A Stakeholder-Based Planning Framework For The Gherkin Agricultural Export Zone In Karnataka
Kumar, B J Ashwini
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In 2001, the Government of India announced a program for the establishment of Agricultural Export Zones (AEZ). This is the first national program in India to adopt a regional approach to promoting exports of agricultural products, with the combined action of the central and state governments. The gherkin AEZ, covering eight districts of Karnataka, was notified in November 2001. Gherkin is an export-oriented vegetable that is being produced and exported from Karnataka since the late 1980s. Exploration of data on gherkin exports and cultivation costs, for the period 2001-06, revealed the following trends, namely, the share of value of total exports from the gherkin AEZ in India’s gherkin exports has declined from 81% to about 54%; overall (bulk + bottled) gherkin export quantities and value from the AEZ have grown with an annual rate of 18% and 21% respectively; unit price of AEZ bulk gherkins in 200506 is about 4% higher than its unit price in 2001-02 while the unit price of AEZ bottled gherkins is lower by about 9%; and the cost of gherkin cultivation has increased by about 27%. The aim of this research is to apply a stakeholder-based planning framework for enhancing the performance of the Gherkin AEZ in Karnataka. To meet the research aim, the following objectives were defined: 1.Forecasting the primary performance indicators of the gherkin AEZ, in the medium term, given the current policy environment 2.Conducting stakeholder analysis, identifying system structures that influence the gherkin AEZ’s performance and the interventions preferred by stakeholders to enhance gherkin AEZ performance 3.Exploring probable impacts of the identified interventions on gherkin AEZ’s competitiveness 4.Developing policy suggestions and a planning framework for enhancing the performance of the Gherkin AEZ Towards meeting the research objectives, the following approach has been used. One, data has been collected on AEZ performance indicators. Evolution of those variables, given the prevailing policy environment, is forecast using the Seasonal Auto Regressive Integrated Moving Average (SARIMA) methodology. Second, System elements of the gherkin AEZ are identified and organized as a system dynamics model. Stakeholder analysis of the Gherkin AEZ has been done to identify stakeholder groups. Preferred interventions for improvement of AEZ performance are collected from most stakeholders, and the impact of key interventions on system elements is qualitatively assessed. Considering the large number of system elements and the interrelationships between them, a multiple criteria decision making technique, the analytic network process, is used to describe the decision making environment and prioritize the system elements (factors and subfactors influencing AEZ performance, stakeholder objectives and interventions). Third, the probable impact of preferred interventions on competitiveness of gherkin cultivation in the AEZ is assessed using the Policy Analysis Matrix. Fourth, the analysis and learnings are integrated to suggest policy interventions and develop a planning framework for improved performance of the gherkin AEZ. The 3-year SARIMA models, to forecast the AEZ’s performance indicators, indicate a continued growth in the quantities of gherkin exports from the AEZ with a higher rate of growth in exports of bottled gherkins. The forecast also indicate a continued fall in the unit prices of both bottled and bulk gherkins. Stakeholder analysis and System dynamic models indicate the presence of several stakeholders with multiple objectives, multiple factors which influenced AEZ performance, and several preferred interventions. In this multiple criteria decision making environment, the system elements along with dependencies shown in the system dynamics model, the interventions collected from stakeholders (alternatives), and stakeholder objectives derived from stakeholder analysis, are organized to develop an Analytic Network Process (ANP) model. The cluster priorities from the ANP model indicate that global trade conditions are the most important determinant of AEZ performance. The limit matrix indicates that the element of tastes and preferences of world consumers obtains the highest priority followed by price of other countries’ gherkins, and sanitary and phytosanitary conditions as applicable to Gherkins. The probable impacts of the identified interventions on competitiveness of gherkin cultivation in the AEZ are assessed by applying the policy analysis matrix (PAM). Synthesis of sectoral performance data and factors, results of the system dynamics, ANP and PAM analysis resulted in the development of the planning framework for the gherkin AEZ. Overall, the results and analyses demonstrate that the AEZ program should focus on increasing demand, enhancing prices of AEZ gherkins and reducing cultivation costs. Towards achieving this, recommended policy interventions have been prioritized and participating stakeholders identified. This work represents an application of the multiple criteria methodology of the ANP to agricultural regional planning. The system dynamic methodology has been integrated with ANP to identify the important elements in the gherkin AEZ. This thesis on agricultural exports planning has collected and used micro data (price, product form and grade data) to identify and analyze sectoral issues.
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