Prompted by the persistent increase in rice imports (and the implications thereof) amidst implementation of various import reduction policies and strategies in Ghana, this study sourced assessment of the plausible determinants of volume and value of rice imports in Ghana. Use was made of an imperfect substitutes model (an extension of the traditional import demand model) applied in a multiple regression frame for the period 1965-2009. Based on a framework used in this study, the perceived determinants of rice imports were local rice production, relative price ratio between imported and local rice, real per capita income, relative price ratio between maize and imported rice, relative price ratio between millet and imported rice, consumer tax equivalent of tariff on rice imports, domestic (beginning) stock variation, domestic demand for meat, urbanization index, trade liberalization and lagged value of rice imports. Estimates for the respective models, however, revealed that, both volume and value of rice imports increase significantly with increasing real per capita income, increasing millet price (keeping that for imported rice unchanged), increasing demand for meat, urbanization and with trade liberalization. In as much as volume of rice imports decreased marginally with increments in domestic stock, effect on value of rice imports was not significant. Local rice production, consumer tax equivalent of tariff on rice imports, relative price ratio between imported and local rice, relative price ratio between maize and imported rice and lagged value of rice imports had no significant effects on both volume and value of rice imports. Among the variables with significant effects, increments in relative price ratio between millet and imported rice, and urbanization yield the greatest impact (positive) on both volume and value of rice imports. Given these findings, there arises a need for policy makers to look beyond variables currently emphasized in rice policy of the country. For Ghana to stand a chance of significantly reducing rice imports and meeting set targets, effort should be made to intensively pursue quality improvement of locally-produced food, especially the most consumed rice substitutes for which Ghana holds a strong comparative advantage and incorporate income dynamics, dynamics in millet price (relative to import price), dynamics in domestic meat demand, and patterns of urbanization in future rice policy.
This study focused on poverty and stochastic dominance comparisons using educational factors in crude oil polluted and non-polluted crop farmer households in Rivers State, Nigeria. Data were collected using multistage sampling technique, via 296 questionnaires from crop farmers in selected 17 local government areas (LGAs) of the state. Analytical tools used were FGT poverty measures and stochastic poverty dominance. The results of this study showed that incidence of poverty (P0) were higher in crude oil polluted crop farmer households (58.8% - 100%) as compared to non-polluted crop farmer households (40.1% – 66.7%), significant at 1%. The results also indicated that poverty gap (P1) in crude oil polluted category was slightly higher (6.3% - 13.9%) as compared to 7.3% - 13.4% in non-polluted crop farmer households (significant at 5%). The range of poverty severity (P2) in crude oil polluted was higher (0.9% - 4.6%) as compared to 0.7% - 4.1% in non-polluted crop farmer households (significant at 1%). The stochastic poverty dominance results confirmed that there was high rate of incidence of poverty (P0) in Rivers State, Nigeria as all educational sub-groupings first order stochastic dominance (FSD) conditions failed. However, the results revealed, there was higher poverty gap (P1) and poverty severity (P2) experienced among crude oil polluted crop farmer households than in non-polluted, as majority of the distribution curves were unambiguous at the second (SSD) and third order stochastic dominance conditions (TSD). In conclusion, there was high level of headcount poverty in the state. However, there was more high level of poverty (at P0, P1, P2 measures) in crude oil polluted than in non-polluted crop farmer households as at time of survey in 2003 using the educational variables applied in this study. This could have been as a result of crude oil pollution on crop farms.
Numerous methods have been developed for estimating the production levels of forestry operations. Although these methods are classified in different ways in literature, they are fundamentally divided into two methods i.e. the quantitative and the qualitative method. In estimation studies, one of the alternative methods used instead of the traditional one is the Artificial Neural Network (ANN).
In this study, we attempted to determine the utility of the ANN method in predicting the industrial wood production yield in forestry operations according to the allowable cut. In this context, we utilized a set of variables described in the literature as influencing industrial wood production yield relative to allowable cut. These variables, which can all be measured on the basis of production units, were organized in 3 main groups; the general conditions of the stand, the natural structure of the production unit, and the production methods and tools. Using this set of variables and the Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP) technique, various ANN models were developed for testing different degrees of learning and momentum coefficients.
