This dissertation consists of three inter-related but standalone papers focused on the theme of measuring the spatial, bio-economic attributes of production agriculture. Hitherto most of the agricultural development literature dealing with production agriculture has relied on data delineated in geopolitical (i.e., administrative district) boundaries of varying spatial resolutions, with some (increasingly of late) data reported for farm households. In some cases the household level data are geo-referenced, but in a majority of the studies the data are essentially aspatial. Many of the realities facing farmers however, including the agro-ecological (climate, soil, terrain and so on) attributes with which farmers have to work and their proximity to markets, are intrinsically spatial. Thus the location of farms and their physical and economic access to markets have a whole host of agricultural production and consumption implications that profoundly affect the economic circumstances of farm families. Spatially delineated data to facilitate analysis of the effects of location and its associated attributes on farm economies is still limited, but beginning to grow. This dissertation casts a critical eye over the nature and empirical plausibility of some key, spatially explicit datasets, including efforts to form spatially granular estimates of the location of crop production, area and yield worldwide; estimates of the proximity of African crop production to markets of varying sizes; and finally, the retail-level prices of key inputs (specifically fertilizer) faced by farmers throughout Tanzania.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. November 2015. Major: Applied Economics. Advisors: Philip Pardey, Terrance Hurley. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 122 pages.
The Landscape of Farming: An Exploration of Spatial Bio-Economic Characterization Approaches.
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