Volume 23 - 2015 - Paper 6 (83 - 99)
Plantation forestry and economic development in the Tiwi islands
John Hicks, G.P. Samsa and Bill Malcolm
The Tiwi Islanders currently have 30,000 ha of mature Acacia to harvest. They have relatively small landowner debt to service, an established port and confirmed buyers. Re-investment of the cash returns from the current harvest into more plantation forestry to secure future community benefit is not a compelling attraction; re-investing these revenues to grow-out Acacia over further rotations is unlikely to benefit landowners as much as investing the proceeds in a sovereign wealth fund. In this paper, a social benefit cost framework is used to appraise the potential contribution to Tiwi Islanders of plantation forestry on the Melville Island. Analysis of the priced benefits and costs of investment of a ten year cycle of A.mangium under most likely yields and prices indicates that the investment in Acacia plantation forestry has a 35 per cent probability of earning a 4 per cent p.a. or greater real return on capital. To double the odds to two chances in three of earning the annual required return on capital of 4 per cent real return on capital, an additional $100m of unpriced benefits need to be generated over the forty years life of the plantation rotation. This would require unpriced annual benefits of $5.1m or $2550 per Tiwi Islander.
Volume 23 - 2015 - Paper 5 (56-82)
Is the Australian wool industry efficient at converting wool into value?
Euan Fleming and David Cottle
The marketing strategies of agricultural producers have become increasingly focussed on the sale of differentiated products to intermediary buyers rather than the sale of homogeneous commodities directly to retailers. We measure the overall efficiency with which wool is converted into value across different processing routes and end products in the Australian wool value chain and decompose it into its technical, scale and mix efficiency components. Results show that considerable scope exists to increase the value of most sale lots, and indicate that the overall efficiency in extracting value is lower for wool supplied to processes that produce high-value wool garments.
Volume 23 - 2015 - Paper 4 (36 - 55)
Policy Options to Improve the Performance of Housewives’ Groups in the Cottage Food Industry in Thailand
Renato A. Villano, Phanin Khrueathai and Euan Fleming
This paper highlights the potential to improve the performance of housewives’ groups and stimulate its growth as a key income-generating activity for rural households in developing countries. The analytical framework is based on an analysis of private and value chain-level net benefits from alternative policy actions and research and training initiatives. Seven candidates for policy implementation with the best prospects for success are examined: industrial policy; improving food quality; branding and labelling; encouraging strategic alliances; increasing the managerial role of members in housewives’ groups; educating members of housewives’ groups and group leaders; and improving the organisational structure of housewives’ groups.
Volume 23 - 2015 - Paper 3 (26-35)
PrimeAg Australia 2007-13: A Suitable Structure for Long Term Investment in Agriculture?
Prime Agriculture Australia Limited, 2007–2013, was a listed investor in, and operator of, agricultural properties spread between the Australian States of Queensland (Qld) and New South Wales (NSW). PAG operated as a listed entity for six years. Yet by November 2013, PAG was delisted, with its assets sold and its capital returned to shareholders. The company’s shares only briefly traded above Net Asset Value (NAV), which has been a frequent occurrence with listed Australian agricultural stocks.
This paper explores whether this listed entity was a sufficiently suitable fit for investment into the highly volatile agricultural sector by outlining the key major developments in PAG’s six-year history. The rest of the paper is organised into four sections around background on the rural land market in Australia, the key documents of the 2007 Prospectus, the 2011 Rights Issue and the 2013 Scheme of Arrangement.
Since the late 1990s, there has been a great deal of investment by both the Vietnamese government and international development agencies in the economic development of the Northwest Highlands of Vietnam. A shift towards a research for development approach, targeting the immediate use of research outputs for development purposes, became more visible especially since the late 2000s. This paper describes the results of a study that aimed to review and analyse the theories and practice of AR4D impact assessment approaches and the merits and limitations of such approaches to AR4D in the Northwest Highlands of Vietnam. The study employed documentary research, focus group discussions with farmers and in-depth interviews with key informants, while thematic analysis was used for data analysis. The study concludes that a holistic approach towards impact assessment is best suited to an economically and culturally diverse region such as the Northwest Highlands of Vietnam, and suggests a framework for impact assessment that is based on a comprehensive livelihoods perspective.
This study examines the impact of contract farming with Farmer Organizations on farmers’ income. Contract farming with farmer organizations is a smallholder farmer-inclusive contract farming system. Field surveys were conducted in August 2010 with 75 farmers (including 39 contract farmers) in Kampong Thom province, Cambodia. The analysis—i.e., using a treatment effects model—indicates that contract farming with farmer organizations significantly raises farmers’ income. The econometric model and qualitative data show that the contract farming can attribute to an increase of farming productivity, quality of produce and farming cost efficiency.