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05 March, 2007






CATSEI Kick-off meeting

January 19th and 20th, 2007, Amsterdam

The CATSEI-project will study the changes in agricultural trade and the social and environmental impacts that can be expected in the coming decades from China’s ongoing process of agricultural transition. This transition started with the decollectivisation programme of the late 1970s and has continued ever since, gradually under the increasing pressure of booming non-agricultural incomes, rising demand for meat, changing international trade regulations and aggravating problems of pollution and resource scarcity. In the project SOW-VU will cooperate with five partner institutes: CCAP (Centre for Chinese Agricultural Policies, Beijing), IFPRI (International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington), IIASA (International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria), LEI (Agricultural Economics Research Institute, The Hague) and SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies, London). The project is funded by the European Union as part of its 6th Framework Programme and will last for three years.



Visit to Ghana

July 8-15, 2006

The director of SOW-VU, Professor Michiel Keyzer, and two staff members, Bart van den Boom and Vasco Molini, visited the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to participate in the poverty analysis workshop ‘Can Price-Weather Insurance Reduce Poverty in Rural Ghana?’. Several possibilities to secure farmers’ income against inadequate rainfall and low prices were presented and discussed.


The workshop, organized by the GSS and funded by the World Bank and SOW-VU, was attended by a broad audience of stakeholders. There was considerable attention of journalists and the workshop was on the news of three Ghanaian TV-stations. The interview of Professor Keyzer on Ghanaian Television can be viewed here.

Another goal of the visit was to discuss capacity building at the GSS and at the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).

According to their mandate, the two institutes are assigned a key role in providing information to the Government and to the public on social and economic developments and the impact of development policies. Both the GSS and the NDPC face difficulties to fulfill their mandate and to play their role effectively due to a shortage of qualified staff. They welcome foreign assistance and institutional support from SOW-VU to develop a capacity building strategy to attract staff and reduce the dependency on (foreign) consultants. Read more...


Arouna Aminou from Benin at SOW-VU

Aminou will receive a three months training in (spatial) data management and production function analysis at SOW-VU. In Benin he is working as a researcher for the Institut National des Recherches Agricoles du Benin (INRAB). This institute advises the government on agricultural policy and measures the impact of government policy on agricultural productivity. Aminou has been collecting data on agricultural activities and water use in the Ouémé river basin in Benin. To analyze the data that has been collected Aminou is receiving a training in methodological tools at SOW-VU. Read more...



Discussion on the usefulness of the PSE

In a recent issue of Food Policy Professors Oskam and Professor Meester challenged the usefulness of the Producer Support Estimate (PSE), a widely used measure for support to the agricultural sector published by OECD. In the same issue of Food Policy Professor Tangermann (Director Food, Agriculture and Fisheries at the OECD) writes a rejoinder. Our comments on the issue can be found here.


China's Rapidly Growing Meat Demand

Brief of December 2005

A fast growing Chinese economy leads to a rapidly increasing consumption of meat. Currently, demand for meat and feed grains is almost fully met by local production. As incomes continue to grow, how dependent will China be on meat and feed imports in 2030?



More information on the Chinagro project and model can be found here.


'The Future of the Profession'

Presentation of Professor Keyzer at the 2005 European Association of Agricultural Economists Conference in Copenhagen
Agricultural economics research will have to compete on an opener market as agricultural policies become more streamlined to overall government policies, with liberalization, reduction in subsidies and decoupled support. Investments in skills are therefore necessary, Professor Keyzer argues.
Full text of the presentation.


China's Agriculture towards 2030

On January 14, 2005, Professor Michiel Keyzer and Wim van Veen participated in the Policy Forum on China's Agriculture towards 2030 and the Workshop on Policy Decision Support Tools for Sustainable Agriculture.

The Policy Forum was the concluding meeting of the EU-financed CHINAGRO project on which the results of various scenario runs of the CHINAGRO model were presented.

The Policy Forum was held in the morning and in the afternoon there was a Workshop on Policy Decision Support Tools for Sustainable Agriculture, during which the design of the CHINAGRO model was presented  and the main findings of the model simulations were discussed.


Policy Forum on China's Agriculture towards 2030

Programme and presentations


Workshop on Policy Decision Support Tools for Sustainable Agriculture: The CHINAGRO Model programme and presentations

Programme and presentations