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Sources of Agricultural Productivity Growth in Central Asia

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  • Lerman, Zvi
  • Sedik, David J.

Abstract

The paper examines agricultural production and productivity growth in two Central Asian countries – Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Both countries are characterized by a significant shift of resources from the traditional Soviet model of collective agriculture to more market-compliant individual and family farming. In both countries, the beginning of the policy-driven switch to family farming around 1997 coincided with the beginning of recovery in agriculture, namely resumption of agricultural growth after a phase of transition decline since 1991. In addition to growth in total agricultural production, we also observe significant increases in productivity of both land and labor since 1997. These observations suggest that productivity growth may be attributable to the changes in farming structure in Central Asia. To check this conjecture we assess the sources of growth by applying the standard Solow growth accounting methodology. Using time series of country statistics for farms of different organizational forms, we decompose the growth in output into growth in the resource base (extensive growth) and growth in productivity (intensive growth). Solow growth accounting clearly shows that, first, much of the growth at the country level is attributable to increases in productivity rather than increases in resources and, second, the increases in productivity in family farms (especially household plots) outstrip the increases in productivity in former collective and state farms. These findings confirm that the recovery of agricultural production in Central Asia has been driven largely by productivity increases, and it is the individual farms that are the main source of agricultural productivity increases.

Suggested Citation

  • Lerman, Zvi & Sedik, David J., 2009. "Sources of Agricultural Productivity Growth in Central Asia," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49312, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:49312
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/49312
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Allen, Douglas W & Lueck, Dean, 1998. "The Nature of the Farm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 343-386, October.
    2. Douglas W. Allen & Dean Lueck, 2004. "The Nature of the Farm: Contracts, Risk, and Organization in Agriculture," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511851, January.
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    Keywords

    agricultural productivity; agricultural growth; family farms; corporate farms; comparative performance; agrarian reforms; transition countries; Central Asia; Tajikistan; Uzbekistan; Agricultural and Food Policy; Institutional and Behavioral Economics; Land Economics/Use; Productivity Analysis; P27; P31; P32; Q15; R14;

    JEL classification:

    • P27 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Performance and Prospects
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions
    • P32 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Collectives; Communes; Agricultural Institutions
    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns

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