What do Yujiro Hayami, Keijiro Otsuka, Randolph Barker, Jock Anderson, James Roumasset, Scott Rozelle, Gershon Feder, Dina Umali, Mark Rosegrant, Tom Reardon, Ian Coxhead, and Prabu Pingali have in common? They are all internationally prominent experts in agricultural economics and rural development. And they'll all be here to Manila tomorrow for a conference organized by SEARCA (Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture.) The conference theme is "Agricultural Development: Policy Lessons from Major Ideas and Paradigms in the Past 30 Years." The field of agricultural and rural development has progressed rapidly since 1975, so the conference is a good chance to brush up on the what and the what for of these ideas.
The event is the brainchild of Arsenio Balisacan, indefatigable SEARCA Director and himself a renowned researcher on rural poverty. Joining them are well-known social scientists based in the Philippines, such as Tina David, Mahabub Hossain, Pandey Sushil, Ramon Clarete, and Gelia Castillo. It promises to be a high-quality assembly of the best minds in the field. Hayami will keynote the conference with a favorite topic of his, the role of the community and the state in development. Roumasset will review the literature on the economics of agricultural and rural development - I'll be watching out for this. Other topics include globalization impacts, agriculture and natural resources, property rights, rural finance, rural poverty, biotechnology, and agricultural extension. Aside from this there are poster papers on a wide range of topics on the general theme.
Oh me? Naah, not a star in that or any firmament, but merely moderating a session on Land Tenure (paper by Otsuka, discussed by Roumasset). I also have a poster paper on credit demand. As time permits I'll offer some conference highlights in this weblog. If you have a chance, do come.