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RESEARCH PROGRAM 1994-98
ENVIRONMENT AND PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY DIVISION
International Food Policy Research Institute
The Environment and Production Technology Division (EPTD) was recently
formed at IFPRI in order to better integrate the Institute's work on increasing
agricultural production, especially of food, with growing concerns about the
sustainable management of natural resources. In many agroecological systems, the
demands on the natural resource base arising from population growth, poverty, and
increased urban competition have reached the point where it will be difficult to
obtain required increases in agricultural production and rural livelihoods without
resolving natural resource management issues. This is not just a problem in low-
potential agricultural regions but has also become an important constraint for some
of the best irrigated lands.
The challenge of developing agriculture on a sustainable basis is larger
than achieving sustainable yield increases within farmers' fields. It is also
necessary to consider a broader range of alternative strategies for achieving
sustainable increases in rural livelihoods, including those offered by international
trade, and inter-sectoral and inter-regional linkages. Not all countries or regions
should necessarily attempt to produce all their growing food needs, nor is
agricultural development necessarily the only way of increasing livelihoods for the
rural poor. In some low-potential regions, for example, it may be necessary to
recognize that agricultural intensification can do little more than contribute to a
holding strategy in the face of a growing population, and that sustainable long-term
solutions require the development on nonfarm opportunities, both locally and in
other regions. It also has to be recognized that macro, trade and sector policies
have an important bearing on the economic opportunities available to different
Research on sustainable resource management also requires attention to (i)
the management of common property resources (eg. woodlots and common grazing
areas); (ii) the protection of watersheds and other environmentally fragile sites
within rural communities; (iii) preventing the pollution of rivers and groundwater
reserves; and (iv) meeting local consumer needs for products and services provided
by natural resources, such as water for domestic use, or fuelwood, collected foods
and building materials from forest resources. EPTD will also look at policies and
strategies for better utilization and conservation of national soil and forest
resources, but does not plan to initiate new research on broad environmental issues
March Program 1994-98- EPTD -2-
such as climate change and global warming, loss of biodiversity, and national
EPTD's work begins with the premise that farmers, and other private users
of natural resources, are rational decision makers, and if resource degradation is
occurring, it is because there are probably good reasons for doing it. People
degrade resources when the benefits they obtain exceed the perceived costs that
they, individually, must bear. If the management of natural resources is to be
improved, then it is first necessary to understand the incentives at the household
level to degrade resources, and then to identify appropriate ways of changing those
There are several factors that impinge on household incentives, and which
need to be researched:
Technology. Poorly designed, or inappropriately used technologies
can lead farmers to increase production in ways that degrade natural
resources. Better technologies and management practices may
already be available, but may be more costly, lower yielding or
knowledge demanding and hence less likely to be adopted by
farmers. There is considerable scope for developing more
appropriate technologies and for policy interventions and farmer
training programs that promote greater complementarity in
technology use between agricultural productivity and sustainable
Information. Some forms of resource degradation are easily
observed (eg. deforestation), but some are only visible after long
periods of time (eg. loss of soil fertility) or at sites removed from the
source of damage (eg. river pollution). Farmers and other users of
natural resources may, therefore, be poorly informed about the
damage that they cause, even when they have to bear the costs
themselves. Little is known about the accuracy of farmers'
perceptions about resource degradation, of their understanding of
the ecological processes involved when production systems change,
or their strategies of adapting to degradation.
S Propey rights and externalities. If farmers do not have assured and
long-term access to the resources they use,they may not bear the full
cost of resource degradation, and hence are more likely to pursue
unsustainable practices. In extreme cases, e.g., open access areas, a
"mining" mentality can arise. Similar incentive problems arise when
the costs of environmental damage are borne off-farm, e.g., pollution
of rivers and groundwater, soil runoff, etc. These externalityy'
problems can undermine incentives to use better technologies and
Rearh Program 1994-98- EPTD -3-
management practices. Resolution of externality problems may
require the reform of property rights (including land tenure, access
to communal resources, and resolution of land use conflicts) and the
organization of farmers and rural communities sometimes by
strengthening indigenous or formal institutions, but sometimes by
creating new institutions or by privatizing resources.
