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Demand For Quinoa Good For Peru And Bolivia

March 16, 2016 Jamie Schuman 0

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Quinoa a grain crop is cultivated primarily for its edible seed. From 2006 to 2013 the price of quinoa tripled when Americans and Europeans found this new superfood. There were two kinds of hypes following this, one that the people who cultivated it in Bolivia and Peru could no longer afford it and yet another message that the quinoa demand was helping those in the high Andes. Since these were just suppositions an agricultural economist, Marc Bellemare from the University of Minnesota and another economist, Seth Gitter of Townson University, Maryland teamed up to resolve the issue.

quinoa-2The two economists found data source a national survey performed by the Government of Peru every year, about 22000 randomly selected households about their lifestyle, what they grow, eat and spend. The data source was obtained from ENAHO. There was too much of data to plow through and the economists chose Johanna Fajardo Gonzalez, a Ph.D. student at the University of Minnesota to analyze the data of about 10 years ranging from before and after the rise in prices of quinoa. The researchers grouped the households into 3 groups that which grow and eat quinoa, those that do not grow but eat it, and those that neither grow nor eat it.

The study shows a prominent rise in the welfare and living standards in Peru following the rise in price of quinoa. The standards were measured as the total value of goods consumed and it was obvious that the quinoa growers were far better off than the others. The study also revealed that unlike the suppositions, those in Peru could even afford to consume quinoa although the quantities purchased decreased slightly with the rise in demand. The speculations on ill effects of nutrition on the Peru population were also reported as baseless by research performed by Andrew Stevens a Doctoral candidate at University of California, Berkeley. There might be trouble ahead if the prices fall and with demand for only certain varieties of quinoa while the cultivators may have to abandon certain varieties.

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Future Concerns For Quinoa Cultivators

March 15, 2016 Jamie Schuman 0

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Research by economists put to rest the rising concerns of the well-being of the people in Peru and Bolivia over the rise in demand and price of Quinoa, a grain crop that is cultivated for its edible seeds. Research not only established that the Peru population was doing a lot better after the rise in price but also that it had no ill effects on the population’s nutrition consumption. Although for now, everything looks good, export demand for just a few varieties from among the 3000 varieties of quinoa which will need the farmers to abandon other varieties.

quinoa-nutritionThere are varieties that the Andean farmers have developed over the years to adapt to climate and other conditions. They need to be acknowledged globally and the diversity needs to be conserved. Attempts have been made to create internal markets in hospitals and foods to purchase those varieties without export demand.

The challenge also remains to release public funds for the conservation of agricultural biodiversity. The high demand for quinoa has also led to poor soil quality and environmental degradation. The cultivation land is not allowed to rest and results in erosion and loss of nutrients along with a decrease in farm animals like llama herds that were a rich source of manure and fertilization. Another concern as in all other cases is the concern over a drop in price and demand, and as to how it would affect the population.

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Has U.S. Attained Full Employment Following Recession?

January 14, 2016 Jamie Schuman 0

us-employmentEconomists explain the recovery of job market from recession in terms of “full employment”. Full employment is a term that signifies that the number of job seekers is balanced by the number of job opportunities. Full employment is not exactly what it sounds like. It does not mean that the unemployment rate is zero. Unemployment is real and people have to leave their jobs for various personal reasons and there are those who lose their job due to companies closing down obsolete operations. In a healthy economy, economists say that the unemployment rate in the job market ranges between 4.6 percent and 5 percent. It is estimated that the national unemployment rate was 5% in December and it is predicted to decrease to 4.6% by July.

The balance attained and full employment achieved suggests that those looking for job opportunities will be able to find jobs and that employers looking to hire will find suitable employees too. The term full employment is subjective. While on the whole U.S. looks like it has achieved full employment, when looked at locally, there may be variations. For example, in Silicon Valley, California the unemployment rate is zero while the unemployment rate in West Virginia is as much as 13%. The unemployment rate is not only dependent on location but also varies based on age, qualification, cultural differences and gender.

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