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Outlook On Agriculture cover Outlook on Agriculture logo Outlook On Agriculture cover

The international journal devoted to agricultural science, policy and strategy.

ISSN 0030-7270 (print); 2043-6866 (online)


Editor: Dr Jerry Knox

This journal is covered by Thomson Reuters in the Science Citation Index, the Science Citation Index Expanded, Current Contents/Agriculture, Biology & Environmental Sciences, and BIOSIS Previews. Impact Factor: 0.368. 5-Year Impact Factor: 0.544. (2013 Journal Citation Reports® Science Edition, Thomson Reuters, 2014).

This journal is indexed in Scopus

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Editorial coverage

Outlook on Agriculture is published quarterly and welcomes original research papers, research notes, invited reviews and commentary for an international and interdisciplinary readership. Special attention is paid to agricultural policy, international trade in the agricultural sector, strategic developments in food production, the links between agricultural systems and food security, the role of agriculture in social and economic development, agriculture in developing countries and environmental issues, including natural resources for agriculture and climate impacts. Articles should be in the region of 4,000 words; relevant literature should be cited with a recommended limit of 30 references.

Submissions - Notes for authors

Outlook on Agriculture uses an online webtool called Editman for manuscript submission, review and feedback. Please follow the link below to submit your manuscript through Editman:

http://www.editman.co/

You will first need to register with Editman and then upload details regarding your manuscript. The process is quick and straightforward. Once complete, you will receive an acknowledgement and your paper will then be screened for journal relevance.

Length and presentation of contributions

Articles should be in the region of 4,000 words. Research notes and shorter pieces will also be considered for publication. In addition, papers derived from work done under the EU Research Framework Programme will be readily considered. Submissions should be double-spaced. Electronic versions must be in Word.

The text should be ordered under appropriate sub-headings (not numbered paragraphs or sections) and where possible these should not be more than 800 words apart. Three levels of sub-heading are possible.

The title page should show the names and addresses of the authors, their professional status and affiliation and the address (including e-mail) to which correspondence should be sent. As this page will not be sent to referees, the title of the article (without author names) should be repeated on the first text page.

An abstract should be provided, comprising 100-150 words.

Between 3 and 6 keywords should appear below the abstract, highlighting the main topics of the paper. References should follow the Harvard system. That is, they should be shown within the text as the author's surname (or authors' surnames) followed by a comma and the year of publication, all in round brackets: for example, (Smith, 1998). For textual citations, where there are two authors please use the word 'and', not the ampersand (thus: '(Smith and Jones, 2012)'. Where there are more than two authors, please use the first-named author only, followed by 'et al' in italics (thus: Smith et al, 2012). At the end of the article a bibliographical list should be supplied, organized alphabetically by author (surnames followed by initials - all authors should be named). Bibliographic information should be given in the order indicated by the following examples: 

Articles: Wheeler, T., and Kay, M. (2010), ‘Food crop production, water and climate change in the developing world’, Outlook on Agriculture, Vol 39, No 4, pp 239–243.

Books: Lovelock, J. (2009), The Vanishing Face of Gaia: a Final Warning, Allen Lane, London.

Notes should be numbered consecutively in the text and typed in plain text at the end of the paper (not as footnotes on text pages).

Tables should be reduced to the simplest form and present only essential data. They should be submitted on separate sheets at the end of the article. The use of vertical rules in tables should be avoided.

For illustrations, line drawings and photographs are acceptable. Authors are asked to supply originals of line drawings for reproduction. Photographs should be glossy prints with good contrast. Authors should bear in mind that colour illustrations will be reproduced in black and white in the print version of the journal.

Prior Publication

Articles are received on the understanding that they are original contributions, and have not been published officially, either in print or electronic form, or submitted for publication elsewhere. In this respect, ‘discussion’ or ‘working’ papers, conference presentations and proceedings are not considered to be official publications, unless they have been formally deemed so by conference organizers, or presented as edited works through recognized publishing channels. If in doubt, authors are asked to draw the attention of the Editor to any prior dissemination of the paper in their letter of submission. Please note that articles should not be posted on personal Websites or social networking sites before or after submission.

Refereeing

Other than research notes, reports, and personal opinion pieces, articles will be refereed. Papers by authors who are not academics (eg submissions from industry) will also be subject to review before acceptance, but their distinct nature and aims will be fully taken into account.

Copyright

Authors will be asked to assign copyright, where possible, to IP Publishing Ltd. Relevant authors’ rights are protected.

