No 2/2017, June

Determinants of Albanian Agricultural Export: The Gravity Model Approach


Despite its huge agricultural potential, Albania has a sharp trade de cit with agricultural commodities. The main focus of this study is to analyse key determinants of its agricultural export. Here we employ baseline gravity model considering conventional gravity variables for Albanian export ows for the period 1996-2013. The Poisson Pseudo-Maximum Likelihood (PPML) regression is used for stepwise estimations of the augmented gravity model, including effects of Albanian Diaspora, exchange rate and price stability, trade liberalization and institutional distance. Main ndings suggest that agricultural export ow increases with increasing economic size, revealing higher impact of importer’s absorbing potential comparatively to Albania’s productive potential. On the other hand, growth in domestic demand, resulting from increase in population, leads to reduction of agricultural export. Moreover, agricultural export ows are determined by low transportation costs (distance), adjacency proximity (sharing common border) and linguistic similarities. Presence of Albanian Diaspora residing in the importing countries facilitates export ows. Results of this study reveal that exchange rate variability has a positive impact, while bilateral institutional distance has diminishing effects on Albanian agricultural exports.

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Trade Dynamics in the Italian Floriculture Sector within EU Borders: A Gravity Model Analysis


Despite its economic magnitude worldwide, the scienti c attention to the oriculture sector remains scarce within the borders of the European Union. Focusing on Italy, the aim of this paper is to provide an insight into the oriculture trade for the rst time. More speci cally, in addition to describing trade dynamics of the oriculture sector both in Italy and in the European Union in recent years, this paper applies a gravity model to investigate and evaluate the role of some major economic and geographical variables as determinants of Italian trade ows of cut owers and live plants within the European Union, from 2001 to 2013. Among these, ndings prove that the most important are the GDP per capita of the European trade partners, as well as their production and consumption volumes.

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Socio-economic Assessment of the Philippine Agrarian Reform


This paper, using qualitative research methods, aims to assess the challenges faced by the Philippine Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program and its extension on the selected cases from ve Philippine provinces. In 27 years of its implementation, the agrarian reform has achieved land redistribution of around 7.7 million hectares despite the periodical lack of political will and opposition from landlords, sometimes violent or through protracted legal battles. Support services focus almost exclusively on Agrarian Reform Communities, in which such services are funded mostly through the of cial development assistance from abroad rather than government’s budget. Limited availability of support services to those agrarian reform bene ciaries located outside of Agrarian Reform Communities prevents them from becoming economically viable producers and seriously taints whatever land distribution may have accomplished. Some reform bene ciaries may have been awarded their land on paper but were not able to take possession of the land or must have abdicated control of it.

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Measurement and Statistical Analysis of End User Satisfaction with Mobile Network Coverage in Afghanistan


Network coverage is one of the fundamental requirements of any business of a service provider. Mobile operators are expected to deploy base stations in an effective way in order to cover most of the residential areas of a particular country. Improved network coverage leads to increase total revenue, provide end users with enhanced Quality of Services (QoS) anytime anywhere, and play vital role in the development of telecom sector. In this paper, we measure and statistically analyze network coverage of mobile operators in Afghanistan. Our study is based on primary data collected on random basis from 1,515 mobile phone users of cellular operators. The relationship between “No Network Coverage” in some residential areas and “Satisfaction of Mobile Phone Users” is also investigated. We furthermore propose realistic, feasible and cost-ef cient solutions to mobile operators and policy makers in order to expand network coverage to non-covered residential areas as well as enhance the performance of networks in existing covered areas of the country.

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Creating a Database of Peonies and Its Use for Teaching IT Courses


The aim of this paper is to describe one of the possible ways of making IT courses more interesting through collecting practical eld data and a subsequent creation of databases. Since the establishment of a specialized peony garden near Prague in 2008, details of the origin of acquired plants and of their cultivation under local conditions have been continuously recorded. The data resulting from the peony research are used as support for our IT courses. They are used in practical modelling of a relational database and in creating student projects focused on responsive web designs. The peonies data make the IT courses more attractive and stimulating for students.Literature survey of the peony research publications and our own data obtained from the peony garden revealed some of the main problems in cultivating and identi cation of peonies. Herbaceous peonies are widespread perennials. Mostly "historical" varieties of Paeonia lacti ora are cultivated. However, these plants have long and weak stems, which are bent down by heavy owers and must therefore be mechanically held up by stakes or support rings. By contrast, the new cultivars have solid stems, such as the hybrid herbaceous peonies and intersectional hybrids (Itoh hybrids) and do not require as much labour but are not commonly cultivated. Our research has discovered that most peony cultivars in home gardens have not been properly identi ed. Great emphasis has, therefore, been placed on the correct identi cation of peony cultivars.

