No 4/2020, December

Accounting for TFP Growth in Global Agriculture - a Common-Factor-Approach-Based TFP Estimation


There is no consensus about trends in agricultural productivity among agricultural economists. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the investigation of this issue by estimating a Total Factor Productivity (TFP) index for global agriculture and global agricultural regions. One of the biggest challenges with analysing global productivity trends is the lack of price data or cost shares, especially in developing countries. We apply recently introduced econometric models that permit accounting for technology heterogeneity and the time-series properties of data to estimate cost shares. Aggregate sectoral data from the USDA ERS database are investigated for the period 1990 to 2013. Although we used a different method, our results are in line with earlier findings that used USDA or FAO database. TFP growth has accelerated in world agriculture, largely due to better performance in transition countries. Although TFP growth has accelerated in world agriculture, it has slowed down in industrialized countries. TFP growth in the EU has increased, but at slower rate in recent years. In the Old Member States the growth rate has decreased, whereas in the New Member States it has increased. The results highlight that insufficient spending on productivity-enhancing agricultural R&D in industrialized countries may put future agricultural productivity growth at risk.

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Improving Agricultural Export Policies in Developing Countries: An Application of Gravity Modelling in the Case of Vietnam’s Fishery Export


This paper investigates the determinants of fishery export from Vietnam using a structural gravity modelling. Taken additional trade-related variables from the World Bank’s open data into the estimation of the gravity model, this research will be the first trial to examine the impacts of these variables on export of fishery products and to propose policy implications for stimulating export in Vietnam. The empirical results show that each 1% reduction of export costs might increase approximately 3.7% of the export value of fishery products. This finding is critical because the current administrative system for export of agricultural commodity in Vietnam consists of many stages and includes a long period of animal quarantine inspection, document checking, and customs clearance that might cause additional export costs. Therefore, policies aiming at reducing the costs of border and documentary compliance for export will be significant to stimulate export in developing countries as Vietnam.

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Applying GIS Technologies for Mapping Natural and Anthropogenic Transformed Soils in the Southern Forest-Steppe of the Republic of Bashkortostan


Soil is a core element of the biosphere, and the soil cover is exposed to major processes that take place within this system. Therefore, it is very important to understand the results of soil research from the perspective of current global and local environmental problems. With the advent of new methods of spatial analysis and techniques for obtaining remote sensing data, geoinformation technologies offer great opportunities for analyzing the natural and ecological state of the region. Therefore, geoinformation analysis of the state of natural and anthropogenic transformed soils is an essential tool for their studying, forecasting the development of the natural environment, and working out the ways of rational farming. As forest territories have a beneficial effect on the natural and climatic situation in general, and vice versa, environmental degradation on agricultural lands will result in worsening the situation on forest lands, it is necessary to consider forest and agricultural areas in close integration with GIS technologies. It should be done to improve the overall natural environmental conditions. The study used soil survey data conducted in 2017-2019. Field and office studies were conducted: samples were taken in the field to determine the agrochemical parameters of the soil, and the data obtained were analyzed using mathematical and statistical methods. Digital cartographic materials were created using geoinformation technologies. The basis for a comprehensive natural and environmental assessment of forest and agricultural areas using geoinformation systems was laid. The studies conducted to identify changes in natural and anthropogenic transformed soils have shown that the contours of soil varieties have changed. In many cases, there is a deterioration in soil properties. The number of fertile chernozem has decreased. In areas with low crop cultivation, there are signs of a decrease in the humus horizon and the development of erosion processes. As a result of the conducted research, a single digital soil and geographical database for forest and agricultural territories were created. The developed methodology and algorithm for creating a database and digital cartographic basis using geoinformation technologies in environmental studies can be recommended as a base for similar studies both in the Republic of Bashkortostan and in other regions.

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Using Data Envelopment Analysis in Credit Risk Evaluation of ICT Companies


The aim of the paper is to explore possibilities of diagnosis corporate credit risk through DEA and design an appropriate model for diagnosis of credit risk, which can be used in different sectors of national economy (e.g. agricultural, service sector or industry and innovation sector). The model differs from the conventional application of DEA because of variables selection and construction of production-possibility frontier. We illustrate application of models on sample 110 randomly selected companies during the 2013-2017 period. The reason for choosing the ICT companies is the fact that this sector is considered to be driving force behind the growth of the economy. The data has been obtained from Finstat. The results are divided into identification of 3 zones of corporate financial health with a different stage of credit risk. They show that DEA achieves a satisfactory value of a correct classification into the relevant zone (financial health, grey, and financial distress zone), but also the relatively high error rate of the DEA in the identification of companies in financial distress.

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Open Source Framework for Enabling HPC and Cloud Geoprocessing Services


Geoprocessing is a set of tools that can be used to efficiently address several pressing chal-lenges for the global economy ranging from agricultural productivity, the design of transport networks, to the prediction of climate change and natural disasters. This paper describes an Open Source Framework developed, within three European projects, for Ena-bling High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Cloud geoprocessing services applied to agricultural challenges. The main goals of the European Union projects EUXDAT (EUro-pean e-infrastructure for eXtreme Data Analytics in sustainable developmenT), CYBELE (fostering precision agriculture and livestock farming through secure access to large-scale HPC-enabled virtual industrial experimentation environment empowering scalable big data analytics), and EOPEN (opEn interOperable Platform for unified access and analysis of Earth observatioN data) are to enable the use of large HPC systems, as well as big data management, user-friendly access and visualization of results. In addition, these projects focus on the development of software frameworks, and fuse Earth-observation data, such as Copernicus data, with non-Earth-observation data, such as weather, environmental and social media information. In this paper, we describe the agroclimatic-zones pilot used to validate the framework. Finally, performance metrics collected during the execution (up to 182 times speedup with 256 MPI processes) of the pilot are presented.