Based on the estimations performed within the scope of this study with different ANN models, we were able to identify the model which provided predictive values closest to the real values during percentage of yield estimations. During the study, it was determined that the model which performed estimations for the industrial wood yield percentage at the Günye Forestry Operations Directorate that were the closest to the actual values, with a MAPE value of 5.3%, which was the multilayered ANN model with 26 input variables, 8 neurons, 0.4 degrees of learning, and a 0.8 momentum coefficient. The error rate for the total yield percentage of the 10 production units used for testing purposes in the model was 1.7%, which is a fairly low and acceptable value. Based on these results, it is possible to state that ANN applications and models have an important potential value for use in the estimation of the yield percentage relative to allowable cut forestry operations.
A study was conducted to make an overall assessment of aquifer, groundwater resources, and its optimum utilization as well as the potentiality of groundwater abstraction in Mymensingh sadar upazilla. The subsurface lithology was investigated from the collected data of twelve borelogs in the study area. The subsurface formation of the study area was stratified with clay, sandy clay and fine sand at the upper part while medium sand, coarse sand at the lower part of subsurface lithology. The thickness of clay and silty or sandy clay layers ranging from 6 m to 58 m having an average thickness of 33.8 m existed below the ground surface. The thickness of composite aquifer varied from 13 m to 75 m having average thickness of 27.6 m. Main aquifer or exploitable aquifer thickness varied from 23 m to 61 m having average thickness of 43.8 m. Transmissibility of the aquifer found by applying Jacob’s time-drawdown method was 1037 m2/day to 4430 m2/ day and the average is 3154 m2/day. The static water level started rising from the month of April and continued to rise up to the month of September or October The water level started to deplete from September to October and continued up to April. Average specific draw-down was 114.8 m/cumec and average specific capacity was 4.7x10-4 cumec/m obtained by multi-step pumping test method. The recharge and depletion characteristics were found to be almost in equilibrium condition. The long-term trend of ground water level was found to be in declining position in the recent years.
Ethiopia is the second most populated country having more than 90 million people in Africa. Ethiopian economy largely depends on agriculture. Agriculture accounts for 90% of exports and 85% of employment while 90% of the people depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Low agricultural productivity is the major problem for food insecurity emanating from the use of traditional farming practices, lack of appropriate technologies, low adoption of agricultural innovations, and lack of strong linkage between researchers and farmers. The linkage between farmers and researchers is affected by experiences of farmers with previous research projects, farmers’ perception for researchers, the degree of farmers’ involvement in research projects and farmers’ characteristics. Therefore, the objective of this study was to identify key factors related to farmers’ characteristics hindering the linkage of farmers with researchers in agricultural innovation in Ethiopia using the agricultural innovation system (AIS) framework. A qualitative research design was used. The research revealed that attitude of farmers for researchers, farmers’ attitude for research, bad experiences of farmers in the past, lack of sufficient time and farmers’ expectation were the farmers’ characteristics affecting the linkage of farmers with researchers in agricultural research innovation.
The paper looks at the water crisis in South Africa. The crisis of water to a developing country and to its people, to agriculture, to other important variables important and necessary to economic growth and development cannot be under estimated. South Africa is on the precipice because, it is faced with extreme levels of electricity load shedding that, is projected to continue for at least three years and is now confronted with a burgeoning water crisis. The current electricity crisis is a grim portent and soon South Africa will be in the same boat with water. It is simple the government is dragging its feet while the taps run dry. There is no doubt that there is political doublespeak in respect to water access in the country. The paper posits and argues that the lack of rain also compounds the problem of the water crisis. Agriculture is seriously threatened as dry spells damage agricultural output and maize prices rise. The paper further argues that that the cost of water losses is increasing and damaging a very fragile economy and stymies development. It is therefore, vital and most important that water resources have to be managed for purposes of food production. On the other hand, the paper alludes to some ways to fix the water woes of South Africa. In this regard the paper posits and argues that political will and administrative and regulatory changes are necessary and needed to reduce the problems. In finding solutions, the paper will unpack the need to conserve groundwater and will also discuss salinity management in terms of favourable water balance. It also shows that rainfall forecasting requires more investment, including decisive political and administrative intervention by government in many directions. The paper concludes by unpacking the need for greater public health awareness and more research because the water crisis can cause devastating public health consequences.