S Policy. Government policies (e.g., pricing, subsidies, macro and
trade policy, and resource regulations), institutions (e.g., irrigation,
management authorities, land settlement agencies, extension services,
forest departments) and public investments in infrastructure (e.g.,
roads, irrigation systems market centers) have significant effects on
the incentives and opportunities available to farmers in making
choices about technology and land use patterns. Government
interventions can be environmentally destructive, for example,
subsidies that encourage excessive use of agrochemicals, new roads
through primary forest, poorly designed land settlement schemes and
mismanaged irrigation schemes. Alternatively, they can be used to
create or reinforce positive incentives for sustainable natural
resource management, for example, subsidies for integrated pest
management and erosion control programs. If governments are to be
more effective in promoting sustainable agricultural development,
they will not only need to be better informed about the
consequences of their actions, but will also need to strengthen key
SPoverty. Poor people are more desperate and are more likely to
trade off tomorrow's production in order to eat today. Significant
reductions in rural poverty must typically be achieved through
agricultural growth, but this is especially difficult in low-potential
agroclimatic areas where many of the rural poor are concentrated.
Solution must lie partly with broader development strategies that
incorporate the rural non-farm economy, and in educating people to
increase their employment opportunities.
EPTD's research will focus on the complex of technology, information,
property rights/communal action, policy, and poverty issues that affect natural
resource management and will seek to identify appropriate technologies,
institutional reforms and policy interventions for reducing poverty and promoting
the sustainable management of natural resources. In many cases, technological
solutions alone will not be sufficient, or cost effective, and the appropriate strategy
will require a combination of interventions. A major advantage IFPRI has in
analyzing these issues in a strong research record on agricultural production and
poverty reduction issues at the micro, sectoral and macro levels, which will enable
Riarch Program 1994-6- EPTD -4-
EPTD to approach production, poverty and environmental issues in an integrated
Since the focus will be on understanding and then influencing household
incentives, the research will involve detailed field work. It will be essential to
collect socio-economic data at the household, community, regional and national
levels, together with matching data on the use of technologies and the physical
degradation of natural resources. The research will need to be multidisciplinary,
leading to rigorous analysis of household decisions about land use and technology
choices, and how these decisions affect the state of resources. IFPRI's own
expertise lies largely in the social sciences, and the range of disciplines required
for empirical research on natural resource management will be obtained by
collaborating with other CGIAR centers, national agricultural research institutions,
NGOs, and universities in developing and developed countries.
EPTD's initial focus will be on developing conceptual and analytical
approaches for analyzing these issues on a systems basis, and then testing these
approaches through a small number of in-depth case studies of important
ecosystems. Particular attention will be given to testing alternative approaches to
data collection and analysis, in an attempt to identify relatively quick and low cost
ways of conducting this kind of natural resource management research. The choice
of ecosystems and country sites will be based primarily on their importance to the
CGIAR system and the poor, and on the scope for close collaboration with other
CGIAR, national centers and NGOs. EPTD will also seek to network with a
larger number of institutions to develop research methods, to encourage the
replication of similar studies, and to exploit synergies in parallel work to obtain
broader and more powerful generalizations for policy prescription. By working
closely with national research institutions in developing countries, and by linking
them with multidisciplinary teams and research networks, there will also be an
important institution building component to the research.
EPTD's research will be organized around three major ecoregional projects
and three supporting research projects. Additionally, EPTD will collaborate on
other relevant work at IFPRI, particularly on a study of the links between
macroeconomic policy, agricultural trade and the environment to be conducted by
the Trade and Macroeconomics Division.
Ecosystem Project 1. Arresting Deforestation and Resource Degradation in
the Forest Margins of the Humid Tropics: Technology
and Policy Options
Objective: To understand the dynamics of migration and settlement patterns, and
of farm and forest resource use by households and communities in forest margins
March Program 1994-96- EPTD .-
of the humid tropics, and identify policies, technologies and institutional
arrangements to promote their sustainable management.
