Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2017

Enabling the Business of Agriculture 2017
© 2017 International Bank for Reconstruction and Development / The World Bank, 296 pages
EBA 2017 is the third report in the series of EBA reports, presenting data that measure legal barriers for businesses operating in agriculture in 62 economies countries and across 12 topic areas. 

It provides quantitative indicators on regulation for seed, fertilizer, machinery, finance, markets, transport, information and communication technology (ICT), and water economies countries and across 12 topic areas. It provides quantitative indicators on regulation for seed, fertilizer, machinery, finance, markets, transport, information and communication technology (ICT), and water.

Two overarching themes—gender and environmental sustainability—continue to be included in the report analysis to ensure that the messages developed by EBA encourage inclusive and sustainable practices. 

This year scoring was piloted for the land topic for 38 countries in which data were collected. The data for the remaining 24 countries will be collected next year and the team will refine the methodology further. EBA also collected data on the livestock topic, focusing on veterinary medicinal products (VMPs).
“Sustainable, inclusive investments in the agriculture and food sectors help create jobs –  on farms, in markets, cities, towns and villages and throughout the farm-to-table food production and supply chains – which, alongside improved access to affordable and balanced, diverse diets, are key to fighting extreme poverty and for boosting shared prosperity,” Preeti Ahuja, Practice Manager, World Bank Food and Agriculture Global Practice.
“Government regulations affect agricultural development through several dimension, including agricultural inputs such as seed, fertilizer, land and water, as well as small-scale and remote farmers’ access to financial services. Boosting agribusinesses requires public policies and regulations that foster growth in the agriculture and food sectors, improve the functioning of markets, and enable agribusinesses and food entrepreneurs to better meet the growing demand for food. Federica Saliola, Program Manager, World Bank Vice Presidency for Development Economics. 
The dataset provides countries with an overview of their performance regarding agricultural regulation, and identifies potential areas of improvement. Overall, the study finds that, while many countries already have regulations that encourage strong, commercially-oriented agriculture, almost all countries can further improve conditions. Measures to do so include, for example, regulation that lowers transaction costs, improves registration and permit systems, or facilitates international trade. Such investments would not only improve food production, but also create jobs along the entire agri-food supply chain and thereby contribute to poverty reduction.

Regarding regional differences, the report shows that OECD high-income countries rank highest in quality and efficiency of regulation, followed by the Europe and Central Asia Region and Latin America and the Caribbean. Regulation is least developed in East Asia and the Pacific, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. On average, countries in these regions have adopted less than half of the good practices promoted by the EBA. The publication also notes that the methodology of the EBA assessment is still under development. Future editions of the report will allow monitoring progress in the different categories at the country level and more detailed comparisons across countries and regions.
EBA is a joint project of the World Bank’s Agriculture Global Practice and Global Indicators Group. The Agriculture Global Practice defines the World Bank’s strategic direction in agriculture, develops and deploys expertise globally, delivers integrated solutions while capturing and leveraging knowledge effectively for maximum development impact needed to end poverty and boost shared prosperity. The Global Indicators Group, which is part of the World Bank’s Development Economics network, produces global datasets that document and explore the relationship between business environment reforms and key development outcomes. The group’s products include the Doing Business report; Women, Business and the Law; Enterprise Surveys; and Subnational Doing Business, amongst others.

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