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 - 10 of 11
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.
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.
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 AntonioThis 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.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-01) Gautam, Madhur ; Lele, Uma ; Kartodihardjo, Hariadi ; Khan, Azis ; Erwinsyah, Ir. ; Rana, SaeedThis case study is one of six evaluations of the implementation of the World Bank's 1991 Forest Strategy. This and the other cases (Brazil, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, and India) complement a review of the entire set of lending and nonlending activities of the World Bank Group and the Global Environment Facility. A review of World Bank assistance to Indonesia in the forest sector since 1991 faces two challenges. The first is maintaining a distinction between an assessment based on quick solutions to outstanding problems and one based on long-term underlying objectives and historical facts, and how they shaped government and Bank actions toward Indonesia's forests until 1997. The second challenge is to assess the performance of the Bank's 1991 Forest Strategy in a situation where, despite largely adopting the principles that its strategy espouses, the Bank has been unable to influence the rate of destruction of natural forests. Following a brief discussion of the background and context to the current forest sector situation in Indonesia, this review is divided into two parts. The first part presents the state of the forests and the forest sector and identifies the pressures on forests and the key issues. The second part assesses the Bank's involvement in the sector and concludes with the main findings of the review.
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, 2003-04) Gautam, MadhurThe 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.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-09) Ali, Daniel Ayalew ; Dercon, Stefan ; Gautam, MadhurThis paper provides evidence from one of the poorest countries of the world that the property rights matter for efficiency, investment, and growth. With all land state-owned, the threat of land redistribution never appears far off the agenda. Land rental and leasing have been made legal, but transfer rights remain restricted and the perception of continuing tenure insecurity remains quite strong. Using a unique panel data set, this study investigates whether transfer rights and tenure insecurity affect household investment decisions, focusing on trees and shrubs. The panel data estimates suggest that limited perceived transfer rights, and the threat of expropriation, negatively affect long-term investment in Ethiopian agriculture, contributing to the low returns from land and perpetuating low growth and poverty.
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.
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.