Agricultural R&D in West Asia and North Africa: Recent investment and capacity trends

Stads, Gert-Jan 2015
This report assesses trends in investments and human resource capacity in agricultural R&D in WANA, focusing on developments during 2009–2012. The analysis is based on information from a set of country factsheets prepared by the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) program of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), using comprehensive datasets derived from primary surveys targeting over 300 agencies in 11 countries during 2013–2014. Accounting for about two-thirds of the region’s total agricultural gross domestic product (AgGDP), the 11 sample countries do not provide a complete overview of agricultural R&D expenditures and staffing in the region as a whole. Yet, these countries are representative of the region’s diversity in terms of income level, country size, and agroclimatic characteristics.

     How to build resilience to conflict: The role of food security

Breisinger, Clemens; Ecker, Olivier; Maystadt, Jean-François; Trinh Tan, Jean-François; Al-Riffai, Perrihan; Bouzar, Khalida; Sma, Abdelkarim; Abdelgadir, Mohamed 2014
This Food Policy Report explains why there is a need to place even higher priority on food security-related policies and programs in conflict-prone countries, and offers insights for policymakers regarding how to do so. To understand the relationship between conflict and food security, this report builds a new conceptual framework of food security and applies it to four case studies on Egypt, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. It argues that food security-related policies and programs build resilience to conflict insofar as they are expected not only to help countries and people cope with and recover from conflict but also to contribute to preventing conflicts and support economic development more broadly: by helping countries and people become even better off.

     Impact evaluation of cash and food transfers for the seasonal emergency safety net in Hajjah and Ibb Governorates, Yemen endline report

Schwab, Benjamin; Margolies, Amy; Hoddinott, John F. 2013
This report is the final impact evaluation of the World Food Programme’s Cash and Food transfer program in Yemen. The program operated in Hajjah and Ibb governorates within the larger Emergency Safety Net (ESN), which provides assistance to qualifying households in rural Yemen. The report details the relative effectiveness of each modality at alleviating food security among the targeted population.

     Enhancing WFP’s capacity and experience to design, implement, monitor, and evaluate vouchers and cash transfer programmes: Study summary

Hoddinott, John F.; Gilligan, Daniel O.; Hidrobo, Melissa; Margolies, Amy; Roy, Shalini; Sandström, Susanna; Schwab, Benjamin; Upton, Joanna 2013
With support from the Government of Spain, and in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) evaluated four pilot projects to assess the comparative performance of cash transfers, food payments, and vouchers on household food security and other outcomes of interest to WFP. The studies in Ecuador, Uganda, Niger, and Yemen were carried out over the period 2010–2012.

     ASTI global assessment of agricultural R&D spending

Beintema, Nienke M.; Stads, Gert-Jan; Fuglie, Keith O.; Heisey, Paul 2012
The first Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) in 2010 catalyzed a plan to transform agricultural research and development (R&D) around the world. The resulting GCARD Roadmap states that such transformation can only be achieved by greatly increasing institutional, human, and financial resources; moreover, it recommends a regularized process of monitoring these resources on behalf of all stakeholders (CGIAR and GFAR 2011). The Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators initiative (ASTI), facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), is the only international initiative dedicated to fulfilling this need. ASTI, with contributions from the US Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service (USDA-ERS), has prepared this global assessment of agricultural R&D spending as an input into GCARD 2012. The findings are of particular value because they incorporate new primary data for 2000–2008.

     Beyond the Arab awakening

Breisinger, Clemens; Ecker, Olivier; Perrihan, Al-Riffai; Yu, Bingxin 2012
his report aims to inform and stimulate the debate on key policy priorities for poverty reduction and food security in light of the Arab Awakening. Its findings are based on an innovative combination of datasets and rigorous economic analysis. Results suggest that poverty and income inequality in the Arab world are likely higher than official numbers have long suggested. Given that poverty indicators seem to be misleading for many countries in the region, the report introduces a new welfare measure reflecting food insecurity risks at both national and household levels to classify Arab countries into five risk groups. Regression analyses further show that, unlike in the rest of the world, manufacturing- and service sector–led growth, rather than agriculture-led growth, is most pro-poor in Arab countries. In addition, high levels of public spending in the Arab world do not do as much to stimulate growth as in other world regions, particularly in the case of education.

