growth. Uganda's success in using agriculture for development and inclusive growth will depend on a variety of factors, some of which are within the sector, some are cross-cutting and general to the economy, and some are outside Uganda's sphere of influence, such as the global and regional price development of agricultural commodities. This policy note focuses on those factors that Ugandan policymakers can influence, both within and outside the direct mandate of agricultural policymakers. The key policy question in the Ugandan context is how to shift as many farmers as possible out of subsistence agriculture into commercial agriculture. During the past two decades, a diverse array of initiatives has promoted the commercialization of smallholder agriculture in Uganda. This policy note presents major interventions needed to accelerate agricultural commercialization. This policy note is part of the larger analytical work carried out by the World Bank on inclusive growth in Uganda. It therefore feeds into that larger effort. This note does not deal with migration from rural to urban areas because that topic is covered in other notes.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02) Gouel, Christophe ; Gautam, Madhur ; Martin, William J. ; `Martin, Will J.India has pursued an active food security policy for many years, using a combination of trade policy interventions, public distribution of food staples, and assistance to farmers through minimum support prices defended by public stocks. This policy has been quite successful in stabilizing staple food prices, but at a high cost, and with potential risks of unmanageable stock accumulation. Based on a rational expectations storage model representing the Indian wheat market and its relation to the rest of the world, this paper analyzes the cost and welfare implications of this policy and unpacks the contribution of its different elements. To analyze alternative policies, social welfare is assumed to include an objective of price stabilization and optimal policies corresponding to this objective are assessed. Considering fully optimal policies under commitment as well as optimal simple rules, it is shown that adopting simple rules can achieve most of the gains from fully optimal policies, with both potentially allowing for lower stockholding levels and costs.
Repurposing Agricultural Policies and Support: Options to Transform Agriculture and Food Systems to Better Serve the Health of People, Economies, and the Planet(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-01-24) Gautam, Madhur ; Laborde, David ; Mamun, Abdullah ; Martin, Will ; Pineiro, Valeria ; Vos, RobThe report finds that repurposing a portion of government spending on agriculture each year to develop and disseminate more emission-efficient technologies for crops and livestock could reduce overall emissions from agriculture by more than 40 percent. Meanwhile, millions of hectares of land could be restored to natural habitats. The economic payoffs to this type of repurposing would be large. Redirecting about $70 billion a year, equivalent to one percent of global agricultural output, would yield a net benefit of over $2 trillion in 20 years.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-11) Zorya, Sergiy ; Gautam, Madhur ; Tesfaye, Teklu ; Babaev, Sandjar ; Nazarov, ParkhodPublic expenditures matter a lot for agricultural growth, food and nutrition security, sustainable food systems, and other interlinked developmental outcomes. The level of agricultural public spending is important as small budgets can rarely deliver results, let alone drive any transformation of the sector. Yet, global experience clearly shows that although greater spending on agriculture is important, it does not always guarantee better outcomes unless: (i) funds are allocated to the ‘right’ programs and functions, which help address market failures and deliver public goods (i.e., allocative efficiency); (ii) the right programs are being implemented well (i.e. implementation efficiency); and (iii) public expenditures are supported by market-friendly agricultural policies (i.e., no agricultural price distortions). Spending more on agriculture without making progress on all the above-mentioned conditions is not recommended, because higher public spending without progress on agricultural development could result in fiscal, inflation, exchange rate, and other macroeconomic risks, which would backfire on the agriculture sector itself in the medium to long run. The quality of public spending is, therefore, an important issue, which has become even more urgent during and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis. The crisis required Uzbekistan to make substantial unforeseen public expenditures, which resulted in the larger public borrowing and lower fiscal space in the future. This report presents a review of Uzbekistan’s AgPER to contribute to the policy dialogue on the repurposing of public expenditures and getting more value for money. This is the second AgPER for Uzbekistan prepared by the World Bank in the last three years. The first AgPER was completed in 2019. It fed into the Agricultural Strategy, which was being prepared at that time and later approved in October 2019. It set the 2016-2018 baseline of agricultural public expenditures for the Agricultural Strategy, underpinning Annex 4, which presented the direction of the major repurposing of agricultural public expenditures by 2030. The expenditure repurposing encompassed the phasing out of direct subsidies coupled with production conditions and a move toward more efficient farm support instruments, such as climate-smart direct farm support and investments in general support services to increase the developmental impact of public expenditures. The first AgPER presented global lessons about the impacts of various types of agricultural public expenditures (for example, their functional composition) on developmental outcomes in the agriculture sector, which were considered in preparation of Annex 4 of the Agricultural Strategy.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2020) Fuglie, Keith ; Gautam, Madhur ; Goyal, Aparajita ; Maloney, William F.This book documents frontier knowledge on the drivers of agriculture productivity to derive pragmatic policy advice for governments and development partners on reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity. The analysis describes global trends and long-term sources of total factor productivity growth, along with broad trends in partial factor productivity for land and labor, revisiting the question of scale economies in farming. Technology is central to growth in agricultural productivity, yet across many parts of the developing world, readily available technology is never taken up. We investigate demand-side constraints of the technology equation to analyze factors that might influence producers, particularly poor producers, to adopt modern technology. Agriculture and food systems are rapidly transforming, characterized by shifting food preferences, the rise and growing sophistication of value chains, the increasing globalization of agriculture, and the expanding role of the public and private sectors in bringing about efficient and more rapid productivity growth. In light of this transformation, the analysis focuses on the supply side of the technology equation, exploring how the enabling environment and regulations related to trade and intellectual property rights stimulate Research and Development to raise productivity. The book also discusses emerging developments in modern value chains that contribute to rising productivity. This book is the fourth volume of the World Bank Productivity Project, which seeks to bring frontier thinking on the measurement and determinants of productivity to global policy makers.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-03) Gautam, Madhur ; Ahmed, MansurThis paper examines the agricultural productivity–farm size relationship in the context of Bangladesh. Features of Bangladesh's agriculture help overcome several limitations in testing the inverse farm size–productivity relationship in other developing country settings. A stochastic production frontier model is applied using data from three rounds of a household panel survey to estimate simultaneously the production frontier and the technical inefficiency functions. The “correlated random effects” approach is used to control for unobserved heterogeneous household effects. Methodologically, the results suggest that the stochastic production frontier models that ignore the inefficiency function are likely mis-specified, and may result in misleading conclusions on the farm size–productivity relationship. Empirically, the findings confirm that the farm size and productivity relationship is negative, but with the inverse relationship diminishing over time. Total factor productivity growth, driven by technical change, is found to have been robust across the sample. Across farm size groups, the relatively larger farmers experienced faster technical change, which helped them to catch up and narrow the productivity gap with the smaller farmers.