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Liberia CLR Review FY13-17

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Liberia is a low-income country with a GNI per capita (Atlas method) of 380 US dollars in 2017. After a period of conflict and instability, Liberia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an average annual rate of 6.2 percent during 2003-2013. The ebola virus disease (EVD) crisis of 2014-2016 and a drop in global commodity prices resulted in slower average annual GDP growth of 2.1 percent with per Show MoreLiberia is a low-income country with a GNI per capita (Atlas method) of 380 US dollars in 2017. After a period of conflict and instability, Liberia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at an average annual rate of 6.2 percent during 2003-2013. The ebola virus disease (EVD) crisis of 2014-2016 and a drop in global commodity prices resulted in slower average annual GDP growth of 2.1 percent with per capita annual GDP growth at -0.4 percent during 2013-2017. As a post conflict country aiming to achieve sustained broad-based growth, Liberia faces several development challenges: large infrastructure gaps, poor education and health indicators, a large youth cohort, lack of economic diversification, and weak public institutions. The World Bank Group's country partnership strategy had three pillars: (i) economic transformation; (ii) human development; and (iii) governance and public sector institutions. In addition, the CPS had two cross-cutting themes of capacity development and gender equality. The CPS focus areas and objectives were well aligned with the government's agenda for transformation with a strong focus on infrastructure. The CLR provided a succinct assessment of the achievement of program objectives. It identified the increases in IDA lending attributable to the EVD outbreak. The CLR review agrees with the CLR lessons: (i) ensure government's strong commitment to the CPF program through close alignment with the country's development plans; (ii) adapt and apply a sound post-conflict and fragile country lens in the design of CPF programs for post conflict countries; (iii) keep an eye on medium-term goals even in the face of a crisis such as EVD; (iv) being selective about cross-cutting themes and including outcomes associated with these themes helps maintain the Government's and Country Team's focus on them throughout implementation. IEG provides the following additional lessons: (i) flexibility of the CPS program enabled the WBG to respond to the EVD crisis in a timely manner; and (ii) trust fund activities need to have a well-articulated strategic focus and explicit selectivity filters to ensure that they contribute to the achievement of CPS objectives.

Kyrgyz Republic CLR Review FY14-17

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The Kyrgyz Republic is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $1,100 in 2016. It is a country with a land-locked and mountainous geography, and rich in mineral and water resources. GDP growth averaged 3.7 percent during the CPS period (2014-17), somewhat below the average during the previous four years (4.0 percent). Gold production and worker remittances have been significant Show MoreThe Kyrgyz Republic is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $1,100 in 2016. It is a country with a land-locked and mountainous geography, and rich in mineral and water resources. GDP growth averaged 3.7 percent during the CPS period (2014-17), somewhat below the average during the previous four years (4.0 percent). Gold production and worker remittances have been significant drivers of growth, but are subject to volatility and do not lend themselves to sustained growth. Growth helped reduce poverty rates, from the recent peak of 38.0 percent in 2012 to 25.4 percent in 2015. Nevertheless, the country’s Human Development Index improved slightly from 0.656 in 2013 (ranked 125nd among 187 countries) to 0.664 in 2015 (ranked 120th among 188 countries). Inequality (the GINI Index) declined from 28.8 in 2013 to 26.8 in 2016, Policy effectiveness has been undermined by high levels of corruption and frequent changes in Government. Kyrgyz’s rank in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index deteriorated from 123rd of 167 in 2015 to 135th of 167 in 2017. During the CPS period, there were five different prime ministers. The World Bank Group’s (WBG) CPS had three pillars (or focus areas): (i) public administration and public service delivery, (ii) business environment and investment climate, and (iii) natural resources and physical infrastructure. The CPS was aligned with the Government’s National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS), 2013-2017, specifically with NSDS objectives on public administration, judiciary, social services, financial and private sector development, agribusiness, exports, environmental protection/resource management, energy, transport, and urban development. These objectives were part of the NSDS broad focus on governance, state building, and economic development. WBG’s support was also aligned with a number of specific government programs (e.g., the Governance and Anti-Corruption Plan adopted in 2012).

