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The Costs of Achieving the Millennium Development Goals through Adopting Organic Agriculture

Author

Listed:
  • Anil Markandya

    (Asian Development Bank Institute)

  • Sununtar Setboonsarng
  • Qiao Yu Hui
  • Rachanee Songkranok
  • Adam Stefan

Abstract

This paper provides estimates of the costs of organic agriculture (OA) programs, and sets them in the context of the costs of attaining the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It analyzes the costs of OA programs in four case studies : Wanzai, PRC; Wuyuan, PRC; Kandy, Sri Lanka; and Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand. The results show considerable variation across the case studies, suggesting that there is no clear structure to the costs of adopting OA. Costs do depend on the efficiency with which the OA adoption programs are run. The lowest cost programs were more than ten times less expensive than the highest cost ones. A further analysis of the gains resulting from OA adoption reveals that the costs per person taken out of poverty was much lower than the World Banks estimates, based on income growth in general or based on the detailed costs of meeting some of the more quantifiable MDGs (e.g., education, health, and environment).

Suggested Citation

  • Anil Markandya & Sununtar Setboonsarng & Qiao Yu Hui & Rachanee Songkranok & Adam Stefan, 2010. "The Costs of Achieving the Millennium Development Goals through Adopting Organic Agriculture," Development Economics Working Papers 23015, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eab:develo:23015
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bourguignon, Francois & Diaz-Bonilla, Carolina & Lofgren, Hans, 2008. "Aid, service delivery, and the millennium development goals in an economy-wide framework," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4683, The World Bank.
    2. Devarajan, Shantayanan & Miller, Margaret J. & Swanson, Eric V., 2002. "Goals for development : history, prospects and costs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2819, The World Bank.
    3. World Bank & International Monetary Fund, 2008. "Global Monitoring Report 2008 : MDGs and the Environment, Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6518, November.
    4. R. Quentin Grafton, 2007. "Economic Development & Environmental Sustainability: New Policy Options - Edited by Ramón López and Michael A. Toman," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(262), pages 347-349, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    organic agriculture programs; MDGs; case studies;

    JEL classification:

    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth

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