The conversion of primary tropical moist forest (TMF) to agriculture can
have important costs in the form of reduced biodiversity and changes in regional
and global climate. Additionally, since converted land is easily degraded once
subjected to available farming practices, it is often lost as a productive economic
resource after only a few years of use. This loss not only undermines the
sustainability of settlers' incomes, encouraging them to periodically relocate to the
forest frontier, but also deprives future generations of potentially valuable
Agricultural settlement in primary TMF predominantly results from
interregional migration by poor people who have limited economic opportunities
elsewhere. However, past studies have shown that both the rate and spatial
distribution of new settlement as well as settlers' resource management decisions
on newly acquired lands are strongly influenced by government policies,
infrastructure investments, government settlement schemes, and land ownership
policies. The extent of deforestation in settled areas and the need for
agriculturalists to periodically relocate to the frontier depends on their ability to
sustain land productivity. Where land is quickly degraded through use of
inappropriate farming practices, the extent of deforestation and intraregional
migration to the frontier can be expected to be greater, and food security and
human welfare objectives more difficult to achieve.
The primary objective of this research is to identify combinations of
technologies, policies, and institutional arrangements capable of increasing
productivity in sustainable ways in the margins of the TMF, and of better managing
migration patterns and the settlement of new areas. An integral part of this
research will focus on the value of forest products to small farmers, with the aim
of increasing opportunity cost to farmers of forest conversion activities. The
research will also study the influence of macro and sectoral policies on farmers'
incentives. Key questions to be addressed are:
The potential for improvements to existing infrastructure to increase market
integration and promote sustainable agriculture;
The role of input and output price policies in promoting sustainable
The scope for modifications in land and natural resource titling schemes to
improve sustainable management;
The potential for community action to overcome obstacles to sustainable
Research Program 1994-8- EPTD 46
The new role of agricultural extension and agricultural research in
promoting sustainable agriculture in the forest margins of the TMF; and
The potential impact of increased productivity and sustainability in the
TMF on new migration into forest areas, and ways of better managing
migration and settlement patterns.
This research project aims to generate a set of regional development
strategy guidelines for the countries serving as site studies. These guidelines will
include recommendations regarding technologies, price policies, infrastructure and
markets, and institutional and organizational issues. In addition, a comprehensive
methodological and analytical framework for simultaneously addressing growth,
poverty, and natural resource management concerns will be developed and made
available to research teams undertaking similar projects in other parts of the world.
Finally, in the Brazil site, an important national network of social scientists
working in the TMF will be established.
This project will be built on IFPRI's work and expertise in analyzing farm-
level land and labor allocation decisions, and factors influencing technical change
in agriculture at the household level. Also essential will be IFPRI's substantial
expertise in the analysis of nutrition and health status. Expertise in soil science,
agroforestry, crop sciences, and demography are essential for this research project,
but are not available at IFPRI. For the Brazil site, this expertise will be obtained
through collaboration with CIAT, EMBRAPA (Empresa Brasiliera de Pesquisa
Agropecuaria), and other international and national research centers. Similar
collaborative links will be forged to undertake the African and Asian work.
Ecosystem Project 2. Sustainable Intensification of Fragile Rainfed Lands
Objective: To understand the dynamics of resource use by households and
communities in rainfed farming systems in environmentally fragile environments,
and to identify policies, technologies and development strategies to sustain and
improve rural livelihood without resource degradation.
Rural development strategies and policies in tropical countries typically
emphasize the "high potential" agricultural plains, which are well-watered, with
inherently fertile soils suitable for intensive cultivation of annual crops. The so-
called "low potential" areas are often marginalized in terms of policy attention or
support, and certainly in terms of investment to develop ecologically-suitable
technology for more intensive production. These areas include many types of lands
prone to soil degradation under intensive tillage: hillsides and mountains prone to
soil erosion, sub-humid savannahs prone to soil acidification, humid lowlands prone
Rssarch Progmm 1994.06- EPTD .7.
to soil nutrient leaching and semi-arid lowlands prone to wind erosion and
Population densities have increased significantly in these "low potential"
areas, as has market integration, leading to increased pressure for intensification
of production and resource use. The livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers
and their communities depend today upon the crop, livestock and forest systems
in these areas. In many countries, these systems also produce a significant share
of urban food supply. But their future is in question, due to current resource
degradation and the lack of economically and ecologically viable options to
generate major gains in farm productivity. Furthermore, soil erosion and loss of
protective vegetative cover, in these fragile areas may negatively affect urban areas
and key agricultural regions, e.g., irrigated agriculture downstream, flooding of
lowland urban centers, or destructive dust storms.
Significant policy, technical and organizational innovation is needed to
develop more viable strategies for land use intensification and rural development.
