Research Topics

EPAR Research Brief #83
Publication Date: 05/28/2010
Type: Research Brief
Abstract

This report provides an overview of poultry market trends in Ghana as compared to the wider West African region. The primary source for this analysis is the 2006 FAO-Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) poultry sector review. We find that poultry production in Ghana takes place in rural areas throughout the country and in commercial operations near urban centers. However, many domestic producers have been unable to compete with frozen poultry imports, resulting in stagnant domestic per capita production and underutilization of production facilities. The country’s coastal ports provide an entry point for poultry imports, which may explain why imports have dominated the country’s market more than in land-locked countries such as Burkina Faso. Opportunities for poultry development in Ghana include expanding the role of domestic producers in supplying geographic and product niches.

EPAR Research Brief #84
Publication Date: 05/28/2010
Type: Research Brief
Abstract

This report provides an overview of poultry market trends in Burkina Faso as compared to the wider West African region. The main resources for this analysis are the FAO Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative working paper Navigating the Livestock Sector: The Political Economy of Livestock Policy in Burkina Faso from 2005 and the FAO-ECTAD poultry sector review from 2007. We find that due in part to the country’s landlocked location, Burkina Faso’s poultry market is comprised almost entirely of domestic producers. Despite the poultry system’s performance and lack of direct competition, the system is not currently meeting market demand for poultry, particularly at holiday periods.  Opportunities exist to increase domestic production and potentially supply the regional market. In addition, the organizational environment is strengthening as the Maison De l’Aviculture (MDA) producer organization works to support poultry sector growth by importing production inputs, providing education, and engaging in policy advocacy.  

EPAR Research Brief #85
Publication Date: 05/25/2010
Type: Research Brief
Abstract

This report provides an overview of poultry market trends in Mali as compared to the wider West African region. In the wake of the avian flu epidemic, the only poultry products currently legal to import are eggs for reproduction and day-old chicks. No poultry meat has been imported into Mali since March 2004. The main resource available for this analysis is the FAO-ECTAD poultry sector review from 2006.  In this report, we find that a majority of Malian families raise poultry and it is an important source of both nutrition and income.  Mali produces over 99 percent of its chicken meat and eggs for consumption domestically. Over 90 percent of production occurs in rural areas, mostly under traditional practices. However, to achieve self-sufficiency in chicken meat and hen eggs for consumption, Mali imports over 60 percent of the hatching eggs and day-old chicks required to replenish its poultry stocks. The policy and organizational environment appears favorable for expanding the sector. There is an ongoing government initiative to support the poultry sector and several producer organizations at all levels of the supply chain. We find that analyses of Mali’s poultry sector suggest that market opportunities exist to increase domestic poultry reproduction capacity, production of poultry products and poultry consumption.

EPAR Research Brief #86
Publication Date: 05/24/2010
Type: Research Brief
Abstract

This report provides an overview of poultry market trends in Senegal as compared to the wider West African region. The primary sources for this analysis include the 2006 FAO-Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases (ECTAD) poultry sector review and a 2004 report from the FAO Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Initiative. We find that poultry production in Senegal takes place in rural areas throughout the country and in commercial operations near urban centers. Senegal implemented a ban on all poultry imports in 2006 in response to avian influenza and pressure from domestic producers. The 2006 poultry import ban has stimulated new growth in domestic production, and the country now produces almost 100 percent of its consumption. Analysts predict that the potential of the domestic market to absorb increased poultry production is quite large.  If given support to overcome production constraints, smallholder poultry keepers and commercial operators have the potential to increase supply in response to growing domestic demand.

EPAR Technical Report #60
Publication Date: 03/05/2010
Type: Literature Review
Abstract

In recent years, product supply chains for agricultural goods have become increasingly globalized. As a result, greater numbers of smallholder farmers in South Asia (SA) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) participate in global supply chains, many of them through contract farming (CF). CF is an arrangement between a farmer and a processing or marketing firm for the production and supply of agricultural products, often at predetermined prices. This literature review finds empirical evidence that demonstrates that the economic and social benefits of CF for smallholder farmers are mixed. A number of studies suggest that CF may improve farmer productivity, reduce production risk and transaction costs, and increase farmer incomes. However, critics caution that CF may undermine farmers’ relative bargaining power and increase health, environmental, and financial risk through exposure to monopsonistic markets, weak contract environments, and unfamiliar agricultural technologies. There is consensus across the literature that CF has the best outcomes for farmers when farmers have more bargaining power to negotiate the terms of the contract. In reviewing the literature on CF, we find a number of challenges to comparing studies and evaluating outcomes across contracts. This literature review summarizes empirical findings and analyses regarding contract models and best practices to increase farmers’ bargaining power and decrease contract default.

