Chatura Rodrigo


June 5th is the World Environment Day. This year’s theme is “Connecting People to Nature”. Connecting people to nature would be more effective and efficient if Ecosystem Goods and Services (EGSs) are better understood. The article attempts to understand the ecological incentives generated by EGSs to motivate people to connect with the environment in a continuous and sustainable manner.   More on this article is available http://www.
Agricultural Instructors are a central component of the agricultural value chain. They are in charge of the agricultural advisory service and even help farmers to find markets and make cultivation decisions. There is, however, only a thin line between these extra activities they perform in addition to providing the advisory service. The central argument is that agriculture instructors often have enough incentive to effectively operate within the value chain. This means they may perform activities that are understood by some as implying a “conflict of interest”.
In agriculture economic instruments are used to increase productivity, efficiency, access and affordability. However not all instruments achieve their ultimate goals, they fail. One main candidate that causes these economic instruments to fail is the “Misaligned Incentives”. This article explores the answers to popular agricultural issues such as (1) Why fertiliser subsidies fail (2) Why organic agriculture uptake is slow (3) Why farmers apply banned chemicals in fruit and vegetable production (4) Why consumers knowingly consume unhealthy produce and (5) Why coordinated agriculture practices fail?.
  Many issue have hindered the progress in agriculture sector. Farmers, buyers and consumer are raising issues every day despite the efforts by policy makers and institutions. May be it is not that the actions are not generating results rather the actions are not well coordinated and policies are misaligned. One way to go about this is to prioritize the issues and identify collective solutions. In prioritization it is possible to cluster issues that can be solved by a common intervention.
    Agricultural sustainability is a priority in terms of promoting the “Green Economy”. However during the past several years the word “Agricultural Sustainability” has only been a catch phrase. Policy makers pound hard on the word “Agricultural sustainability” while the country was fully geared towards chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Neither farmers nor the policy makers really cared about the long-term impacts rather short term goals were the aim. I argue that the main reason for this is because there wasn’t a strong government patronage behind the efforts towards sustainable agriculture.
  Agricultural subsidies have been an important economic intervention for agriculture dependent countries. This has significantly impacted the production, efficiency and sustainability of agriculture. It is important to identify the dynamics of the agricultural value chains if the benefits of subsidies are to be harnessed. Type of the subsidy, size and the intended stakeholders in the value chain are important to identify prior to implementation. It is also important to have a transition plan.
  Agricultural value chains hold the primary characteristics of a “Principal-Agent” relationship. Therefore, I argue whether the failure of these value chains can be explained in terms of a Principal-Agent Problem. Explaining an issue using economic terms does not help much therefore I am also proposing ways that the problem can be resolved. The Principal-Agent Problem can be best explained in a contract farming setting.   Contract farming is a form of vertical integration within agricultural commodity chains, such that the firm has greater control over the production process, as well as the quantity, quality, other characteristics and the timing of what is produced.
  Sri Lanka’s first ever International Chemical & Process Engineering Conference was organized by the Department of Chemical and Process engineering of the University of Moratuwa in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on 25th of November 2016 from 1 pm to 5.30 pm at BMICH. The conference was organized under four main thematic areas adopted from Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); (1) Zero hunger (2) Clean water and sanitation (3) Clean and affordable energy and (4) industry, innovation and infrastructure.   Dr. Chatura Rodrigo, Senior Research Manager at LIRNEasia led the panel on “Future with Food Security”, under the SDG of Zero hunger.
    The 2017 budget proposals for agriculture speak many right and necessary words. However, one would wonder whether they carry the essential implementation characteristics. The attempt of the article therefore is to critically evaluate five most significant agricultural budget proposals of 2017. Please read more from the below link: http://www.ft.
  Research shows many reasons for agricultural value chains to fail. Some popular reasons are: lack of motivation, lack of financial strength, lack of planning, little evaluation of market opportunities and even lack of business management skills. However I argue that transaction costs are the main reasons for agricultural value chains to fail. LIRNEasia’s research work on transaction costs dates back to 2006. These research works looked at identifying key transaction costs in agricultural value chains, especially the smallholder vegetable growers associated with the largest wholesale market of the country.