Intensive, high-input monoculture of grains is not likely to be a sustainable
development model in these fragile lands. Successful models are more likely to
focus on diverse systems designed explicitly to stabilize incomes under high climatic
variability and to provide continuous protection for fragile soils. These might
include mixed crop-livestock systems, multi-crop combinations, agroforestry
systems, integrated management of forest and woodland areas, maintenance of
permanent vegetative cover, exploitation of fertile micro-sites for intensive
cultivation, and combination of farming with non-farm income sources.
Some individual farmers, communities, governments and private agencies
have already responded creatively to increase productivity while preserving or
enhancing the farm and community resource base. Examples abound of local
innovations, but their experience has not been critically examined or synthesized.
The role of public policy in encouraging successful adaptations to higher
population densities and land use intensity is clearly critical, but poorly understood.
Nor are farmers' current strategies of resource use and adaptations to the risks and
land degradation, or their incentives for investing in sustainable land management
This project will develop cost-effective methodologies for analyzing the
dynamics of resource use and management, and identify promising policy
approaches to the special problems of productivity and sustainability in fragile
lands. Key methodological outputs, which will be developed for a range of users,
include data collection and analytical methods:
* to document resource availability, use and quality;
* to document and analyze inter-spatial and inter-temporal land use change;
Rsarch Pogram 1994 g- EPTD
Remarch Program 1994-98- EPTD .8-
* to link household and community production and consumption patterns to
natural resource condition and use;
to link household and community resource management decisions;
to link household decisions on crop, livestock, tree management and soil
to monitor and evaluate on-going policy "experiments".
Key policy questions to be studied across ecozones include:
What land -use incentives and strategies guide resource use and
management at the household and community levels?
How do public market, investment, technology, land use, tenure and
institutional policies influence those incentives?
S What strategies of rural development can best exploit potential
complementarity of different land niches for farm and community
production, together with processing and non-farm activities?
S How effectively and economically can agroforestry and conservation farming
practices contain and/or reverse land degradation?
S Under what conditions, and through what mechanisms, can land and forest
resources be effectively managed by local institutions, and what roles should
government agencies play?
S How can appropriate technology development and diffusion and market
services be institutionalized to serve the needs of economically marginal
and highly heterogeneous areas?
* What types of policies most effectively promote subsistence security in
S What are the key economic, social, demographic, and ecological linkages of
these farming systems with centers of urban growth or intensive agriculture,
and what should they be in the future?
Project study sites will be drawn from representative farming systems of the
tropical hillsides, mountains, sub-humid savannahs, humid lowlands and semi-arid
lowlands. While technological solutions are likely to be specific to each type of
ecozone, institutional and policy approaches are expected to share important
rwaarch Program 1994-9- EPTD
features. Broad expertise in social and natural sciences, community organization
and local processes of innovation will be brought into this interdisciplinary project.
Collaboration is planned with international centers (e.g., CIAT, ICRAF, CATIE,
CIFOR, ILCA, ICARDA) and ecozonal research consortia including national
universities and research institutions and local non-governmental and farmers'
organizations. The project will be designed and implemented to strengthen
national capacity for policy research in the study regions. Research will begin in
a pilot site in the Central American hillsides, and then extend to sites in Africa and
The research project will draw upon many previous IFPRI studies, on
household food security, household decision-making, fuelwood consumption and
women's labor, fertilizer policy, farm-nonfarm income and employment linkages,
drought management strategies, rural services, and forestry and agroforestry policy.
Ecosystem Project 3. Environmental Degradation and Agricultural
Productivity in Irrigated Areas
Objective: To assess the scope of alternative management and resource allocation
mechanisms for increasing the productivity and efficiency of irrigation systems
while achieving more satisfactory solutions of such environmental problems as
waterlogging, salinization, groundwater mining, and water pollution.
The importance of irrigation in meeting food needs in the developing world
is well-known. Over the past decade, however, investment in irrigation has
declined significantly in both Africa and Asia. Dwindling investment has been
accompanied by continuing low performance levels of irrigation systems in many
countries, leading to concomitant problems of waterlogging and salinity, low
productivity in the use of water, and physical and institutional deterioration of
existing systems. Past expansion of irrigation and poor irrigation management has
also been associated with an increase in water-borne and water-facilitated diseases,
such as schistosomiasis, malaria, and various enteric diseases.
