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Development Policy Driven By Common Sense, Not Edicts

…most of the recommendations he identifies are drawn from the actual practice employed by many of the leading countries of the world as they went through their development phase. Alast-ditch effort to conclude the Doha Development Round of World Trade Organization negotiations was held in the summer of 2008 in the hope that George W. […] Read more


Agricultural Policy For Developing Countries: Back To Basics

While many in the U. S. see single-desk marketing boards controlled by farmers as problematic, one needs to consider the nature of the markets into which farmers sell their products. Agricultural policy in developing countries has been an ongoing concern since the end of the Second World War and the dismantling of colonial European empires. […] Read more



Earning A Living From The Marketplace – for Oct. 8, 2009

What we have heard them say over and over again is they would rather earn their livelihood from the marketplace than the mailbox. Agricultural economists have long known that the price elasticity of food on both the demand side and the supply side is very low. Translated from economist-speak, what that means is that when […] Read more


Policy Shifts Can Be Penny-Wise But Dollar Foolish

The 1996 Farm Bill’s elimination of the grain storage program, coupled with the elimination of an acreage management program, increased the cost to taxpayers for farm programs by an average of $5.7 billion a year. During the debate over the 1996 Farm Bill, the proponents for eliminating a government stock program argued that the traditional […] Read more



The Looming Food Crisis?

We are not trying to pick a fight with the scientists and companies who provide the basic research on GMOs, just their pitchmen… their arguments are disingenuous at best and blackmail at worst. We tend to cringe when we hear someone argue that food production is not keeping up with demand. We heard Earl Butz […] Read more


Has ethanol’s boost to corn prices run its course?

Recent news stories have been flush with reports about developments in cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels production. Maybe these reports help provide an understanding of why Informa Economics recently forecast corn prices below $3 with wheat prices below $4 and soybeans under $7. Let’s look at the biofuels news first and then see what implications […] Read more