Australasian Agribusiness Review
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.
The scoring of wines and the ratings of wineries is the source of much debate. In this paper we attempt to explain variations in winery ratings in Victoria by examining two winery rating systems, the winery 5-star ratings system of Halliday and the WineBoss version that modifies the Halliday system, to obtain a consensus industry rating from a variety of sources; in conjunction with a limited number of other data about the wineries that are rated. We use ordered logit models and odds ratios on a sample of rated Victorian wineries (291 in the Halliday sample and 331 in the WineBoss sample) to see which predictor variables increase the odds of a winery being in a higher-rated category.
Wineries that are older, use a consultant winemaker and/or produce predominantly red wines are more likely to be in a higher-rated category than those wineries that do not; conversely, wineries that use a contract winemaker and/or are located in a number of particular regions of Victoria are more likely to be in a lower-rated category than those wineries that do not. All of these results are as expected and confirm previous research. However, neither the size of the winery in terms of output nor whether the winery has other revenue sources, such as a restaurant, has any significant correlation with winery rating. The paper concludes with some suggestions for further research.
Late maturing α-amylase (LMA) is a genetic defect in some wheat lines that when triggered by particular environmental conditions damages the grains’ starch and reduces its suitability in processing. To lessen the risk of LMA expression in Australia’s wheat crops, a testing regime is now part of the nation’s varietal classification system. This paper analyses the impact of relaxing the testing regime and thereby providing farmers with the option to grow higher yielding varieties with higher risks of expressing an LMA defect that causes a price downgrade. We model the potential for quality downgrade by incorporating an expected price into the wheat supply and demand functions. The expected price is generated using the price differential between milling and feed grades and the probability of LMA exhibition. The net benefit from shifting between the current and more relaxed testing regimes is evaluated as the change in producer surplus. The analysis is based on the Western Australian wheat industry that supplies around half of Australia’s wheat exports. Initial findings indicate that the expected net benefit to the wheat industry in Western Australia from a relaxation of the current LMA policy is around $18m per annum.