Farming


Original abstracts from the papers in the database are provided below. All abstracts are drawn directly from the papers referenced. Links to access the papers are provided, although
the papers may also be available from other web sources. By providing links to other sites, the United Nations Foundation and ExxonMobil Foundation do not guarantee, approve, or endorse the information or products available on these sites.

  • Crop Price Indemnified Loans for Farmers: A Pilot Experiment in Rural Ghana

    Karlan, Kutsoati, McMillan and Udry (2011)

    Original abstract:

    Farmers face a particular set of risks that complicate the decision to borrow. We use a randomized experiment to investigate (1) the role of crop-price risk in reducing demand for credit among farmers and (2) how risk mitigation changes farmers' investment decisions. In Ghana, we offer farmers loans with an indemnity component that forgives 50 percent of the loan if crop prices drop below a threshold price. A control group is offered a standard loan product at the same interest rate. Loan uptake is high among all farmers and the indemnity component has little impact on uptake or other outcomes of interest.

    Intervention settings: Rural: Eastern.

    Intervention description: Farmers offered loans with or without crop price insurance and financial literacy training.

    Methodology: RCT.

    Sample: Farmers (15% female).

    Findings: Take up rates were high (92% of farmers offered loans and crop price insurance, 86% of farmers offered loans only). Gender did not have a significant effect on take up.

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  • Environmental and Gender Impacts of Land Tenure Regularization in Africa: Pilot Evidence from Rwanda

    Ali, Deininger and Goldstein (2011)

    Original abstract:

    Although increased global demand for land has led to renewed interest in African land tenure, few models to address these issues quickly and at the required scale have been identified or evaluated. The case of Rwanda's nation- wide and relatively low-cost land tenure regularization program is thus of great interest. This paper evaluates the short-term impact (some 2.5 years after completion) of the pilots undertaken to fine-tune the approach using a geographic discontinuity design with spatial fixed effects. Three key findings emerge from the analysis. First, the program improved land access for legally married women (about 76 percent of married couples) and prompted better recordation of inheritance rights without gender bias. Second, the analysis finds a very large impact on investment and maintenance of soil conservation measures. This effect was particularly pronounced for female headed households, suggesting that this group had suffered from high levels of tenure insecurity, which the program managed to reduce. Third, land market activity declined, allowing rejection of the hypothesis that the program caused a wave of distress sales or widespread landlessness by vulnerable people. Implications for program design and policy are discussed.

    Intervention settings: Rural (3 locations) and peri-urban (1 location).

    Intervention description: Land titling pilot covering 14,908 parcels with 3,448 hectares.

    Methodology: Regression discontinuity design with spatial fixed effects.

    Sample: 3,513 households (22% female-headed) drawn from both sides of the boundaries of four pilot cells.

    Findings: The program improved land access for legally married women (about 76% of married couples) and prompted better recordation of inheritance rights without gender bias. The analysis finds a large impact on investment and maintenance of soil conservation measures. This effect was particularly pronounced for female headed households, suggesting that this group had suffered from high levels of tenure insecurity, which the program managed to reduce. Land market activity declined, allowing rejection of the hypothesis that the program caused a wave of distress sales or widespread landlessness by vulnerable people. No effect on the perceived risk of expropriation.

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  • The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana

    Goldstein and Udry (2008)

    Original abstract:

    We examine the impact of ambiguous and contested land rights on investment and productivity in agriculture in Akwapim, Ghana. We show that individuals who hold powerful positions in a local political hierarchy have more secure tenure rights, and that as a consequence they invest more in land fertility and have substantially higher output. The intensity of investments on different plots cultivated by a given individual correspond to that individual's security of tenure over those specific plots and, in turn, to the individuals' position in the political hierarchy relevant to those specific plots.

    Intervention settings: Rural: Akwapim South District, Eastern Region.

    Intervention description: None.

    Methodology: Household-level fixed-effects estimation.

    Sample: 252 married couples; 519 plots in 4 village clusters owned by 240+ married couples; each couple was interviewed 15 times during a two-year period.

    Findings: Security of tenure has an important effect on land productivity (via investments in soil fertility) and security of tenure is related to an individual's position in the political and social hierarchy, with most women relatively disadvantaged. Insecure tenure leads to substantially lower profits per hectare for women compared to men.

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  • Strengthening Economic Rights and Women's Occupational Choice The Impact of Reforming Ethiopia's Family Law

    Hallward-Driemeier and Gajigo (2011)

    Intervention settings: Nationwide

    Intervention description: Reform of Ethiopia's 2000 Family Code: Raised the minimum age of marriage for women, removed the ability of the husband to deny permission for the wife to work outside the home and required both spouses' consent in the administration of marital property.

    Methodology: Difference in using DHS survey data collected in Ethiopia in 2000 and 2005.

    Sample: 15,367 women (14,070 in follow-up).

    Findings: Women more likely to work in occupations that require work outside the home, in paid and full-time jobs, and in higher-paid positions. Effect of law seems strongest for young, single women, which seems to be from the increase in the legal age of marriage from 15 to 18 years.

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  • Selling Formal Insurance to the Informally Insured

    Mobarak and Rosezweig (2012)

    Original abstract:

    Unpredictable rainfall is an important risk for agricultural activity, and farmers in developing countries often receive incomplete insurance from informal risk-sharing networks. We study the demand for, and effects of, offering formal index-based rainfall insurance through a randomized experiment in an environment where the informal risk sharing network can be readily identified and richly characterized: sub-castes in rural India. A model allowing for both idiosyncratic and aggregate risk shows that informal networks lower the demand for formal insurance only if the network indemnifies against aggregate risk, but not if its primary role is to insure against farmer-specific losses. When formal insurance carries basis risk (mismatches between payouts and actual losses due to the remote location of the rainfall gauge), informal risk sharing that covers idiosyncratic losses enhance the benefits of index insurance. Formal index insurance enables households to take more risk even in the presence of informal insurance. We find substantial empirical support of these nuanced predictions of the model by conducting the experiment (randomizing both index insurance offers, and the locations of rainfall gauges) on castes for whom we have a rich history of group responsiveness to household and aggregate rainfall shocks.

    Intervention settings: Rural: Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

    Intervention description: Rainfall insurance offered to farmers at actuarially fair or discounted prices.

    Methodology: RCT.

    Sample: Cultivator HH from 42 villages randomly selected for a large previous rural survey. Gender of farmers not specified but assumed to include females.

    Findings: Take up rate very low (about 40% overall). However, additional follow-up data collected in Tamil Nadu indicate that households offered rainfall insurance at discounted prices tended to plant more higher yielding and less drought-resistant varieties.

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