LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

Category Archives: Agriculture

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Why we must continue to focus on ICTs and agricultural productivity

LIRNEasia has been engaged with the knowledge and information aspects of agriculture since 2006. There have been times when questions have been raised about whether this should continue to be a priority for us. But this summary of research on the cost of living in Africa (by extension, poor countries) published in the Economist suggests […]

LIRNEasia’s research on agriculture since 2006 goes into op-ed interview in most widely read newspaper

LIRNEasia has been working on agriculture since 2006. Most recently, in the context of the Inclusive Information Society project that is being wrapped up, I was talking about GAP compliance with an agri-producer connected to global supply chains standing in a paddy field in Kandy on which he was growing bitter gourd for export to […]

On World Environment Day: Connecting People to Nature


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 […]

Misaligned Incentives: Will Agricultural Instructors Become the Cause of Destruction

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 […]

LIRNEasia’s agricultural research described on TV talk show

Unusual discussion Usually, what gets discussed on TV talk shows are big political issues. Somewhat unusually, the Derana Aluth Parlimenthuva Program focused on economic issues yesterday. My expectation was that it would be on the big news stories: oil tanks, India, growth rates, etc. I talked about the recently gained GSP Plus concession. This allows […]

On the field in Dambulla

For some, it’s something they are used to. But for others it’s a new experience. They carefully touch the icons on the smart phone with tentative fingers and say “Puthalata, duvalata nang meva pulavan” (Our sons and daughters can easily do this) The group of farmers who gathered last week in Dambulla came from different […]

Why Do Agricultural Value Chains Fail: Misaligned Incentives


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 […]

Sustainability: How that translates to agriculture


    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 […]

Inclusive information for farmers


LIRNEasia researchers were in the field last week talking to vegetable farmers in Chilaw, Gampaha and Kurunegala. The discussions which took part in varying locations, are part of the LIRNEasia’s ongoing research for its ‘Inclusive information societies’ project. The project aims to assess the impact of opening up government data and making crop advisory information […]

Why Agricultural Value Chains Fail? Curse of the Subsidy


  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 […]

Why Agricultural Value Chains Fail? A Principal-Agent Problem


  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 […]

Budget Proposals for Agriculture: Five Important Points


    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:–Five-important-points

Why Agricultural Value Chains Fail? A Transaction Cost Explanation


  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 […]

Big data and agriculture


I was asked to make one point about the way forward at the closing session of the excellent e agriculture solutions forum organized by the FAO and ITU offices in Bangkok. Here is what I said (more or less, but this is the jist): Big data in agriculture We have come a long way from […]

How can government, private firms and non-profits work together to implement e agriculture solutions


  I was happy to moderate a thoughtfully assembled session at the FAO-ITU organized e agriculture solutions forum in Nanthaburi, Thailand, 29-31 August 2016. The objective of this session was to share initiatives on e-agriculture – the challenges and opportunities from public and private sector. There were speakers from a government research organization, a research […]


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