In seeking ways to revitalize irrigation systems, three polar categories of
water allocation mechanisms will be analyzed under the project: (a) administrative
allocation, (b) community allocation; and (c) market allocation. Administrative
allocation of water includes publicly managed allocation of water across sectors,
or within basin and irrigation systems, through quantity distributions or
administered water pricing schemes. Community allocation is undertaken by
cooperatives, villages, and/or user groups with a direct stake in the use of the
water. Market allocation attempts to structure economic incentives for water
users, whether irrigation, industrial, or municipal users, to consider the full
opportunity cost of water when making water use decisions.
Rmarch Program 1904-90- EPTD -10-
The research will take a broad policy and institutional approach to the
water resource allocation question, and it will address the issue at different levels
of aggregation, including (a) intersectoral allocation between non-agricultural and
agricultural demands for water; (b) international and inter-regional water
allocation within major river basins and aquifers for irrigation purposes; and
(c) allocation of water within irrigation systems. Both surface and groundwater will
be considered, with particular attention devoted to the interrelationships between
It is important to bring a broad, cross-cutting policy, technology, and
institutional framework to analysis at all of these levels. EPTD's research will
approach this complex and interrelated set of issues by focussing on alternative
water allocation mechanisms and their relationship with more narrow technical,
economic, and institutional issues. Thus technological interventions such as
construction of new systems, rehabilitation and modernization of existing systems,
and canal lining and field drainage will be analyzed to determine how they interact
with and affect various allocative mechanisms. Similarly, institutional issues, such
as the reform of public irrigation bureaucracies, development of water user
associations, and alternative systems of property rights in water will be examined
in the same light.
A number of specific research questions can be identified within the broad
objective of the program:
S What are the characteristics and determinants of existing water allocation
systems at different levels? This part of the analysis will assess relationships
between economic development, agricultural intensification, relative water
scarcity, the technology base, and institutions and laws which govern water
What are the implications of growing competition between agricultural and
non-agricultural uses of water for the availability and productivity of water
in agriculture? How do alternative allocative mechanisms affect the
distribution of water between these sectors?
S What are the production, health, nutrition, and income impacts of
alternative water allocation mechanisms in different agroeconomic and
scarcity environments? What investment and transactions costs
(information, metering, conveyance, contractual, and enforcement) are
associated with different mechanisms? This topic would address such issues
as the impact of resource allocation methods on water use, cropping
patterns, crop yields, and fertilizer and other input use, capital investments,
farm income, and environmental degradation.
R earh Pogrm 1949- EPTD .11-
S What is the connection between alternative allocative mechanisms and the
environmental externalities caused by irrigation, including waterlogging,
salinization, groundwater recharge, and groundwater mining? Does the
assignment of tradable property rights lead to internalization of externalities
and reductions in externality costs?
* What is the effect of upper watershed degradation on productivity and
resource degradation in downstream agriculture? It is more effective to
deal with the economic impact of this type of degradation at the watershed
level or within the downstream areas? How can the requisite costs of
remediation be equitably allocated and payment effectively transferred?
S What are the equity implications of alternative allocation mechanisms? Do
some methods of allocation lead to improved income distributions? What
determines the price of water in market-oriented allocation systems, and
does market allocation lead to monopoly pricing and reduction of income
of the poor? How can competitive forces be brought into pay?
S How does the variability in water flow in rivers and irrigation systems affect
the relative performance of alternative water allocation mechanisms? What
strategies are developed under alternative allocation methods to cope with
risk from within year and across year variability in streamflow?
Sites for case studies will be concentrated within several major water basins,
selected from among the: Indus, Ganges/Brahmaputra, Mekong, Yangtze, Yellow,
Nile, and Tigris/Euphrates. The hydraulic regime characterized by seasonally high
water tables, which is of great potential importance in sub-Saharan Africa, will be
treated as a resource base equivalent to a river basin in the analysis. The analysis
will also cover smaller water basins, possibly from Mexico, Indonesia, and
Philippines, where these offer cases of special interest and relevance.
The research will be undertaken in collaboration with national and
international research centers. Given the interface between policy, institutions,
technology, and water management, appropriate CGIAR institutes for
collaboration will include IIMI and IRRI and possibly others such as CIMMYT
and ICRISAT depending on the sites selected.