     Trade liberalization and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa

Minot, Nicholas; Chemingui, Mohamed Abdelbasset; Thomas, Marcelle; Dewina, Reno; Orden, David 2010
This report examines the impact of trade liberalization on non-oil-exporting countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), with particular emphasis on its impact on the poor. First the report describes the basic characteristics related to agriculture, trade, and poverty for eight MENA countries and reviews previous studies examining the impact of trade liberalization on these countries. The eight are the developing countries in the MENA region that are not major oil exporters: Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and the West Bank and Gaza.1 Second, the report uses household survey data and computable general equilibrium models to simulate the effect of trade liberalization on low-income households in four of these countries: Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, and Morocco.

     Impacts of IFPRI/ICARDA policy and property rights research on the Mashreq and Maghreb Poject

Sanders, John H.; Serghini, Hassan 2003

     The Egyptian food subsidy system

Ahmed, Akhter U.; Gutner, Tamar; Lofgren, Hans; Bouis, Howarth E. 2001
Egypt's food subsidy system has been a mainstay of the government's long-term policy of promoting social equity and political stability. It has also been a major component of the social safety net for the poor, guaranteeing the availability of affordable staples, helping to reduce infant mortality and malnutrition, and mitigating the adverse effects of recent economic reform and structural adjustment.The cost of the system has declined considerably from 14 percent of government expenditures in 1980/81 to 5.6 percent in 1996/97. The absolute cost, however, remains high: In 1996/97,the total cost was 3.74 billion Egyptian pounds (LE)or about US$1.1 billion.The government and various stakeholders agree that the system's costs can be further reduced and its efficiency improved with better targeting to the needy. The Egyptian Food Subsidy System: Structure, Performance, and Options for Reform evaluates the economic, political, and technical feasibility of reducing costs while improving or maintaining the welfare of the poor.The report addresses five questions: (1)How well does the present system target the poor? (2)How much leakage "of the pilferage of subsidized foods in the distribution channel”occurs? (3)At what cost does the government transfer income to the needy? (4)How can subsidies be better targeted to the needy?and (5)What are politically feasible options for reform?

     Wheat policy reform in Egypt

Kherallah, Mylene; Lofgren, Hans; Gruhn, Peter; Reeder, Meyra M. 2000
Many developing countries are in transition from a state-dominated to a more market-oriented economy. Because agriculture is of primary importance in most developing countries,the state is usually heavily involved in both input and output markets and in controlling prices and trade. However, concerns that market liberalization will result in higher consumer food prices and hurt the poor means that many countries, such as Egypt, have, at best, undertaken only partial agricultural sector reforms. It has been argued that such concerns are unwarranted and that further market liberalization is not only needed, but achievable without increasing impoverishment. IFPRI Research Report 115 sheds light on these critical issues through an analysis of wheat policy reform in Egypt.

     Women: the key to food security

Quisumbing, Agnes R.; Brown, Lynn R.; Feldstein, Hilary Sims; Haddad, Lawrence James; Peña, Christine 1995
This report, brings together the latest evidence on the key roles that women play in ensuring food security and examines ways to strengthen the three pillars of food security through policies and programs that enhance women's abilities and resources to fulfill their roles.

     The effects of international remittances on poverty, inequality, and development in rural Egypt

Adams, Richard H., Jr. 1991
Despite their importance, there has been little analysis and even less agreement about the effects of international remittances on the economies of labor-exporting countries. Do households with migrant workers squander the money earned abroad on newly desired consumer goods? Are remittances largely earned by the sons of already well-to-do households? Do remittances increase the degree of income inequality between richer and poorer rural households? In this report, the author examines these issues from the standpoint of a small area of rural Egypt. Adams uses income data from households with and without migrants to determine the effects of remittances on poverty, income distribution, and rural development. The study is based on a survey of 1,000 households conducted in 1 986/87 in three villages in Minya Governorate, a province about 250 kilometers south of Cairo. In a second round of the survey, 150 selected households were interviewed about their spending behavior. Although the research is based on rural Egypt, its findings are relevant for policymakers in other labor-exporting countries.


Alderman, Harold; von Braun, Joachim 1985

     The effects of the Egyptian food ration and subsidy system on income distribution and consumption

Alderman, Harold; von Braun, Joachim 1984

     Evolving food gaps in the Middle East/North Africa

Khaldi, Nabil 1984

     Food subsidies in Egypt

Scobie, Grant McDonald 1983

     The effects of food price and subsidy policies on Egyptian agriculture

von Braun, Joachim; de Haen, Hartwig 1983

     Egypt's food subsidy and rationing system

Alderman, Harold; von Braun, Joachim; Sakr, Sakr Ahmed 1982

     Government policy and food imports

Scobie, Grant McDonald 1981

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