Author Checklist for Final versions

Editorial Board

  • Editor: Dr Jerry Knox, Cranfield Institute for Water Science, Dept of Environmental Science and Technology, Cranfield University, Bedford MK43 0AL, UK. E-mail: j.knox(a)cranfield.ac.uk
  • Consulting Editor: Dr David Lister, Somerset, UK

Editorial Advisory Board

  • Professor P.K. Aggarwal
    Indian Agricultural Research Institute, India
  • Dr Simon Anderson
    International Institute for Environment and Development, UK
  • Professor Deng Xi-Ping
    Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
  • Dr C. Devendra
    Consulting Tropical Animal Production Specialist, Malaysia
  • Dr R. C. Hardwick
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Dr Alfred Hartemink
    University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
  • Hsin Huang
    International Meat Secretariat, France
  • Dr Jill M. Lenné,
    Consulting Tropical Agriculture Specialist, Fyvie, UK
  • Dr Antoinette Mannion
    Department of Geography, University of Reading, UK
  • Professor Graham Matthews
    Imperial College London, UK
  • Dr Sushil Pandey
    International Rice Research Institute, The Philippines
  • Dr Thomas Fitz Randolph
    International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya
  • Dr Fabrice Renaud
    United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Germany
  • Dr J. Sumberg
    Institute of Development Studies, UK
  • Professor Guido van Huylenbroeck
    Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University, Belgium
  • Professor J. Van Staden
    Research Centre for Plant Growth & Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

MARCH 2015 ISSUE (VOL 44 NO 1)

5 Guest Editorial: Water option contracts for reducing water supply risks

Dolores Rey

11 Combining analytical methods for assessing food security across the food value chain: a conceptual integrated approach

Constance Reif, Marcos Lana, Frieder Graef, Ottfried Dietrich, Jana Schindler, Katharina Helming, Hannes Koenig and Stefan Sieber

19 Income distributional effects of CAP subsidies: micro evidence from the EU

Pavel Ciaian, d’Artis Kancs and Sergio Gomez y Paloma

29 The AKIS concept and its relevance in selected EU member states

A. Knierim, K. Boenning, M. Caggiano, A. Cristóvão, V. Dirimanova, T. Koehnen, P. Labarthe and K. Prager

37 Economics, yield and ecology: a case study from the South African tomato industry

Stephanus Malherbe and Diana Marais

49 Financing agricultural production from a value chain perspective: recent evidence from South Africa

Cobus Oberholster, Chris Adendorff and Kobus Jonker

61 Ex ante appraisal of agricultural research and extension: a choice experiment on climbing beans in Burundi

Isabel Lambrecht, Liesbet Vranken, Roel Merckx, Bernard Vanlauwe and Miet Maertens

69 Challenges and opportunities for agro-pastoral livestock smallholders in Mali

Andrés F. Cibils, DeAnn McGrew, Bara Kassambara, Konimba Bengaly, Bourama Sissoko and Ram N. Acharya

81 Changes in herdsmen’s pastoral behaviour triggered by rangeland degradation in the source region of the Yellow River, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Qiao Chen, Qingshui Lu and Zhiqiang Gao

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Title: Combining analytical methods for assessing food security across the food value chain: a conceptual integrated approach

Author(s): Constance Reif, Marcos Lana, Frieder Graef, Ottfried Dietrich, Jana Schindler, Katharina Helming, Hannes Koenig and Stefan Sieber

Abstract: Food security (FS) is a function of food availability, accessibility, stability and utilization. Food value chains (FVCs) are part of the food system and are characterized by five main components: natural resources, food production, processing, markets and consumption. Many methods are available to assess single FVC components, but few cover a series of FVC components. This paper introduces an integrated research framework which combines both qualitative and quantitative methodologies across a generic FVC. Furthermore, this approach provides mechanisms to identify the contribution to FS of each component in the FVC. The methodology uses an FVC as an analytical framework within which to assess FS in a systematic approach. Starting with a working scenario, each tool was evaluated according to its potential to assess FS indicators in different components, and then classified according to its temporal and spatial scales. The advantages, challenges and limitations of this conceptual approach are evaluated and discussed.

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Title: Income distributional effects of CAP subsidies: micro evidence from the EU

Author(s): Pavel Ciaian, d’Artis Kancs and Sergio Gomez y Paloma

Abstract: This paper studies the income distributional effects of three main instruments of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in the EU: Coupled Direct Payments (CDP), the Rural Development Programme (RDP) and the Single Payment Scheme (SPS). The authors use a large set of cross-country farm-level panel data for the EU covering the period 1999–2007, and employ the GMM estimator, which allows important sources of endogeneity to be addressed. According to the results, farmers gain 66–72%, 77–82% and 93–109% from the CDP, SPS and RDP respectively. These findings suggest that the initiated shift in CAP expenditure from the support of farm production activities towards supporting rural development and the provision of public goods and externalities is also in line with supporting farmers’ income.

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Title: The AKIS concept and its relevance in selected EU member states

Author(s): A. Knierim, K. Boenning, M. Caggiano, A. Cristóvão, V. Dirimanova, T. Koehnen, P. Labarthe and K. Prager

Abstract: Recently, Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems (AKISs) have gained considerable attention in scientific and political forums in the European Union (EU). AKIS is considered a key concept in identifying, analysing and assessing the various actors in the agricultural sector as well as their communication and interaction for innovation processes. Using qualitative expert interviews and organizational mapping, the features of national AKISs were investigated in selected EU member states (Belgium, France, Ireland, Germany, Portugal and the UK). The authors present the different national AKISs and compare them qualitatively with regard to their institutional settings, their overall policy frameworks and their coordinating structures. Conclusions are drawn with regard to AKIS appraisal in general and the usefulness of the AKIS concept, particularly for the understanding and evaluation of policy-induced innovation in agriculture.

