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PEP-Net

Published Date: Nov 22, 2012

Former PEP researchers in Pakistan awarded with USAID grant for project on “wheat sector policy”

Fostering
innovation within the academic and policy-oriented research communities of
Pakistan is vital in order to promote sustained economic growth in the
country.

Funded by USAID, and under the leadership of Dr. Nadeem ul Haque, Deputy
Chairman of the Planning Commission of Pakistan, the IFPRI Pakistan Strategy
Support Program
(PSSP) is a country-led
and country-wide policy analysis and capacity strengthening program, which
provides selected researchers with analytical support on a range of economic
policies affecting agricultural growth and food security in the country. The
core purpose of the program is to contribute to pro-poor economic growth and
enhanced food security through strengthened national capacity for designing and
implementing evidence-based policy reforms.

A conference was held on May 26-27, 2012, to present the eighteen projects that were selected by the program’s Research Advisory Committee to receive grants in the first round of awards (see photo of award-winners on the left). The granted projects (currently underway) are focused on a variety of related themes, such as Improved Governance, Creative Cities and Regions, Energetic Youth and Communities, Vibrant Markets, etc..
Among them, one project (presented in detail below) had been submitted, and thus is being led by a team of former PEP-supported local researchers, Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Ahsan Abbas and Saira Arslan, who will be using a CGE model and other analytical tools developed through and with PEP support in recent years (see completed PEP projects below), to analyse the impact of public sector policy on the wheat market in Pakistan.

Interim
reports from the selected projects will be presented at a conference scheduled
for February 7-11, 2013, where a new set of grants will also be awarded.

PSSP Project led by the former PEP-supported
research team

Estimating
Size and Operations of Public Sector and its Impact on Wheat Market in
Pakistan: A Post-18th Constitutional Amendment Inquiry

Abstract:

The
Planning Commission of Pakistan has long sought to estimate the manner in which
a non-optimal size and scale of public sector operations distorts
entrepreneurial incentives and imposes a welfare burden. This study focuses on
interventions in the wheat market in this context. The study will examine the
various institutions involved in governance of agriculture in Pakistan at the
national and sub-national levels, particularly evaluating their procurement
powers, budgets, active commodity market operations, and distortive price
setting. Economy-wide impacts of the interventions will be quantified using a
computable general equilibrium (CGE) simulation model. Focus group discussions
and key informant interviews would also be conducted for a concrete analysis.
In the light of regional and global experiences, the study will recommend how
government intervention can be reformed,in a post-18th Amendment context, to
reconfigure wheat market operations in a manner that safeguards against
economic distortions and future food insecurity.