Monday, January 14, 2019

Members in the News: Nelson, Kumar, Smith, Goodwin, Glauber, Wolf, Andam, and Headey

Gerald C. Nelson, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
The global food problem isn’t what you think
Written by Gerald C. Nelson: The Washington Post - January 2, 2019
Providing food security to the nearly 10 billion people who will inhabit the globe by 2050 is one of the key issues of the 21st century. Given that reality, you might think the international community would at least be able to agree on how to define the problem.
Unfortunately, you would be wrong.
While a large part of the agricultural research establishment is focused on one aspect of the challenge — calories — another part of the scientific community is focused on a related but different one: adequate nutrient consumption.
Read more on: The Washington Post

Anjani Kumar, International Food Policy Research Institute
Farm loan waivers are not the panacea
Written by Anjani Kumar and Seema Bathla: The Hindu Business Line - January 8, 2019
The Centre and States must eschew the politically expedient option of loan waivers and look for long-term solutions.
The sweeping wave of loan waivers has generated serious debates across the country on their economics and likely outcomes. Till date 12 States have announced loan waiver amounting to more than 2 lakh crore.
Loan waiver cannot be a solution to address the agrarian crisis, instead the government must look for long-term solutions. There is also the danger of intense competition among the political parties to win by promising the farm loan waiver and projecting themselves as the protectors of farmers becoming the norm of the day before each election.
Read more on: The Hindu Business Line

Vincent H. Smith, Montana State University
Barry K. Goodwin, North Carolina State University
Joseph Glauber, International Food Policy Research Institute
Farm subsidies are a solution in search of a problem | reTHINK TANK
By: American Enterprise Institute: YouTube - January 7, 2019
The classic depiction of the American farm is an aging red barn on a plot of land tilled by a struggling mom and pop. Given that image, it's no wonder that Congress offers billions of dollars in subsidies to American food producers. The only problem? The struggling mom and pop are fiction. AEI Visiting Scholars Vincent H. Smith, Barry K. Goodwin, and Joseph W. Glauber explain.
Watch on: American Enterprise Institute: YouTube

Christopher Wolf, Michigan State University
Livestock and the 2018 Farm Bill
By: Ohio's Country Journal - January 11, 2019
Zulauf and Christopher Wolf, with the Michigan State University Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, took an in depth look at the significant changes to the dairy sector in the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018. Here are their observations from Dairy Provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill.
  • This confirms a strong commitment to dairy policy based on the margin between milk prices and feed costs, not the price of milk and milk products as characterized dairy support policy prior to the 2014 farm bill.
  • The 2018 dairy policy changes are clearly designed to increase payments to dairy farms, likely driven by concerns over financial stress in the U.S. dairy sector.
  • The 2018 dairy policy changes most benefit small dairy farms in terms of dollars per hundredweight.
Read more on: Ohio's Country Journal

Kwaw Andam, International Food Policy Research Institute
A model for reaching poor farmers, reducing subsidy costs in Ghana
Written by Kwaw Andam: Ghana’s My Joy - January 6, 2019
It is no secret that fertilizer subsidies are back in vogue across Africa south of the Sahara as the preferred tool for governments trying to boost incomes of poor smallholder farmers by increasing farm production and agricultural productivity. The financial burden of fertilizer subsidies is also widely recognized, exacerbated by the expense of improving the accuracy of targeting, as discussed in Jayne et al, 2018.
Could targeting ensure that the poorest farmers receive subsidies and at the same time reduce administrative costs? A recent IFPRI study published in the Journal of Development Studies set out to answer this question, exploring the feasibility of targeting with proxy means tests (PMTs). A PMT approach can be broadly defined in the following steps: (1) gathering information on observable characteristics of potential beneficiaries, (2) using the information as a proxy (measure) for determining the means (resources) of the potential beneficiaries, and (3) deciding who should benefit from a program on the basis of their estimated resource levels.
Read more on: Ghana’s My Joy

Derek Headey, International Food Policy Research Institute
Fish protein wafers to ease acute malnutrition in children
By: Sci Dev - January 10, 2019
However, expanding the production and distribution of Nutrix to other countries present several challenges, says Derek Headey, a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
“Child stunting really accelerates very quickly at six months, exactly the time when kids should be introduced to nutrient-dense complementary foods. But it can be tough for nutrition programs to reach parents at six months (unlike prenatal or neonatal care),” Headey tells SciDev.Net.
“Even if these foods are designed to fit local tastes and cultural feeding practices, there’s still a novelty factor to them,” Headey says, adding that there’s an issue of consumers trusting the product and the “inevitable debate about whether the product would be delivered free through the health system”.
Read more on: Sci Dev

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*Articles in response to the AAEA Communicating Out Strategy Press Releases highlighting: Government Relations, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, Choices Magazine, General Media, and/or 2018 AAEA Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

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