This paper studies the relationship among population, poverty, and the environmental factors, and the impact they have had on China's land, water, forests and pastures. It does so by examining the extent of environmental degradation and China's success in controlling its environmental problems is reviewed; by investigating how the leadership has tried to develop a legal framework and series of institutions to carry out environmental policy; and by providing empirical evidence demonstrating the determinants of the successes that China has achieved in surmounting (or slowing) some of its environmental problems. Five of China's rural resource concerns are surveyed in this paper: water pollution, deforestation, destruction of the grasslands, soil erosion, and salinization. The paper finds that government policy has not been effective in controlling rural resource degradation primarily because it has limited fiscal resources and poorly trained personnel, and under these constraints the government has delegated responsibility for environmental and resource protection to the ministries of agriculture and forestry, two institutions that have an incentive to favor pro-production policies. Instead, China's efforts to alleviate policy, integrate markets, and control population appear to have helped mitigate a number of adverse environmental consequences of China's development effort of the last 40 years.
Fish is an important component in the human diet, but its production is not likely to keep up with demand, In assessing the consequences of the decreasing fish supply for human food security, it is important to distinguish between effects on the population as a whole and effects on the poor, those most vulnerable to malnutrition, Middle and high income people consume much more fish than low income people, However, even though they consume less, many low income people depend on fish as a major source of animal protein, Decreasing fish supplies will be felt in the form of higher prices and in the reduced availability of diverse forms of fish products, Given the fact that they also have access to many other kinds of foods, for people with middle and high incomes the decline in fish supply may be felt as little more than an inconvenience, For low-income people with fish-dependent diets, however, the reduction in fish supply may have serious consequences in terms of both economics and nutrition. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Expectations about the unfulfilled potential of aquaculture as a source of animal protein for the poor of Bangladesh are currently running high. Evidence suggests that social and economic constraints to intensification are as yet poorly understood and may constitute an important barrier to improving resource utilisation. Both public sector agencies and NGOs are currently engaged in a range of aquaculture initiatives. This paper critically surveys a selection of ongoing aquaculture research and extension programmes. It is suggested that current approaches are unlikely to benefit those with low incomes in Bangladesh, since there are problems with both the conceptualisation of the 'problem of aquaculture' and the types of institutional arrangements being deployed to tackle it. The paper ends with several recommendations about future priorities in terms of the nature and style of aquaculture research.
Major changes in national seed systems, including the rapid development of commercial seed enterprises, the growth of non-governmental organization (NGO) seed projects, and the concomitant decline of public sector seed provision, call for a re-examination of seed regulatory frameworks in developing countries. Privatization and deregulation are often presented as logical partners, but the nature of seed system change and the complexities of regulatory responsibility make seed regulatory reform less straightforward than it first appears. Challenges include the limited opportunities for commercial seed development, the need to provide guidance to seed systems in transition, the international pressures for plant variety protection (PVP), and significant differences among various national regulatory approaches. Problems with the conduct of current seed regulations include significant inefficiency, the use of inappropriate standards, inadequate opportunities for the participation of new entrants to the seed system, and a lack of transparency. Specific guidelines are offered for: reorganizing variety registration and performance testing; providing a balanced opportunity for PVP; and broadening participation in seed quality control. National seed regulatory agencies will see their role shift from the direct supervision of seed production towards technical and policy support for the development of a wider range of seed provision options.
The elimination of consumer food subsidies associated with structural adjustment in Africa has been widely thought to exacerbate food insecurity for low-income consumers, This article determines how urban maize consumption and expenditure patterns have responded to the liberalization of the maize and maize meal markets in Kenya, The article decomposes changes in maize meal prices attributable to changes in maize grain prices and maize milling margins, Results are obtained through two random household surveys in Nairobi, the first having been conducted before and the second after liberalization, The main finding of the study is that maize market liberalization has conferred substantial benefits to urban consumers, The combined saving to Nairobi consumers from lower maize milling costs has been roughly US$10.1 million each year, about the same amount that the Government of Kenya allocates annually to agricultural research, Results also indicate that the former consumer subsidies conferred through the official marketing channel were untargeted and actually inversely related to household income, The subsidies on sifted meal also served to entrench a non-competitive market structure that inhibited the development of a lower-cost informal milling system, These findings are consistent with research results from other eastern and southern African countries showing that the negative effects of eliminating food subsidies in the state marketing system have been largely compensated by relaxing controls on private grain trade, which has increased consumers' access to less expensive grain products distributed through informal markets, (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
The collective farming system, the state-monopolized procurement and marketing system, and the grain self-sufficient policy, formed in the early 1950s, made the rapid development of heavy industries possible in China, However, they were detrimental to farmers' incentives and resulted in a serious misallocation of resources, Consequently, despite sharp improvements in technology and increases in the use of modern inputs, grain production in China barely kept up with population growth before the 1979 reform, The shift from the collective farming system to the household-based farming system in 1979 greatly improved farmers' incentive and resulted in a sharp increase of grain output in the early 1980s, In the late 1980s, grain production stagnated again because the incompleteness of procurement system reform made the production of grain unprofitable, For producing enough grain to feed China's ever-increasing population, it is imperative for the Chinese government to liberalize the grain procurement and marketing system and to invest in yield-improvement research, It is also desirable for China to adjust her trade policy and to import more grain for meeting domestic grain demands. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Since 1989, Vietnam has been exporting 1-2 million tons of rice making it the third largest rice exporting country in the world, What are the prospects for expanding, or even sustaining, Vietnam's recent re-acquired rice exporter status? Two clear conclusions emerge from the discussion in this paper, Given limited opportunities for area expansion, the high cost of further irrigation infrastructure development, and the almost complete exploitation of technological potential in the high-potential environments, it is highly unlikely that rice output in Vietnam will grow to the extent of satisfying rising domestic demands while at the same time leading to an expansion in exports, As for sustaining current export levels, the prospects are moderate to good over the long term, but are quite dependent on further policy and institutional reforms, infrastructural investments, and technological progress, Therefore, rice productivity and exports can be sustained only if government policy is favorable in terms of improving producer incentives, dismantling export barriers, streamlining input and output marketing systems, and enhancing research and infrastructural investments. (C) 1997 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.
Despite current ideological and philosophical objections to planning, it survives in new forms, generating Policy Framework Papers, Poverty Assessments or multi-sectoral Action Plans to implement the resolutions of international conferences. The World Food Summit Plan of Action will generate a new wave of such plans. History shows that the road to multi-sectoral planning is littered with organisational elephant-traps. The traps can be avoided, however, by learning the lessons of past experiments with multi-disciplinary or multi-sectoral planning. The literatures on integrated rural development, multi-sectoral nutrition planning, farming systems research, national food security planning, poverty planning and industrial organisation are all of help. They suggest that the key is to establish a task culture, characterised by co-operative goal definition, a high degree of participation, supportive leadership, and strong integration of planning and implementation. A ten point action plan is derived from these principles for follow-up to the World Food Summit.