agricultural policy

In climate change adaptation and development circles we often speak of ‘politics’ and ‘power’ as things that stand in the way of progress. We see this frequently in international negotiations where obstruction and grandstanding are common negotiating tactics by politically motivated actors. Yet this negative view of politics is altogether more widespread than that—it’s present in national planning workshops, project development, and just about any forum were complex interests are negotiated. 

Because power and politics are viewed as inherently negative forces, climate change adaptation theorists and practitioners are often guilty of creating a political deficit in adaptation— that is, we choose to avoid these forces altogether. Instead, we view climate change and its responses as a purely technical endeavour, modelling impacts and using empirical data to prioritize adaptation actions (science rightly tells us that this is the correct approach!). 

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The Global Economic Governance Programme presents:

The Impact of Subsidized Insurance on Farm Financial Risk: Global Lessons from Agricultural Policy in the United States

Date: Thursday, June 19, 2014

Time: 14:00 to 15:30

Venue: BSG Board Room, 10 Merton Street

Speaker: Dr Todd Kuethe, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

Chair: Prof. Charles Godfray

On February 7, 2014 President Barack Obama signed the Agricultural Act of 2014 into law. The Act, in many ways, represents a new era in agricultural policy in the United States: one of the key changes is that it eliminates the direct payments program in favour of publicly subsidized insurance products. In the future, subsidized insurance is likely to become the dominant agricultural policy in many areas of the developed and developing world, and the lessons provided by the American experience may provide valuable information for policy makers and academics around the globe.

This seminar will highlight many of the key findings of Dr. Kuethe’s research on the impacts of agricultural insurance programs. By mitigating downside economic risk, subsidized insurance allows farmers to engage in riskier financial activities. Dr. Kuethe’s work demonstrates that farmers who adopt subsidized insurance are likely to increase short-term debt and have a higher default risk. Another way farmers offset the reduced financial risk is to adopt rental arrangements that shift financial risk away from the landlord and to the farmer tenant (from traditional share-lease agreements to cash rent agreements). Finally, there is evidence that the risk mitigating benefits are capitalized into underlying farmland values.

Interested in attending? Register for your ticket.

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