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December 2008

Pacific Islands could benefit from cooperative approach to farming

Evelyn Ng's picture

One thing villages in Pacific Island countries can do is to organize the farmers to cultivate the land of participating farmers collectively, increasing manpower and thus improving productivity.
In some Pacific Island countries, such as Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, and Vanuatu, land is fertile and suitable for growing a variety of tropical fruit, vegetable, and root crops. The majority of these populations rely on subsistence agriculture and fishing as their economic mainstay. In some islands, the women and children work the farm while the men fish for the day’s catch. In other islands, the men tend the farm while the women sell the surplus crops in nearby markets.

Land development for commercial agriculture is limited in most of these islands due to issues surrounding communal ownership of land. Take an example of a small farming village in the rural areas near the capital city of Fiji. This village consists of seventy households, of which sixty live below the national poverty line. The head of each household has the right to cultivate a portion of the communal land to feed his family.

30 years after China’s reform, students have more opportunities

David Dollar's picture

Pictures with my students in the spring of 1986. The lives of college students in China have since changed tremendously.
This month marks the 30th anniversary of the launching of China's reform and opening up. China's open door policy is one of the signal events of our time and has brought about unimaginable changes in all aspects of life here. I was forcefully reminded of two of the changes last week when I went to the Capital University of Economics and Business to give a lecture on the global economic crisis and its effects on China.

The professor who invited me was my student 23 years ago when I was teaching for a semester at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences graduate school here in Beijing. So, it was natural to think about the changes in the lives of college students as a result of 30 years of opening up.

East Asian governments take action in time of financial crisis

James Seward's picture

In my last post, I discussed how emerging Asia is getting hit by the financial storm and the early signs of stress in the financial systems across the region. The intensity of this storm appears to be getting worse, but governments across East Asia are taking a wide range of measures to bolster their financial systems.

Slowly but surely, life returns in earthquake-affected China

Mara Warwick's picture

Much that remains of Beichuan, China from the earthquake, is buried – reclaimed by the environment.
It has been seven months since the Wenchuan Earthquake devastated Sichuan Province and I have just returned from my seventh trip to the quake zone, this time with World Bank President Robert Zoellick. Yesterday we traveled three hours by bus from Chengdu to Beichuan, the town that was most severely affected during the earthquake. On May 12, the day of the 7.8- magnitude earthquake, buildings collapsed and mountains came crashing down, burying thousands. The ground literally opened up and swallowed people, cars and buildings. A staggering 12,000 people died in Beichuan on that day – about 74 percent of the town's population. More than a thousand children died at the high school alone.

Programs offer children in poverty a headstart

Ariel Fiszbein's picture

In the last decade, conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs are probably the key social policy innovation around the world and in the East Asia and Pacific region. The targeted programs offer money to poor households on the condition they make pre-specified investments in the human capital of children. Typically, this involves school enrollment and attendance, and basic preventive health activities such as periodic checkups, growth monitoring, and vaccinations for young children.

Slower growth forecasted in East Asia – but things could be worse

James I Davison's picture

Upon releasing its half-yearly economic report of East Asia and Pacific early today, the World Bank is forecasting slower growth and intensifying economic turmoil in the region’s developing countries. But it could be worse, said Jim Adams, World Bank vice president for the East Asia and Pacific region, quoted in an AP article.

Departing thoughts on NT2: The simple importance of information

Nanda Gasparini's picture

It’s now that time for me when you have to sit down and write goodbye and thank you emails, throw away all those trees you’ve cut over the years (that would be paper), wrap up work, pack up your stuff and say goodbye.