Supporting Proect 1. Property Rights and Communal Action
Objectives: To understand the links between the breakdown of property rights to
natural resources and the degradation of those resources in selected ecosystems,
and to identify appropriate community responses to overcome the problems.
Rearch Program 1994-g EPTD -12-
Externality problems arising from the absence, or breakdown of adequate
property rights over land, water, forest, and other resources are a major factor
underlying the alarming rates of degradation of natural resources in many
developing countries. As populations continue to grow, agriculture must be
intensified to provide the required increases in food and fiber. Where
intensification fails to proceed at the required rate, the growing demands on
natural resources often lead to the breakdown of indigenous institutions governing
the management of communal resources. As a result, many resources are
becoming open-access resources, and are being degraded by uncontrolled use. The
degradation of common grazing and wooded areas, and the loss of forest,
particularly in environmentally fragile areas, is often attributable to this cause.
But agricultural intensification can also lead to environmental degradation.
Because rivers and streams are essentially managed as open-access resources,
farmers have little incentive to consider the costs of water pollution arising from
the use of chemicals on their fields. In irrigated farming, inappropriately defined
property rights over surface and ground water resources encourage water
management practices that lead to waterlogging and salinization of soils.
Some externality problems can be resolved by privatizing the ownership of
the relevant resources, for example, the enclosure and privatization of common
grazing lands. But this is often not the relevant solution. Privatization can lead
to high 'exclusion' costs. Some lands may have to be fenced to control livestock
movements, for example, or the owner of water resources would have to monitor
water use by large numbers of farmers. Privatization may also lead to
diseconomies of scale or scope. Livestock can be rotated around large areas of
extensive pasture, for example, giving the sward sufficient time to recover to
maintain productivity, but this becomes more difficult if the pasture is subdivided
amongst many farmers, each having their own livestock. Privatization can also
exacerbate poverty and inequality problems by denying some individuals (most
often the poor) their traditional use rights to communal resources. In other cases,
privatization is simply not possible because of the unique characteristics of some
resources. For example, because of the mobility of water in rivers and streams,
privatizing rights of access in some locations will do little to reduce incentives to
pollute water when the costs are born by others still further downstream.
The alternatives to establishment of private property rights are the setting
of taxes or subsidies so that private actors are penalized or rewarded to the extent
required to adjust private costs to social costs; and the regulation and control of
the use of resources by local governments, by local communities, and by groups of
farmers. The tax/subsidy solution can be efficient, but also suffers from
disadvantages, including the difficulty of setting the appropriate price levels to
reflect social costs, potentially high administrative costs, and development of
incentives for individuals to evade enforcement. Control and regulation policies
are also complex. Historically, many rural communities have successfully managed
aserh Program 194-08- EPTrD -.
the use of common resources through appropriate indigenous institutions, such as
village councils or headmen. Many of these indigenous institutions are still to be
found, but their effectiveness is often undermined as population growth increases
the number of potential users. Attempts to organize farmer groups for water
management, social forestry, pest control, soil conservation programs and the like
have also met with mixed results.
The following policy questions are relevant: What are the most appropriate
forms of ownership or control for different types of resources? Why are many
indigenous resource management systems breaking down? What are the economic
incentives determining whether individuals are willing to participate in communal
or group action? The incentives and institutional issues will be explored with
reference to particular types of resource management problems such as those
associated with social forestry, agroforestry, irrigation, water management, soil
erosion, integrated pest management, and transhuman livestock systems. Field
work for this study will mostly be undertaken at the sites chosen for EPTD's three
major ecosystem projects and hence will involve collaboration with the same
CGIAR and national institutions.
Supporting Projec 2 Agricltural Research Extension and Education
Objective: To identify ways of strengthening national research, extension and
education systems to meet the growing challenge of increasing agricultural
production on a sustainable basis.
Future agricultural growth will increasingly depend on new technology to
improve the productivity of natural resources. Also, the increasing degradation of
many natural resources will require new technologies for sustainable development.