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Creating the Knowledge-structured Texts in Agriculture Companies: A Cost Modeling Approach


Agriculture is one of the most regulated sectors. Council regulations, national legal acts, subsidies, nature protection, market regulations and many other directives induce the necessity to work with a lot of text documents and to manage the knowledge in them. Thus, it is worth considering the creation of speci cally designed internal documents to represent knowledge explicitly in so-called "knowledge-structured texts". However, it is a costly process to create the knowledge texts. The objective of this paper is to create a model that is capable of showing what time point the successive costs of the two types of text are equal at. Linking the methods of knowledge engineering and management is carried out with the help of an integrating element, i.e. general systems theory, through system dynamics. Despite an initial investment in the knowledge texts, the results show their potential for lowering the costs in the middle- and long-term horizons.

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A Low Cost Irrigation System with Raspberry Pi – Own Design and Statistical Evaluation of Efficiency


Nowadays is automation a permanent part of ordinary households and subject to constant evolution. Standard of home automation is a smart (intelligent) home that meets the requirements of the owner and gives him considerable comfort. To the offer of solutions, the intelligent home includes, are control of lighting and temperature, camera system or irrigation system. Technologies of an irrigation system are being developed with an emphasis on smart management of water, advanced features and remote control of the irrigation system. The aim of this paper is to point out the new trends in irrigation systems. In this paper, we describe our own design, implementation and statistical evaluation of low-cost solutions for a smart irrigation system. This is a higher level of automation through intelligent devices with the requirements for user experience and quality of life. This device is according to our design and subsequent testing able to autonomously control three independent irrigation areas and the user experience is ensured by using the web interface (application runs on smartphones with system Android).

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Farms Productivity Developments Based on Malmquist Production Indices


The aim of the article was to evaluate production ef ciency changes of agricultural enterprises specialized in livestock production and identify its determinants. The total factor productivity (TFP) was used to analyse the changes as determined by the DEA Malmquist index. Evaluated sample contained panel data of 440 farms (114 organic and 326 conventional) based on FADN survey in the period 2011 - 2015. The results showed very little difference in technical ef ciency between groups and relatively negligible changes over the time. About 69% of organic farms reached the productivity growth with the change in TFP of 3.17%. A total of 59% of conventional farms were managed with increasing productivity and the TFP change by 1.48%. Differences between groups were given mainly by Utilized agricultural area per farm, level of Total production, Livestock output, sum of Current subsidies per hectare, and by FNVA / AWU.

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Reform Raises Efficiency of Tea Estates in India


This study compares the performance of the tea industry of Assam and West Bengal of India between two time stretches each spanning over six years; one ending in 2006-07 - the pre-reform regime - and the other beginning in the next year- the post-reform regime. The basic question addressed is whether reform policy led to improvement in technical ef ciency of the tea industries of these states. The study uses stochastic frontier approach and introduces heterogeneity of tea gardens. Consideration of both Assam and West Bengal tea gardens adds unique avour to this study. The study the study concludes that rehabilitation package of Indian government in the form of reform has paid off even within the existing framework of the tea gardens.JEL Classi cation: C01, Q17, Q19

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Statistical Feature Ranking and Fuzzy Supervised Learning Approach in Modeling Regional Rainfall Prediction Systems


Rainfall prediction is an essential and challenging task in hydro-meteorology. Most of the existing weather dataset used for prediction consists of observatory record of several atmospheric parameters. Identifying the signi cant parameters from irrelevant and redundant parameter set for weather prediction is important because irrelevant parameters may decrease the prediction accuracy. The main intent of this research is to identify the in uencing weather parameters for improving daily rainfall forecast ef ciency. A parameter selection module identi es the signi cant parameter based on information gain based feature ranking. Fuzzy supervised learning module evaluates the performance of fuzzy classi ers before and after parameter selection. In the evaluation phase, learning techniques was analyzed in terms of Accuracy Rate (AcR), Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) and Misclassi cation Rate (McR). Experimental results revealed that, parameter subset selection has signi cantly improved the performance of the learning techniques. The investigation results identi ed minimum temperature, relative humidity and evapotranspiration as in uencing weather parameters for rainfall prediction. Empirical results revealed Fuzzy Unordered Rule Induction Algorithm (FURIA) as a suitable rainfall prediction approach. This fuzzy model achieved an enhanced accuracy rate of 84.10% after parameter selection with nominal misclassi cation rate of 0.1590%.

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