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Jorge Alvarez and Claudia Berg
A large share of cross-country differences in productivity is explained by differences in agricultural productivity. Using a combination of sub-national agricultural statistics and geospatial datasets on crop-specific potential yields, we study the main drivers of this variation from a macroeconomic perspective. We find that differences in geographically-induced crop-specific comparative advantages can explain a substantial share of the variation in yields across the world. Data reveal substantial gaps between potential and observed yields in most countries. When decomposing these within country gaps, we find that crop selection gaps are on average larger than those induced by input usage alone. The results highlight the importance of understanding the interaction of geography and crop selection drivers in assessing aggregate agricultural productivity differences.
International Monetary Fund
Ex Post Assessments are intended to provide an opportunity to step back from continuing program relations to consider an analysis of the economic problems facing the country, review progress under IMF-supported programs, and draw forward-looking lessons for future IMF engagement. The program objective of macroeconomic and financial stability was broadly achieved, as evidenced by the moderate fiscal deficits, low and relatively stable rates of inflation, and the maintenance of a sustainable external debt position; but raising economic growth remained a challenge. Structural reforms are also necessary to encourage investment and employment.
International Monetary Fund
Following an evaluation of the first Poverty Reduction Strategy Framework (PRSF) of Mali, the government adopted the Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy Framework (GPRSF) document, which aims at reducing poverty and achieving the MDGs. The Accelerated Growth Strategy, which maintains macroeconomic stability and pursues structural reforms, is based on improvement of governance and renewal of public action, development of productive and private sectors, and investment in human resources. The GPRSF groups provide details regarding implementation of sector policies and strategies, budget implementation status, and recommendations. It is recommended to ensure monitoring-evaluation of poverty reduction activities through the GPRSF action plan.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses key findings of the Second Review under the three-year arrangement under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) for Mali. Performance under the PRGF-supported program has been generally satisfactory, but there have been delays in implementing structural reforms. Performance criterion on nonconcessional debt was breached in April 2009 when the authorities used loan financing instead of the envisaged bond financing for the programmed reduction in value-added tax (VAT) credit arrears. Authorities have taken corrective measures to restore the track record of structural reforms and address the nonconcessional borrowing.
International Monetary Fund
This Joint Staff Advisory Note focuses on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) for Côte d’Ivoire, and discusses poverty trends, the PRSP’s strategic pillars, and key outcomes sought, including a sound macroeconomic framework, and monitoring and evaluation arrangements. IMF staff supports the authorities’ plans to link the strategic priorities of the PRSP with budgetary allocations and processes. The IMF staff also agrees with the assessment of poverty made in the PRSP, and urges an immediate and focused effort to reverse the rising trend in poverty.
International Monetary Fund
This paper presents Mali’s First Review under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, and requests for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria. The food and fuel price shocks have begun to moderate, partly because of the authorities' supply-side measures and declining oil prices. New risks are emerging from the global credit crisis and its spillover effects onto global growth, commodity markets, and exchange rates. The authorities need to be vigilant on the fiscal front because policies have relaxed owing to external food and fuel price shocks and higher-than-expected nondebt financing.
International Monetary Fund
The cotton sector in Mali is facing major challenges to overcome, with low export prices, technical hurdles, and a poorly performing state-owned cotton ginner. Some reforms, most notably with regard to the setting of the farmgate procurement price, have already been undertaken, but more is needed to put the sector on a sound financial footing. It is vital that the production process be modernized and the ginner profoundly reformed if cotton is to play a major role in poverty reduction in rural Mali.
International Monetary Fund
Mali’s 2008 Article IV Consultation and request for a Three-Year Arrangement Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility are discussed. Mali’s economy has doubled in size since the democratic transition of the early 1990s. Sound macroeconomic management has produced growth averaging almost 5 percent, and raised the tax ratio from less than 10 percent of GDP to about 16 percent. Agriculture, the mainstay of the economy, has been buffeted by recurrent droughts, floods, locust infestation, and diseases.