Meeting these challenges will require effective national research and extension
systems, as well as national agricultural education systems that can provide the
necessary trained people. There is an urgent need for guidance on how best to
improve the productivity of existing research, training, and extension systems in
The primary objectives of this research are to identify (i) appropriate levels
of public expenditure on agricultural research, extension and education for
different types of countries; (ii) the best systems for different situations; (iii) the
right balance between public, private and NGO involvement; (iv) ways of
exploiting synergisms between public, private and NGO entities; (v) ways of
promoting the kind of multidisciplinary work required for promoting natural
resource management; (vi) ways to more effectively overcome barriers to the
international transfer of agricultural technology.
srearh Program 1994-6- EPTD .14-
The project will build on IFPRI's past work on national agricultural
research, and will utilize available country and regional data sets, supported by in-
depth analysis of institutional and privatization issues in selected countries. The
work will require close collaboration with ISNAR and selected national research
and extension institutions.
Suporting Proect 3. Management of Agrochemicals and Tilage Pactices in
Objectives. To understand the extent to which agricultural intensification has to
depend on inorganic fertilizers, pesticides, and more efficient soil tillage
operations, and to identify policies to encourage farmers to modify management
practices that are needlessly harmful to their environment while at the same time
In order to feed growing populations and to help reduce poverty, agriculture
must be intensified in most developing countries beyond the point where the
growth of yields can be sustained without the use of inorganic fertilizers and
pesticides. As the use of these inputs increases, there is greater opportunity for
farmers to mismanage them in ways that are harmful to their own health and to
wildlife, water supplies and consumers, and which may promote increased pest
resistance or resurgence. The more intensive cropping of land can also increase
the frequency of planting and weed control operations and, with conventional
tillage approaches, there is increased scope for exposing and degrading the soil.
Such environmental problems are not yet widespread in most developing
countries because agricultural intensification still remains low. But problems have
emerged in some of the more intensive irrigated farming systems in Asia and Latin
America. There is also increasing evidence that agricultural intensification does
not have to lead to environmental degradation. For example, conservation tillage
practices can significantly reduce wind and water erosion. Moreover, alternative
technologies and farming practices involving appropriate crop rotations, mixed
farming systems with crops and livestock, agroforestry, biological pest control,
disease and pest resistant varieties, balanced application and correct timing and
placement of fertilizer, and minimum or zero tillage already exist, and many of
these options can be competitive in terms of their profitability to farmers.
Nevertheless, farmers have often been slow in adopting such technologies and
farming practices, and the reasons for this need to be more clearly understood.
Relevant questions are as follows:
Do current government policies create inappropriate incentives in the use
of agrochemicals (e.g., fertilizer and pesticide subsidies)? Are there
Rsaroh Program 1994-9- EPTD -15-
circumstances where input subsidies or price support policies to encourage
environmentally benign intensification might be justified?
* Are there significant externality problems that buffer farmers from the full
environmental costs of their actions?
* Are farmers adequately informed and equipped to manage toxic chemicals?
Do they have the required knowledge to deal with the complexities of
* What are the implications for input and equipment supply, manufacture,
and distribution policies of developing countries?
S What policy interventions could provide improved incentives to farmers to
use more environmentally-friendly technologies and farming practices?
* Should international and national agricultural research and extension
priorities be realigned to give additional emphasis to problems related to
intensifying developing country farming systems and to encourage the
adoption of environmentally benign agricultural technologies? What can be
learned from developed country experiences? What are the implications for
management training and university curricula?
* What policy measures could be introduced to overcome such practices as
use of animal dung for fuel and reluctance to use herbicides because weeds
provide food for livestock?
The research project will involve extensive literature reviews and the
organization of an international workshop to review and synthesize the current
state of knowledge about the economics of environmentally sound farming
practices. An important aim of the workshop would be to identify relevant in-
depth case studies to be undertaken in close collaboration with other international
and national institutions and NGOs.
Rsarch Program 199498- EPTD -*-
PROFILE OF RESEARCH FELLOWS
GUNVANT DESAI, a citizen of India, was a research fellow at IFPRI from 1979
to 1982, while on leave from his professorship at the Indian Institute of
Management (IM) in Ahmedabad. He rejoined IFPRI in 1986 to work on policy
issues of agricultural inputs, particularly fertilizers. Desai received his Ph.D. in
agricultural economics from Cornell University and a B.A. and M.A. in economics
from the University of Bombay. He was chairman of IIM's Centre for Management
in Agriculture and of its Centre for Regional Management Studies.
