Gautam, Madhur

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 - 6 of 6
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    Debt Relief for the Poorest : An OED Review of the HIPC Initiative
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2003-04) Gautam, Madhur
    The review by the Operations Evaluation Department finds the Heavily Indebted poor Countries (HIPC) initiative highly relevant in addressing a key obstacle facing many poor countries. If the anticipated debt relief is delivered in full, the initiative will succeed in substantially achieving its fundamental goal of reducing the excessive debt burden of the qualifying countries. But the legitimizing process that helped make the initiative a reality has also expanded its objectives. The initiative seeks to provide a "permanent" exit from debt rescheduling, promote growth, and release resources for social expenditures targeted at poverty reduction. Achieving these objectives will require actions by donors and the HIPC governments that are beyond the scope and means of the initiative. Unmanageable debt is a problem that needs to be effectively dealt with, but it is also a result of economic and political factors constraining growth and poverty reduction. The HIPC Initiative is thus an important but small part of the overall development assistance framework. Having provided the HIPCs with an opportunity for a "fresh start," the international community still faces a challenge in helping these countries set out on a sustainable path for growth and poverty reduction.
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    Agriculture and Water Policy : Toward Sustainable Inclusive Growth
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-03) Ahmed, Syud Amer ; Gautam, Madhur
    This 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.
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    Dynamics of Rural Growth in Bangladesh: Sustaining Poverty Reduction
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2016-06-15) Gautam, Madhur ; Faruqee, Rashid
    The 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.
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    Agriculture for Inclusive Growth in Uganda
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012) Zorya, Sergiy ; Kshirsagar, Varun ; Gautam, Madhur ; Odwongo, Willy ; Sebudde, Rachel
    Agriculture 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.
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    Bangladesh Rural Income Diagnostic: Enabling Faster and More Equal Income Growth in Rural Bangladesh
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2021-11-30) Genoni, Maria Eugenia ; Ahmed, Md Mansur ; Gautam, Madhur ; Tillan, Pablo Antonio
    This Rural Income Diagnostic (RID) aims to answer the question: “What are the main opportunities and constraints to faster, sustained income growth for poor and vulnerable households in rural Bangladesh” This analysis is motivated by recent evidence highlighting the centrality of rural areas for poverty reduction in Bangladesh and the need to update our understanding of rural income dynamics to better inform policy solutions. The objective of the analysis is to inform the World Bank Systematic Country Diagnostic and governmentplanning. The analysis focuses on areas where progress can be made in the next five years, consistent with the country’s long-term development path. The focus on short-term priorities to accelerate rural income growth needs to be implemented in a manner that is consistent with, and does not distract from, long-run goals and investments that will have very high future returns, especially for the poor. These include investments in child nutrition, health, and education.
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    Too Small to Be Beautiful?: The Farm Size and Productivity Relationship in Bangladesh
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-03) Gautam, Madhur ; Ahmed, Mansur
    This 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.