Papua New Guinea: Smallholder Agriculture Development Project (PPAR)

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Papua and New Guinea (Papua New Guinea) has faced considerable development challenges since its independence in 1975. Through the Smallholder Agriculture Development Project, the World Bank sought to improve community participation in rural areas by supporting the already-established local palm oil production industry. The objective of SADP in the financing agreement (July 2008) was to increase, Show MorePapua and New Guinea (Papua New Guinea) has faced considerable development challenges since its independence in 1975. Through the Smallholder Agriculture Development Project, the World Bank sought to improve community participation in rural areas by supporting the already-established local palm oil production industry. The objective of SADP in the financing agreement (July 2008) was to increase, in a sustainable manner, the level of involvement of targeted communities in their local development through measures aimed at increasing oil palm revenue and local participation. Ratings for the Smallholder Agriculture Development Project are as follows: Outcome was unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome was high, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Projects that seek to improve crop productivity and income on smallholder farms, in addition to CDD, work better when they integrate the two disparate objectives because of the very different implementation modalities involved. (ii) Complex, multidimensional projects require additional oversight and support in environments with weak government implementation capacity. (iii) Creative operational approaches or sufficient institutional support is required in weak-capacity environments to ensure that project disbursements are distributed effectively. (iv) Understanding cultural impacts and how they influence agricultural cash crops in smaller, geographically isolated states is necessary to ensure that political constraints do not reduce the impact of World Bank projects. (v) Agricultural sector road infrastructure investments need to be coordinated sufficiently with domestic private-sector interests and provincial government priorities to ensure sustainability and future operational maintenance.

Can Ethiopia Create 2 Million Jobs Every Year?

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Can Ethiopia Create 2 Million Jobs Every Year
Insights from a recent High-level Forum on job creation in the rural non-farm economy, held in Addis Ababa.Insights from a recent High-level Forum on job creation in the rural non-farm economy, held in Addis Ababa.

Gambia CLR Review FY13-16

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This review of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the Second Joint Partnership Strategy (JPS-2), FY13-FY16, for the Gambia. The JPS-2 was a joint strategy of the WBG and the African Development Bank (AfDB).The Gambia is a small, fragile and landlocked country with a GNI per capita income of USD 430 in 2016.The JPS-2 had eight objectives organized around two Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the Second Joint Partnership Strategy (JPS-2), FY13-FY16, for the Gambia. The JPS-2 was a joint strategy of the WBG and the African Development Bank (AfDB).The Gambia is a small, fragile and landlocked country with a GNI per capita income of USD 430 in 2016.The JPS-2 had eight objectives organized around two pillars or focus areas: (i) enhancing productive capacity and competitiveness; (ii) strengthening the institutional capacity for economic governance and public service delivery. The JPS-2 was aligned with the government's medium term development plan as articulated in its Program for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) 2012-2016 and the government's long-term plan contained in Vision 2020.The JPS-2 focus areas and objectives were aligned with government's Medium Term Development Plan (PAGE), and its long-term strategy, Vision 2020. The joint strategy and clear division of labor with AfDB provided the foundation for WBG's selectivity. The WBG's program was generally selective in terms of focus areas, objectives and interventions. IEG concurs with some of the key lessons which are summarized as follows: (i) strong donor collaboration is critical but could also have high transactions costs; (ii) country capacity is an important consideration in data collection and quality, and in developing a results framework; and (iii) formal mid-course corrections through the PLR process is even more important in a difficult country circumstances. IEG adds the following lessons: i) Small and fragile countries could benefit from participation in regional integration operations by leveraging limited IDA financing and maximizing development impact. In the case of the Gambia, its participation in regional operations brought benefits to the country in terms of improved technology adoption in agriculture and increased connectivity. ii) To the extent possible, it is important that WBG interventions are aligned to the CPS objectives and their contributions reflected in the results framework. In the case of the Gambia, there were IFC interventions in several areas that were not reflected in the results framework.

Burkina Faso CLR Review FY13-16

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Burkina Faso is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $620 in 2016. During 2013-2016, annual GDP growth averaged 5.0 percent, but annual GDP per capita growth was only 1.9 percent due to high population growth. Economic growth was built on a narrow base, mainly agriculture and mining, and has failed to produce a sufficient number of jobs to absorb the rapidly growing work force, 80 Show MoreBurkina Faso is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $620 in 2016. During 2013-2016, annual GDP growth averaged 5.0 percent, but annual GDP per capita growth was only 1.9 percent due to high population growth. Economic growth was built on a narrow base, mainly agriculture and mining, and has failed to produce a sufficient number of jobs to absorb the rapidly growing work force, 80 percent of which are in agriculture. While the poverty rate declined from 50 percent to 40 percent between 2003 and 2014, the absolute number of people living in poverty, of which 90 percent live in rural areas, remained roughly the same between the two periods – lack of access by the poor to social services and basic infrastructure has been a major constraint. The level of vulnerability of households is high, with two-thirds suffering from shocks each year, mainly from natural hazards. Burkina Faso ranked 185 out of 188 countries in 2015 in the Human Development Index.

