This article examines the evolution and potential of the water agenda of BRICS. The members of this international association of major countries of South America, Eurasia, Asia and Africa are rich in water resources and population. The development of water resources extends beyond their borders to projects in other countries through the activities of a major development institution, the New Development Bank of BRICS. Such conditions suggest some anticipation of a global and comprehensive view on the part of BRICS on the issues relating to water resources. However, the hypothesis of this article is opposite: despite the unique potential of the BRICS water strategy, it remains non-specific, focused on the lower common denominators for the member countries such as cleanliness, sanitation and water management. To account for this, the authors take the position that the bureaucratic logic of basic common interest downgrades strategic vision. This is reflected in the growing gap between the multifaceted nature of the issues related to water resources in the world and the narrowly specialized approach of BRICS association which perceives water de facto without its resource and global function. To study this, the authors analyze the water portfolios of the BRICS member countries and compare the national water agendas based on an analysis of policy documents. They then systematize water initiatives under the auspices of the BRICS and, finally, calculate virtual water flows and their structure between the BRICS countries using agricultural products trade as an example. The conducted analysis allows the authors to identify a wide gap between the current and potential water agenda of the BRICS. The authors then propose a number of initiatives that can create added value for the BRICS as an association both for its member countries and for developing countries facing water resource challenges. The authors assert that such a new approach, based on a profound understanding of the resource function of water as a commodity with global value, has all the potential to be implemented by BRICS.
The classification of agricultural producers by legal-organizational form (agricultural enterprises, peasant (family farms), household plots and gardening associations), traditionally used by the Russian official statistics, is outdated and masks the dynamic changes that have taken place. Due to the lack of output and sales data in 2016 agricultural census, the paper uses some assumptions to calculate the so called “standard revenue” as a measure of the potential output in each census farm. The results highlight that there is only a small share of commercial production units in Russia and there is high heterogeneity of agricultural producers within each legal-organizational farm type. Contrary to a priori expectations, a large number of household plots became commercialized between the previous census in 2006 and the latest census in 2016 and they contribute 19% of the standard revenue of all commercial census units, more than the share of family farms. These results suggest that the old classification used for statistical purposes does not reflect adequately the dynamic changes stemming from the response to market signals.
One of the major targets of modern agri-food policy in Russia is a significant increase of agri-food exports — almost twice as much by 2024. In this projection, China is viewed as the most promising market. However, Russia’s entrance to the Chinese market faces a number of constraints. In addition to the standard difficulties associated with Russia’s agricultural and food exports (export infrastructure constraints, expensive logistics, and import bans on certain Russian products), there are fundamental constraints on supply to China in the long-term. This paper formulates a long-term view of the prospects of, and risks associated with, introducing Russian agricultural products into the Chinese market. Methodically, the paper is based on an evaluation of competitive performance by the conventional method of measuring a country’s comparative trade advantages with the Balassa index. Also the authors use trade statistics of Comtrade, Russian and Chinese national statistic agencies, estimates of international analytical centers such as World Bank, USDA, OECD, McKinsey.
This paper presents the findings of the agriculture public expenditure review (PER) for the Russian Federation. It reviews the policy instruments and historical trends in the volumes and composition of budget support and investigates their role in recent agricultural growth. The paper also analyzes the effect of public spending in 2006–2017 on growth in agriculture using the fixed effects model and find positive effect. Support for general services is the most efficient method of agricultural spending, but in the Russian agricultural budget the subsidies to individual producers prevail. While the prevalence of the subsidies in the budget benefits the largest and most successful producers, this was part of the strategy to create strong value chains in order to compete with imports. However, the efficiency of investment support is decreasing. The paper explores the distribution of support between national and sub-national levels of budgeting system, and finds that the regionalization of support leads to market disintegration and efficiency losses.
Agricultural cooperatives in Russia have had an uneven evolution: from their initial form of service cooperatives based on classical principles of cooperation in the decades before 1929, they evolved to predominantly production cooperatives during the Soviet era and then back to service cooperatives with the rapid decline of the number and share of production cooperatives after 1992. The number of agricultural cooperatives providing product marketing, input supply, machinery, and farm credit services matches the number of production cooperatives as of 2016 but the formal membership in service cooperatives is minuscule. Yet, the potential membership in agricultural service cooperatives is conservatively estimated between 3.8 and 7.5 million rural households, or between 29% and 56% of the rural households in 2017. These numbers represent the pool of small agricultural producers in Russia that are most likely to benefit from cooperation in farm services. More optimistic estimates put the potential number of cooperators at over 90% of all rural households. Examination of possible policy measures for the development of service cooperatives has led to a disturbing conclusion that cooperatives flourish in regions that provide ample budgetary support. No tendencies for significant bottom-up development of cooperatives are observed.
This publication summarizes the agricultural policy analyses conducted in nine Caribbean countries (Suriname, Guyana, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, The Bahamas, and Trinidad and Tobago) in the framework of the IDB’s Agrimonitor initiative. The document discusses how agricultural policies affect producers and consumers as well as how the limited funding for agricultural services, such as research and infrastructure, could limit the ability of Caribbean farmers to compete effectively in global markets. The analyses presented are therefore meant to contribute to the Caribbean’s regional dialogue for the design of more effective agricultural policies, which will be able to strengthen the sector and improve the lives of people in the region.
