ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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How Market-Oriented Is United States' Farm Policy?

Farm policy in the United States has crucial implications for world agricultural markets as the us is a major producer and exporter of many agricultural commodities. This study analyses the economic effects of various farm programmes, as enacted in various Farm Acts. The analysis shows that most of the domestic farm programmes are geared towards affecting production, directly or indirectly. These include the totally coupled programmes like the non-recourse loan programme, partially coupled programmes like the production flexibility contract payments, and largely decoupled payments like the direct payments and counter-cyclical payments. The coupled programmes have the maximum market-distorting effect because they are linked to current production. Decoupled programmes like ccps reduce revenue variability and the risk faced by the farmers. The combined effect of these programmes is to insulate the us farmer from the market to a large extent and stabilise his returns from farming. In addition, there are commodity-specific programmes like the peanut programme, sugar and sweetener policy, etc, which perhaps make the us farm sector one of the most supported farm sectors in the world. This high level of domestic support has implications for production and export surpluses, and in turn, for the world markets.

World Rice Crisis:Issues and Options

This paper attempts to analyse the current global crisis in the availability and prices of rice by drawing upon the long-term developments in the rice market. The instability and thinness in the world rice markets are shown to be mainly due to the predominantly precautionary export policies of major exporting countries, which in turn are a result of domestic food security considerations. Some possible policy options are also discussed.

Surge in World Wheat Prices: Learning from the Past

How can countries cope in the short and medium term with the sharp rise in wheat prices? The global movements of the past suggest that in the case of wheat, prices are influenced by the stock and output policies of just a handful of countries. It would be dangerous for large countries like China and India to depend on the global market for their food security. And it is time world bodies consider establishing a global reserve to help food-deficit countries in times of crisis.

Economic Growth, Social Development and Interest Groups

This paper attempts to analyse the relative roles of political institutions and interest groups in policy formulation and the relationship between economic growth and social development. The main conclusions of the study are that while there is excess intervention by government in the sphere of economic activity, state intervention in the social sector is insufficient and ineffective, leading to the prevalence of widespread poverty and deprivation in India. Social capability development is a necessary precondition for the success of economic reforms in the country.

Agricultural Price Volatility in International and Indian Markets

This paper examines the issue of volatility of agricultural prices, with regard to the possibility of transmission of international price volatility to domestic markets. It attempts to measure the degree of price instability of important agricultural commodities in major domestic and international markets, compares the patterns of variability in the two, and looks at the implications for Indian producers and consumers.
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