Creating Jobs in the Rural Non-Farm Economy

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Creating Jobs in the Rural Non Farm Economy
Global Stakeholder Forum to explore solutions for creating employment opportunities and improving livelihoods in the rural non-farm economy. Leading experts will share insights from across the globe to foster discussion around rural job creation in Ethiopia. Global Stakeholder Forum to explore solutions for creating employment opportunities and improving livelihoods in the rural non-farm economy. Leading experts will share insights from across the globe to foster discussion around rural job creation in Ethiopia.

Central African Republic: Emergency Food Crisis Response and Agriculture Re-Launch Project (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) on the World Bank Emergency Food Crises and Agriculture Re-launch project designed to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable populations in the Central African Republic following a coup d’état in 2013. Because of the extent of the crisis, and the loss of government capacity in the wake of the crisis to implement emergency aid, the project Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) on the World Bank Emergency Food Crises and Agriculture Re-launch project designed to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable populations in the Central African Republic following a coup d’état in 2013. Because of the extent of the crisis, and the loss of government capacity in the wake of the crisis to implement emergency aid, the project was executed by the World Food Program (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), contracted by the Ministry of Rural Development. Ratings for the Emergency Food Crisis Response and Agriculture Re-Launch Project are as follows: Outcome is unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is high, Bank performance is unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance is unsatisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Standard Agreements between World Bank clients and UN executing agencies can facilitate success if they include a common vision about intended objectives, a clear and achievable results framework and related outcome indicators, and a clear articulation of how risks to the environment and social framework will be monitored, reported on, and managed. (ii) Efficient seed procurement for conflict-affected countries is complex owing to disruption of trading networks and normal supply and demand signals: the recruitment and funding of a technical team needs to be a prior condition of project effectiveness. (iii) Emergency food security operations do not necessarily require food agency coupling (such as WFP and FAO). (iv) Post-conflict emergency assistance in highly agrarian economies should try to maximize synergies across sectoral operations to optimize the delivery of food aid while laying a foundation for growth of the agricultural sector.

Guinea CLR Review FY14-17

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This Review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the original period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Guinea (FY14-FY17) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) in FY16. Guinea is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $670 in 2016 and with rich mining and water-based resources. Average annual GDP growth during the 2014-2016 Show MoreThis Review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the original period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Guinea (FY14-FY17) and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) in FY16. Guinea is a low-income country with a GNI per capita of $670 in 2016 and with rich mining and water-based resources. Average annual GDP growth during the 2014-2016 period (4.6 percent) was marginally lower than during the previous four-year period (4.9 percent). Average growth was sustained despite a slowdown resulting from two major shocks: the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in 2014, which reduced international travel, investments, domestic commerce and services; and the decline in aluminum prices, which reduced Guinea’s bauxite ore export prices and revenues. Despite positive per capita growth, social development made little progress. Poverty rates were 53.0 percent in 2007 and 55.2 percent in 2012, the last year of available poverty estimates. Guinea’s Human Development Index remained flat at 0.4 from 2012 to 2015 and placed the country in the low human development category and ranked 183 out of 188 countries in 2015. Rural social conditions are particularly dire, with rural poverty rates much higher (64.7 percent in 2012) than urban rates (35.4 percent).

Want to End Rural Poverty? Look Beyond the Farm

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To End Rural Poverty Look Beyond the Farm
There is increasing recognition that non-farm activities – activities that do not constitute primary agricultural production – are critical sources of additional income for the poor. In a recent IEG evaluation, we assessed the extent to which the World Bank Group has supported activities in the rural non-farm economy over the last ten years.There is increasing recognition that non-farm activities – activities that do not constitute primary agricultural production – are critical sources of additional income for the poor. In a recent IEG evaluation, we assessed the extent to which the World Bank Group has supported activities in the rural non-farm economy over the last ten years.