Disaster risk reduction is the preparation and application of policies, strategies and practices to minimize vulnerabilities and hence disaster risk throughout society. It is the concept and practice of reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyze and manage the causal factors of disasters, including through reduced exposure to hazards, lessened vulnerability of people and property, wise management of land and the environment, and improved preparedness for adverse events.
Disaster Management is a collective term encompassing all aspects of planning for, preparing and responding to disasters and refers to the management of the consequences of disasters and includes all the pre and post disaster interventions.
Climate change is a global phenomenon and a challenging reality for thinkers, planners, policymakers and professionals alike. It is a phenomenon that is likely to impact almost every sector of Pakistan’s economy. Today it stands not only as a major environmental issue but also as a multi-dimensional developmental issue. It was in this backdrop that the Planning Commission of Pakistan set up a ‘Task Force on Climate Change’ (TFCC) in October 2008 to provide appropriate guidelines for ensuring security of vital resources of the country such as food, water and energy. The key task assigned to the TFCC was to contribute to the formulation of a climate change policy that would assist the government in pursuing the paramount goal of sustained economic growth by appropriately addressing the challenges posed by the climate change.
As concern increases over the impacts of climate change, policymakers are seeking cost effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which do not undermine the achievement of development objectives. The carbon market, which equates to over US$100 billion annually, is an important part of this quest as it allows those with high costs of abatement to pay others with lower costs to undertake emission-reducing activities. In this way, the overall costs of reducing emissions at a global level can be considerably lowered. As many of these low cost emission reduction opportunities are in developing countries, carbon projects could be beneficial for development as well as for addressing climate change. Carbon projects could offer a way of tapping into additional funds to finance development programs.
Land reform is probably one of the most difficult domestic policy issues to be dealt with by Zimbabwe, Namibia, South Africa and Australia. In each of these countries the process of land reform is incomplete. Zimbabwe, on one side of the spectrum, is facing a crisis in democratization due to its radical approach to land reform. On the other side of the spectrum is Australia which, as a stable and respected democracy, has difficulty explaining why the land needs of sucha small minority of its people cannot be dealt with more effectively. In between there is Namibia, where the winds of change and the pressure to ‘radicalise’land reform are increasing. And then there is South Africa where systems and policies to deal with land reform are probably the most advanced from a legal perspective, but where the resources, patience and other practical issues to execute reform effectively are becoming serious hurdles in implementing policies.
In April 2008, Washington identified Pakistan as a “Global Food Initiative” priority country needing assistance in addressing its food security situation. It is expected that such assistance will play an important role in enhancing stability in Pakistan and within the region. In the following months, USAID/Pakistan initiated an effort to design a food and agriculture project in response to this initiative. An initial concept paper was prepared as a first step in the project design effort. The present paper expands that initial step into a more detailed project description. Pakistan is characterized by a high degree of income inequality and geographic disparities, two major sources of potential destabilization. Those divisions are particularly pronounced in the rural areas, where most of the rural poor lack access to land, irrigation water and other factors of production. Reducing poverty and income inequality will require revitalization of the rural economy.
Contract farming is one solution to overcome market related transaction costs. When transaction costs are small or absent, market transactions are usually efficient and improve aggregate welfare. However, when transaction costs are high, or markets fail owing to reasons like asymmetric information, a number of voluntary but non-spot transactions are often carried out between economic agents. There are many ways that markets fail in Indian agriculture. Imperfect credit markets, lump sum transportation costs for small amounts of produce, imperfect information about market prices, lack of technological knowledge, inability of small and marginal farmers to absorb the risks of loss, etc. are only a few of them. In this paper we look at specific cases to see how some of these problems have been solved through agreements among farmers and between farmers and integrators.
During the past couple of decades the integration of poor countries in global agricultural markets accelerated with increased food exports originating from developing countries. At the same time, there have been important structural changes in global agrifood markets. The structure of world food trade, and especially of developing countries’ exports, has changed dramatically with traditional tropical export products (such as coffee, cocoa, and tea) loosing importance and non-traditional high-value commodities (such as horticulture and seafood products) gaining importance. In addition, food trade is increasingly consolidated with large multinational food companies (such as retail chains and processing companies) increasingly dominating global agri-food chains. Moreover, food standards (including for example food quality and safety standards) have been increasing very sharply and global agri-food trade is increasingly regulated through public as well as private standards.
TR A C T O R I Z A T I O N o f agriculture i n low-wage countries has been the center of one of the most virulent and emotional choice-of-techniques debate for the past 20 years. It is there-fore not surprising that, apart f r o m spawning large quantities of theoretical-conceptual literature and a massive a m o u n t of partisan writing , it has also led to a very substantial amount of careful empiric al w o r k at the micro- and macro levels. In particular, there are now available a large n u m b e r of farm-level tractor surveys from mpractically every agroclimatic zone in the I n d i a n subcontinent. How ever, many of these surveys are not easily accessible (masters andPh.D. theses) or not easily comparable. T h e main effort of this paperis to assemble the studies and present their findings in a way whichmakes t h e m comparable across agroclimatic zones. Whatever meritthis s u m m a r y may have thus goes in large part to the patient (andsometimes u n r e w a r d i n g ) effort of the many researchers w h o assembled the basic facts initially. Of course, they cannot be held responsible for mistakes or misinterpretations w h i c h m i g h t have occurred inthe summarization process.
One of the important economic arguments in favor of the equitable distribution of farmland is that smaller farms are more productive. A large portion of the economic development literature is devoted to this topic, with arguments going both for and against the notion that smaller farms are more productive. This essay, on the relationship between farm size and productivity, builds on the study J. Mohan Rao and I completed for the UNDP and Ministerio de Hacienda del Paraguay (Masterson and Rao 1999). This essay departs from the earlier work, using more recent data, allowing for comparison between two time periods, and by employing both stochastic and nonparametric techniques for generating technical efficiency measurements, an alternative to the factor productivity measures used in the original study.