EPAR Research Brief #78
Publication Date: 11/06/2009
Type: Literature Review
Abstract

In the decades following independence in 1960, Côte d’Ivoire stood out as a shining example of economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. GDP increased at an annual average of 8.1 percent from 1960 to 1979, led largely by cocoa and coffee exports.  Low export earnings from a fall in world cocoa prices and a heavy public debt burden halted this growth in the 1980s, followed by civil conflict beginning in 1999. Three decades of focus on export crops rather than food crops also left Côte d’Ivoire with a growing food deficit. This literature review examines the state of agriculture in Côte d’Ivoire and the history of government involvement in the agricultural sector. We find that while the country is poised to reemerge from a decade of economic stagnation and civil war after signing the Ouagadougou Political Accord in 2007, the political economy of Côte d’Ivoire is still heavily dependent upon and influenced by the production of cocoa. Cocoa is the top export, and cocoa export taxes provide one of the largest sources of revenue for the Government of Côte d’Ivoire (GoCI). Cocoa is not heavily dependent on fertilizer inputs and growers have increased production by expanding cropland. The small contribution of fertilizer to the production of this essential crop may help explain the GoCI’s low priority on expanding fertilizer production and use. Given that a large part of government revenue comes from the export of cocoa and coffee, the government has chosen to focus resources on crops that increase revenue. Even with the food riots in 2008, the GoCI has not made increasing domestic food production an important focus of agricultural policy.

EPAR Research Brief #77
Publication Date: 11/03/2009
Type: Literature Review
Abstract

Agriculture is the most important sector in the Ghanaian economy. In 2008, it accounted for over 32 percent of GDP and employed over half of the labor force. Economic development in Ghana has historically been dependent on the success of agriculture, particularly the main export crop, cocoa. Despite the sector’s importance, Ghanaian farmers have one of the lowest fertilizer application rates in Sub-Saharan Africa. The combination of a dominant agricultural sector, nutrient-poor soils, low fertilizer use among smallholder farmers, and the absence of locally produced inorganic fertilizers has prompted the government of Ghana (GoG) to intervene in the fertilizer market. This literature review examines the state of agriculture in Ghana, the history of the fertilizer market, and the current market structure. We find that the GoG has been a major actor in the inorganic fertilizer market over the past 50 years, from exercising total control of the domestic supply chain in the 1960s and 1970s to more indirect interventions in later years. In recent years, agricultural growth has averaged 5.5 percent as compared to 5.2 percent growth in the rest of the economy.  However, most of this growth has been due to land expansion and favorable weather conditions rather than increased productivity.  Increased fertilizer use among smallholder farmers has the potential to contribute to future agricultural growth and continued economic success.

EPAR Research Brief #80
Publication Date: 10/19/2009
Type: Literature Review
Abstract

Governments in Sub-Saharan Africa have often intervened in the fertilizer sector to promote more optimal levels of fertilizer use. Many West African nations, in particular, have inherited a legacy of government involvement, stemming from French colonial policies that encouraged state participation in the agricultural sector. Senegal's colonial past has influenced much of its present economy, from its principal export crop (peanuts) to its major food import (rice). The colonial legacy includes a relatively high degree of urbanization; limited domestic industrial capacity; institutions, policies, and agricultural networks focused on supporting a single export crop; and a history of state intervention into markets. After government intervention in the 1960s and 1970s, followed by a period of liberalization in the 1980s and 1990s, Senegal is again defining its agricultural policy. This literature review examines the state of agriculture in Senegal and the history of Senegalese agricultural policy in order to understand past and current trends in fertilizer usage. We find that Senegal continues to experience a high level of food price fluctuations as it imports increasing amounts of rice to cover its food deficit. Increased use of fertilizer, along with irrigation technology may help improve rice production and increase food security. To achieve this goal, the Government of Senegal (GoS) has embarked on several initiatives, notably the Agro-Silvo-Pastoral Law (LOASP) and the Grande Offensive Agricole pour la Nourriture et l’Abondance (GOANA), employing subsidies to increase fertilizer demand and making food sovereignty a national priority. In the coming years, GoS will need to determine what role the government should play in the agricultural sector, and what level of intervention can be sustained in the long-term.

EPAR Research Brief #42
Publication Date: 07/31/2009
Type: Research Brief
Abstract

Nigeria’s experience with fertilizer subsidy programs has been different than that of other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nigeria is one of the only African countries capable of producing fertilizer domestically. But Nigeria is also large and densely populated. This makes national agricultural policy difficult due to logistical problems with implementation and the unique fertilizer needs of the various agro-ecological zones. This research brief discusses the effects of Nigeria’s input subsidy programs on maize production and fertilizer consumption. It focuses on the years 2000 to 2007, but also includes a discussion of Nigeria’s subsidy history from the early 1970s to 2009. Researchers have had difficulty studying Nigeria’s subsidy schemes due to a lack of data. In spite of decades of authoritarian, centralized leadership, Nigeria’s states have significant power to implement their own subsidies. This complicates any evaluation of a program’s effectiveness, in part due to the variety of subsidies at any given time, as well as inconsistent accounting practices.

EPAR Research Brief #99
Publication Date: 01/31/2009
Type: Literature Review
Abstract

Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring carcinogen produced by the fungus Aspergillus, particularly Aspergillus Flavus and Aspergillus Parasiticus. Aflatoxin contamination places an economic and health burden on farmers throughout the developing world, but reliable prevalence data are difficult to obtain. This report analyzes data from 25 primary research articles published within the last 15 years in order to provide a summary of aflatoxin contamination in the developing world. This report is divided into three parts, roughly aligning with phases of the agricultural value chain. Data for prevalence at the production and processing stage are presented first, followed by data for prevalence during storage, and finally by a summary of data for aflatoxin levels at consumption and point-of sale. We find maize and groundnuts to be the crops most affected by aflatoxin, while Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are the geographic areas most likely to be affected. Agroecological conditions including warm humid climates, irrigated hot deserts, and droughts contribute to aflatoxin contamination, and we find that contamination can occur throughout the value chain.