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This report evaluates the World Bank's experience with the fifty agricultural adjustment operations (agsecals) approved by the Board since 1979 and reflects the impact of Bank programming of a world wide shift in the development paradigm. The report looks at theory and impact, focusing on supply response, and finds that supply response is symmetrical, synergistic, and depends on the reform credibility. The report finds unfinished business in the areas of: food security, performance indicators, international input markets, domestic agricultural commodity and import markets, and the political economy of agricultural reforms. Nevertheless, best practice work in the Bank on a number of basic agricultural reforms (pricing reforms, reform of public enterprises and public expenditure programs) is satisfactory. The report gives several recommendations: a) the Bank should develop a comprehensive good practice statement; b) modification of the agsecal as a lending instrument is needed; and c) other kinds of lending should be encouraged including hybrid agsecals, policy-oriented agricultural sector investment operations and investment projects with front-loading of policy reforms related to the proposed investments.

Publisher: World Bank

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