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Title: Economics, yield and ecology: a case study from the South African tomato industry

Author(s): Stephanus Malherbe and Diana Marais

Abstract: A clear tomato yield gap exists in southern Africa. Understanding the economic crop production factors is a necessary prelude to any discussion of ecological sustainability. The objective of this study was to evaluate the economic factors that influence the sustainability of open-field tomato production. The authors compared detailed tomato production costs from six international studies to data from the largest commercial tomato producer in South Africa. The Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) was used to demonstrate the interactions between economic and agro-ecological constraints. Economic pressures are forcing tomato producers to intensify production, which underscores the need for the continued development of ecologically sustainable tomato production systems. The findings of this study will benefit policy development in support of sustainable food security in the rural areas of southern Africa and beyond.

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Title: Financing agricultural production from a value chain perspective: recent evidence from South Africa

Author(s): Cobus Oberholster, Chris Adendorff and Kobus Jonker

Abstract: World agriculture, despite numerous supply and demand challenges, has to increase its production capacity significantly to satisfy the increased demand for food. In addition, the sector has a significant developmental role to play. Access to credit is, however, a key enabler in this regard. This paper reports on a country-specific study performed to promote the success of agricultural value chain financing in South Africa, with a specific focus on the financing of agricultural production. The literature review provides a global overview of agricultural production, agricultural value chain financing and the potential role of leading chain actors as connecting institutions. The empirical study provides strong evidence of significant relationships between the dependent variable of the study, namely the perceived success of agricultural value chain financing in South Africa, and the intervening and independent variables. The independent variables value chain integration, strategic partnering, risk management, supporting services, sustainable production, product range and external financing positively influence the intervening variable – value chain competitiveness. In the same manner, the intervening variable of value chain competitiveness positively influences the perceived success of agricultural value chain financing in this study.

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Title: Ex ante appraisal of agricultural research and extension: a choice experiment on climbing beans in Burundi

Author(s): Isabel Lambrecht, Liesbet Vranken, Roel Merckx, Bernard Vanlauwe and Miet Maertens

Abstract: Research on agricultural technology adoption generally occurs ex post, after the introduction of a technology. In this paper, the authors use a choice experiment to reveal farmers’ preferences for new agricultural technologies ex ante, before new technologies are developed and introduced. The authors implement a choice experiment among 200 farmers in Burundi and use mixed logit models to analyse preferences for specific traits of improved climbing bean varieties. It was found that farmers had a strong preference for climbing bean varieties that resulted in higher yields and improved soil fertility, while the maturation period and the responsiveness to fertilizer were less important. Seed price was found to matter only for the most food-insecure farmers. These choice experimental results can inform agricultural research and extension programmes ex ante to take into account farmers’ preferences and accelerate the adoption of new technologies.

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Title: Challenges and opportunities for agro-pastoral livestock smallholders in Mali

Author(s): Andrés F. Cibils, DeAnn McGrew, Bara Kassambara, Konimba Bengaly, Bourama Sissoko and Ram N. Acharya

Abstract: This paper reports on an in-depth assessment of smallholder livestock production in rainfed agro-pastoral communities of Mali through an analysis of data from 36 case studies. Approximately 1,108 farmers were involved, with two-thirds of the case studies focusing on ruminant production and the remainder dealing with cooperative capacity building. Feeding and forage-related needs were the most frequently assessed in the case studies involving smallholders raising small ruminants or cattle, whereas organization-related needs were the most frequently assessed in those involving smallholder livestock cooperatives. Meeting the feed and forage requirements of small ruminants and cattle is the most urgent need for livestock smallholders, but addressing this challenge will be difficult without concurrent control of the breeding season and common diseases as well as implementation of appropriate methods to track and cull unproductive animals. Empowerment of grass-roots organizations, particularly women’s cooperatives, through literacy programmes and effective extension outreach could have significant impacts on the improvement of smallholder livestock enterprises.

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Title: Changes in herdsmen’s pastoral behaviour triggered by rangeland degradation in the source region of the Yellow River, Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

Author(s): Qiao Chen, Qingshui Lu and Zhiqiang Gao

Abstract: The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau has experienced extensive degradation in recent years since the privatization of livestock and rangeland ownership and the resulting dynamic changes in stocking rates. Herdsmen have had to adapt their behaviour in order to maximize profit. This paper outlines those changes and the consequent impacts on the ecosystem. The results show that livestock death rates have continued to increase in line with the deterioration of rangeland. Although farms have increased the proportion of yak in their herds, the total number of livestock in Maduo county has decreased significantly from one million in 1977 to 0.42 million in 2003.

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