Since the liberalization of the Sino-Soviet border in 1990’s, Chinese farmers have been actively engaged in the economy of Russian Far East. Literature suggests that Chinese workers fill a labour shortage, contribute positively to local food security, with negative impacts being more socially normative and political, than economic. So far no economic empirical research exists about Chinese farmers’ presence in Russian Far East. On the basis of a panel data, an econometric model was used to analyse socio-economic impact of Chinese agribusiness entrepreneurs in Russian Far East on local households. Regression models show that presence of Chinese farmers in Russian Far East increases the probability of higher well-being, farm income, food costs and share of Chinese food purchased among Russian Far East households. These results suggest that benefits of cooperation with Chinese farmers and retailers should not be ignored when designing policies towards sustainable development of rural areas in Russian Far East. Possible environmental, social and economic externalities of further soybean production in Russian Far East are also discussed.
Handbook of International Food and Agricultural Policies is a three-volume set that aims to provide an accessible reference for those interested in the aims and implementation of food and farm policies throughout the world. The treatment is authoritative, comprehensive and forward looking. The three volumes combine scholarship and pragmatism, relating academic writing to real-world issues faced by policy-makers. A companion volume looking at the future resource and climate challenges for global agriculture will be published in the future.
Volume I covers Farm and Rural Development policies of developed and developing countries. The volume contains 20 country chapters together with a concluding comprehensive synthesis of lessons to be drawn from the experiences of the individual countries.
Volume II examines the experience of countries with food policies, including those dealing with food safety and quality and the responsibility for food security in developing countries. The chapters address issues such as obesity, nutritional supplements, organic foods, food assistance programs, biotech food acceptance, and the place of private standards.
Volume III describes and explains the international trade dimension of farm and food policies — both at the bilateral and regional level — and also the multilateral rules that influence and constrain individual governments. The volume also looks at the steps that countries are together taking to meet the needs of developing and low-income countries.
The volumes are of value to students and researchers interested in economic development, agricultural markets and food systems. Policy-makers and professionals involved in monitoring and regulating agricultural and food markets would also find the volumes useful in their practical work. This three-volume set is also a suitable source for the general public interested in how their food system is influenced by government policies.
Although the agricultural sector contributes only 0.5% to Trinidad and Tobago’s GDP, it accounts for over 4% of employment and is important for the diversification of the economy. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago supports agriculture through a combination of incentives to agricultural producers, support for research and infrastructure, and border protection measures. Support to producers averaged 22.4% of gross farm receipts in 2013-2015, and a significant share of that support (44%) was provided in the form of transfers to general services. At the same time, total transfers arising from agricultural policy amounted to only 0.34% of the national GDP. Reorienting agricultural policy towards goals and actions that are less production-distorting, and that address agricultural productivity and profitability, will help create a possibly small, but efficient agricultural sector, as well as exploit certain specific competitive advantages.
This paper examines the relative roles of region-specific and commodity-specific developments in the consumer price setting in Russia. For this purpose, we estimate a dynamic hierarchical factor model using inflation rates across regions and sectors. We found little evidence of association between region-specific factors and inflation developments, although there are several regions (mostly located in the Far East and North Caucasus) where the idiosyncratic component may contribute substantially. Conversely, the role of cross-commodity relative price changes in inflation developments in Russia is substantial.
This paper provides an analysis of the debt burden of Russian companies and raises the issue of debt-level heterogeneity across economic sectors. To identify the causes of this heterogeneity, it estimates a regression model that includes both fundamental explanatory variables of companies and industry fixed effects. The results of the analysis demonstrate that standard variables, such as profitability, company size, asset turnover, and fixed-assetturnover ratio have a strong statistical significance. However, these do not fully explain the variation in the debt levels of companies in different sectors. According to model estimation, there are other industry specific factors that produce an imbalance between fundamental factors and companies’ debt levels. An understanding of the formation process and structure of debt burden in individual industries is extremely important for the financial stability of companies and for an effective monetary policy.
The article analyzes the dynamics of the technical efficiency of agricultural organizations since the beginning of the reforms. The presence of a considerable number of non-effectively used and redundant resources, because of both the poor organization of farms and the insufficient development of market institutions in Russia, has been discovered. In general, based on the analysis, it has been concluded that there is a positive impact of market reforms on technical efficiency of agricultural organizations.
The close proximity of China and Russia, the activities of Chinese farmers, and the reduction in Russian labor resources have created job opportunities for Chinese workers in the Russian Far East (RFE). Chinese workers fill a labor shortage in agriculture, but little research has been done on them. We developed an econometric model to test the effects of Chinese intermittent migration on labor markets in the RFE. We found the proximity of Chinese to Russian farms reduces wages for both Russian and Chinese workers and increases their part‐time employment on Russian farms. The greater availability of Chinese workers in the region results in lower number of family members working on Russian farms. Thus, the influx of Chinese workers may contribute to demographic shifts in the Russian population.
Despite harsh natural conditions and remoteness, farming is spread worldwide on Arctic margins. Russia is the leading country by area under agricultural use of the circumpolar territories. Agricultural activities in the northern regions vary from traditional ones such as semi‐nomadic reindeer breeding to technologically smart urban agriculture. These activities are geographically unequally represented, which causes significant regional differences in productivity of agricultural land and labour. Comparative analysis of these basic variables enables us to identify specific patterns of modern agricultural development and their dynamics in northern regions of Russia, comparing them with Northern European countries and North America.