VASANT GANDHI, a research fellow, joined IFPRI in 1986 and works on growth
in input use and productivity in Indian agriculture and new technology adoption
and fertilizer policy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining IFPRI he was an
executive in India's National Dairy Development Board and a visiting faculty
member at the Institute of Rural Management. A citizen of India, Gandhi has a
Ph.D. in applied economics from Stanford University's Food Research Institute,
an M.S. in operations research from Stanford, an M.B.A. from the Indian Institute
of Management, Ahmedabad, and a B.S. in agriculture from India's G.B. Pant
PETER B. R. HAZELL rejoined IFPRI in November 1992 as director of the
Environment and Production Technology Division. Hazell, was previously a
principal economist in the World Bank's Agriculture and Rural Development
Department, where, most recently, he undertook research on African land rights
systems, and helped develop the Bank's new policy position on the forestry sector.
Hazell previously served at IFPRI as director of the Agricultural Growth Linkages
Program. A British citizen, Hazell trained as a general agriculturalist in the
United Kingdom and subsequently obtained his Ph.D. in agricultural economics at
Cornell Univeristy before teaching at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. At
IFPRI he will conduct research on sustainable farming practices, with a particular
focus on property rights issues and the management of climate risks to reduce land
degradation in semiarid regions.
RUTH MEINZEN-DICK, a research fellow, joined IFPRI in 1989 to conduct
research on irrigation policy. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in
development sociology from Cornell University and her B.A. in anthropology from
Washington University. A citizen of the United States, Meinzen-Dick was raised
in India. She has conducted field research in India both for her thesis and the
World Bank. She is currently analyzing irrigation system performance in
Zimbabwe, drought and irrigation management in India, and water markets in
PETER ORAM of the United Kingdom came to IFPRI in 1976 after a career in
crop improvement research, including extensive overseas field experience with
Research Program 1994-9- EPTD -17-
FAO and with the fertilizer industry. He served as director of the Research
Development Center of FAO and assistant director of FAO's Policy Advisory
Bureau. In 1970-76 he was the first executive secretary of the Technical Advisory
Committee to the CGIAR. In 1986 he became IFPRI's first research fellow
emeritus. Oram was educated at Cambridge University. His work at IFPRI has
centered on research relating to climate, land and water use policy, the allocation
of resources to research and training, and investment policy.
MARK W. ROSEGRANT, a U.S. citizen, received a B.A. in government from
Beloit College and both his M.A. and Ph.D. in public policy studies at the
University of Michigan. He worked as a policy analyst with the Ministry of
Agriculture of the Philippines until he joined IFPRI as a research fellow in 1980.
While in the Philippines, he was also a visiting lecturer at the University of the
Philippines. Rosegrant's current research includes analysis of dynamic agricultural
supply response, agricultural productivity, government investment behavior,
irrigation investment and management policy, and food crop pricing and
investment policy in Asia.
SARA J. SCHERR, a citizen of the United States, joined IFPRI in 1992 as a
research fellow to conduct research on agroforestry and other natural resource
management issues. Before coming to IFPRI she was a senior researcher at the
International Tree Crops Institute and a principal scientist at the International
Centre for Research in Agroforestry. She has also served as a visiting scholar at
Stanford University's Food Research Institute. Scherr received her B.A. in
economics from Wellesley College, and from Cornell University she received an
M.S. and Ph.D. in international economics and development.
MARK SVENDSEN, a research fellow, joined IFPRI in 1986 to work on irrigation
policy. He was previously at USAID's Asia Bureau as senior water management
specialist. Svendsen, a U.S. citizen, earned his B.A. in physics and mathematics at
Indiana State University, his M.S. in water resource systems engineering at
Colorado State University, and his Ph.D. in soil and water engineering and tropical
agriculture at Cornell University. Current activities include studies of irrigation
financing policy and the definition and assessment of irrigation system performance
and the relationship between performance and management.
STEPHEN A. VOSTI, a U.S. citizen, joined IFPRI as a research fellow in 1987. He
was previously a Rockefeller Foundation postdoctoral research fellow and visiting
professor on the faculty of economics, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil,
and an economics instructor at the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University,
and La Salle University. Vosti holds a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the
University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in economics from Whitman College. At
IFPRI, Vosti has been conducting research on population change and agricultural
change in developing countries; the links among agricultural growth, poverty
alleviation, and natural resource management; and the socioeconomic and
environmental determinants of malaria.
Research Program 1994-98- EPTD .18-
Senior Research Assistant