Although the generalization has many important caveats, across the world the most efficient and productive agriculture is situated in countries in which farms are family-owned,large-scale and mechanized. However, comparisons of farming productivity across countries cannot easily identify the essential barriers to augmenting farming productivity, as countries differ in their property rights regimes, financial systems, labor markets, agroclimatic conditionsand other institutional and environmental features. A vast literature has highlighted, usually one at a time, various market imperfections as constraining agricultural productivity in poor countries. These include, for example, credit market barriers, lack of insurance, problems of worker effort, and labor market transaction costs. However, many of these market problems are not confined to poor countries. Moral hazard and adverse selection afflict credit markets in all settings, and farmers do not have unlimited access to capital anywhere in the world. Nor dofamily farms in many developed countries use employment schemes that differ importantly from those used in those low -income settings where family farms also dominate. And most farmers inhigh-income countries do not participate in formal crop, income or weather insurance markets. It is thus unlikely that labor market problems or lack of insurance or even credit constraints, can alone account for the large differences in the productivity of farms across many developed and developing countries.
The root cause of climate change is the buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs), most significantly carbon dioxide (CO2), in the Earth’s atmosphere.1 The accumulation of these gases creates a “thermal blanket” of sorts, resulting in excessive solar heat and energy in our atmosphere.2 Coal-fired electric power plants are responsible for almost forty percent of GHG emissions in the U.S.3 Mitigating the onset of climate change, therefore, will require vast reductions in GHG emissions in the power generation sector.
In recent times there has been a renewed interest in relationships between redistribution, growth and welfare. Land reforms have been central to strategies to improve the asset base of the poor in developing countries thought their effectiveness has been hindered by political constraints on implementation. In this paper we use panel data on the sixteen main Indian states from 1958 to 1992 to consider whether the large volume of land reforms as have been legislated have had an appreciable impact on growth and poverty. The evidence presented suggests that land reforms do appear to be associated with poverty reduction.
No single set of policy initiatives by this government could be as significant as land and agrarian reforms for providing sustainable livelihoods to the poor majority in the agriculture sector, and by linkage, to those in the rest of the country. This argument rests on several planks in Pakistan’s unique institutional and socio-economic context. This policy brief reviews the vantage points from which the case for land reform can be advocated. However, prior to that, we establish that landholdings are indeed highly concentrated and that large landlords continue to wield tremendous political and economic influence due to land ownership.
Founded in August 1947 after its separation from British India, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has a land area of 770,100 square kilometers excluding Azad Kashmir and the Northern Areas, which are disputed by Pakistan and India. Pakistan inherited an agrarian system from the British Raj characterized by land ownership concentrated in the hands of feudal lords. By collaborating with other power centers to amass more wealth and power, these large land owners have hindered the social and economic progress of the rural population.
The Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) is a major outcome of the Uruguay Round. It came into force on 1 January 1995 as part of the single undertaking. The preamble to the AoA recognizes that the agreed long-term objective of the reform process initiated by the Uruguay Round is to establish a fair and market-oriented agricultural trading system. The reform programme comprises specific commitments to reduce support and protection in the areas of domestic support, export subsidies and market access. The AoA provides for implementation of the programme in an equitable manner among all Members by including aspects relating to nontrade concerns, such as food security and the need to protect the environment. At the Fourth World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Meeting in Doha in 2001, Members agreed to further reform the AoA by making substantial improvements in all areas. However, the timeframe envisaged could not be adhered to because of a lack of consensus.
Agriculture accounts for around a fifth of the national output in Pakistan, and the crop farming sector within agriculture is responsible for less than a tenth of the gross domestic product.1 landlessness remains a key but not the predominant correlate of rural poverty.2 formal sector employment now has as strong an impact on rural incomes as access to land, but the social and political power associated with land ownership can be critical in gaining access to rationed public resources including government jobs.3land ownership is highly unequal both in terms of the prevalence of landlessness, and in the concentration of land in relatively large sized ownership holdings. Around half of all rural households do not own any land, and the top 5 per cent own over a third of all cultivated area.
Can simple government programs effectively promote voluntary initiatives to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions? This paper provides an evaluation of how the Connecticut Clean Energy Communities program affects household decisions to voluntarily purchase “green” electricity, which is electricity generated from renewable sources of energy. The results suggest that, within participating communities, subsidizing municipal solar panels as matching grants for reaching green-electricity enrollment targets increases the number of household purchases by 35 percent. The Clean Energy Communities program thus demonstrates how mostly symbolic incentives can mobilize voluntary initiatives within communities and promote demand for renewable energy.
Before the introduction of the high-yielding varieties of food grain in the late 1960s the argument for land reform ‘was a simple one. It was observed that small farms had a higher yield per acre than large farms,1 favour of the smaller mere would improve average yields hi agriculture. Hence and reforms were considered advisable both on grounds that they would reduce the degree of inequality of rural incomes, as well as on grounds of efficiency. The efficiency argument or land reforms in Pakistan gathered momentum in the 1950s when agricultural stagnation began to fetter the growth of industry.2 Agriculture provided not only food grains for the rising urban population but also provided most of the foreign exchange with which industrial machinery and raw materials were imported. Accordingly, slow agricultural growth generated both a crisis in the balance of payments as well as food shortages in the urban sector.