PIM News: August 2020


September 9, 2020

Issue #35, August 2020

In this issue, covering August 2020, we are happy to share our recent blogs, events, and publications. Join our upcoming events and stay tuned for more!

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See an excerpt with our featured recent publications below and read the full issue here>>

COVID-19 risks to global food security

David Laborde, Will Martin, Johan Swinnen, and Rob Vos outline the main threats COVID-19 poses to food security and suggest critical responses that policy makers should consider to prevent this global health crisis from becoming a global food crisis. [Open Access]

COVID-19 lockdowns, income distribution, and food security: An analysis for South Africa

Global Food Security
Arndt et al. use SAM multiplier analysis to assess the burdens on food insecure households in South Africa imposed by strict lockdowns due to COVID-19. The analysis illustrates the benefits of government transfer policies that support vulnerable households in the event of ‘black swan’ type shocks. [Open Access]

The potential intersections of COVID-19, gender and food security in Africa

Cheryl Doss, Jemimah Njuki, and Helena Mika draw on evidence from past health crises, reports from the Covid-19 pandemic, and literature on gender and food security, to draw out potential gendered effects across four nodes: production, processing, trading, and consumption. [Open Access]

Impacts of a national lockdown on smallholder farmers’ income and food security: Empirical evidence from two states in India

World Development
Francisco Ceballos, Samyuktha Kannan, and Berber Kramer analyze data from phone-based surveys on disruptions to agricultural production and food security, administered with 1515 smallholder producers in the states of Haryana and Odisha, find substantial heterogeneity in how the lockdown affected farmers in two states. [Open Access]

From farm to table: How are governments keeping food systems functioning during COVID-19?

COVID-19 Policy Response Portal, IFPRI
Drawing on the data collected for 28 countries, Adam Kennedy and Danielle Resnick summarize the distribution of government policy choices, highlighting where innovations emerged as well as where there has been a reversion to the status quo. [Open Access]

Lead-farmer extension and smallholder valuation of new agricultural technologies in Tanzania

Food Policy
Stephen Morgan, Nicole Mason, and Mywish Maredia seek to fill a knowledge gap about how extension interventions influence farmer willingness-to-pay (WTP) for new technologies. In an experiment in Tanzania, they find that while farmers do value improved bean seed technologies, neither of the tested extension treatment significantly affected WTP for those.

Effectiveness of the lead farmer approach in agricultural extension service provision: Nationally representative panel data analysis in Malawi

Land Use Policy
Catherine Ragasa finds that while lead farmers are an important bridge between farmers and extension agents in Malawi, they reach only 13% of farmers nationwide. Farmer’s exposure and access to LFs had no effect on technology awareness and adoption on average.

Smallholder mechanization induced by yield-enhancing biological technologies: Evidence from Nepal and Ghana

Agricultural Systems
Hiroyuki Takeshima and Yanyan Liu show that in both lowland Nepal and Ghana, the adoption of tractors and agricultural equipment has been induced by yield-enhancing biological technologies, particularly improved varieties and high-yielding production systems. The effects are particularly strong among smallholders and hold both at extensive (whether to adopt) and intensive (how much to adopt) margins. [Open Access]

Graduation after ten years of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme: Surviving but still not thriving

Development Policy Review
A new paper by Rachel Sabates‐Wheeler, Jeremy Lind, and John Hoddinott aims to understand better the challenges to sustainable graduation out of poverty; and why the graduation has been so difficult to achieve in many social protection programs. The analysis shows that while PSNP has been successful on some fronts — such as saving lives, reducing distress sales and providing community‐level services — on others, such as household asset building and livestock accumulation, it has failed to deliver. [Extended abstract]

Effectiveness of a culturally appropriate intervention to prevent intimate partner violence and HIV transmission among men, women, and couples in rural Ethiopia: Findings from a cluster-randomized controlled trial

PLoS Medicine
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is associated with increased HIV risk and other adverse health and psychosocial outcomes. Sharma et al. assessed the impact of Unite for a Better Life, a gender-transformative, participatory intervention delivered to men, women, and couples in Ethiopia in the context of the coffee ceremony, a traditional community-based discussion forum. [Open Access]

Africa's rapid economic transformation

Rural 21
The living standards of Africans are rising remarkably fast, also thanks to the agricultural growth and the development of rural-urban value chains. Thom S. Jayne, Adesoji Adelaja, and Richard Mkandawire are convinced that improving education and entrepreneurship will ensure that the region’s progress is irreversible even as it confronts COVID-19. [Open Access]

The transforming dairy sector in Ethiopia

PLoS One
Minten et al study recent dynamics in the dairy sector supplying Addis Ababa, documenting notable changes including rapid increase in expenditures on dairy products by urban consumers, growing spread of supplying regions of liquid milk, higher adoption of cross-bred cows and commercial feeds and better access to animal health and dairy-related extension services. However, average milk yields are still low and not all dairy farmers are included in this transformation process. [Open Access]

Vulnerability to Climate Change and Economic Impacts in the Agriculture Sector in Latin America and the Caribbean

Inter-American Development Bank Technical Note
CGIAR and IDB colleagues (Steven Prager, Ana R. Rios, Benjamin Schiek, Juliana S. Almeida, and Carlos E. Gonzalez) teamed to understand the potential impacts of climate change on key crops for Latin America and the Caribbean and identify adaptation measures. [Open Access]