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Digitalisation in the Food Industry – Case Studies on the Effects of IT and Technological Development on Companies


In recent decades as a result of the development of information and communication technologies (ICT) and the Internet, we have witnessed major changes in companies. The ICT support of the processes is becoming more and more extensive and comprehensive, which enables the realization of digitalisation. The interconnection of processes, machines, people in a single network makes another level of optimisation available. The changes turned up by digitalisation are not only technological, but they also have an impact on the company's organisation and strategy. Our study aims to create an analytical framework and map the opportunities that digitalisation promises in the food industry and the organisational changes that ICT and technological development bring, with special emphasis on the impact on strategy, employees, and corporate culture. Our results show that companies are not consciously engaged in digitalisation yet, but they exploit their opportunities and make improvements in this sense. Adaptation of digital solutions is often forced by the labour shortage, the pressure to achieve higher efficiency and thus to remain competitive and to service the growth strategy.

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Animal Husbandry Export Measures Productivity: What is the Position of the Czech Republic?


Efficiency, productivity and competitiveness are important indicators of any production process. Speaking of agriculture and, in particular, animal husbandry in the light of sustainable development context, the values of these indicators become of special importance. Since adequate and efficient usage of disposable labour, land and capital can play a crucial role in obtaining and preserving higher efficiency and productivity levels, the natural question arises - does any relationship exist between mentioned production factors and revealed comparative advantage? The main aim of this research is to evaluate the relationship between export-measured productivity and comparative advantages in animal husbandry of selected European countries. The benchmark is provided in relation to the Czech Republic. To analyse productivity of agricultural and, more specifically, animal production in the European countries selected for the analysis (based on available balanced data incorporating the period from 2005 to 2017), a decision was made to trace export performance of these countries recalculated with regard to a unit of core productive factors, such as land, labour and capital. Based on the foreign trade indicators (Gruber Lloyd index, RCA index), cluster analysis was conducted, in which individual calculation was used as an input variable. Subsequently, hierarchical clustering and Ward´s method were used. The evidence from this study suggests that the revealed comparative advantage of the countries is not determined primarily by the level of export-based productivity. The relationship between these variables is rather weak and very often negative, which indicates that productivity indicators do not play a significant role in the overall competitiveness of the monitored countries.

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Land Pricing Model: Price Re-evaluation Due to the Erosion and Climate Change Effects


The aim of this study is to derive and apply the hedonic approach for determining and updating official land prices with respect to e.g. the impact of climate change that has occurred in the conditions of the Czech Republic in recent years. Pricing using the hedonic method is based on capturing individual factors separately. The evaluated soil ecological unit code consists of a 5-digit numerical code, which expresses the affiliation to the climate region (0-9, see table 1), the main soil unit (0-78), the slope of the land and the orientation to the point of the compass (0-9) and also the depth of the soil profile and skeletality (0-9). The derived hedonic pricing model is estimated using heteroscedasticity corrected estimator. The fitted model shows considerably high explanatory power and together with high parameter significance for majority of dummy variables (soil characteristics) as well as with theoretical and logical consistency represent a tool for new official land price settings in the process of land reevaluation due to the erosion and climate change effects.

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Application of Markowitz Portfolio Theory to Producing the World Major Field Crops


Development of growing cereals and oilseeds is a pressing issue for providing global food security and renewable energy. The study deals with applying methods of portfolio theory to mitigate natural and marketing uncertainties emerged from unstable yields and volatile prices for wheat, maize, barley, sunflower, soybeans, and rapeseed. The research outcome based on the utilization of Markowitz mean-variance indicators made possible to evaluate portfolio performances of the world top cereals and oilseeds producers. The study findings at a country level combined econometric forecasting of the crop revenues and modeling optimal portfolios of cereals and oilseeds subject to acceptable trade-offs between risks and expected revenues. The fulfilled calculations with Ukrainian focus clarified farmland allocations under cereal and oilseed crops to underpin biodiversity and keep firm positions in the world markets.

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‘Products Mapping’ of South Africa’s Agri-food trade with the EU28 and Africa


This paper uses ‘products mapping’ tool based on the trade balance index (TBI) and Lafay index to investigate trade performance and competitiveness in food items between South Africa (SA) and the EU28 and Africa. The data for this analysis is obtained from the UNCTAD database. SA’s agri-food trade balance climbed from $1.5 billion in 2005 to $3.1 billion in 2017. The results support the conclusion that in bilateral trade, certain products have comparative advantages in relation to African markets despite comparative disadvantages in relation to the EU28 market. Also, there is no or decreasing diversification towards more and new leading products despite the increased intra-regional openness. Leading products (especially fruit and nuts) are the dominant export generating segments in the product’s structure of SA’s agri-food trade. Also, leading products mostly contribute to the positive balance of SA’s agri-food trade. The findings of this study may contribute to business strategies, trade policies, and regional and inter-regional integration.

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