ECON5002 Agriculture and Economic Development

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit examines the role of agriculture in economic development, mainly in developing countries but with relevance to developed countries. The goal of the unit is to learn how to apply economic theory and analytical tools to address policy challenges faced by governments, and agents operating in the food and non-food sectors mainly in developing countries. Thematic areas covered include the economics of farm households, market failure and role of government in markets, food and nutrition security, agricultural productivity growth, technology adoption and impact evaluation, rural land reforms, climate change and water crisis, agriculture and natural resource conservation, and international trade. A variety of topical questions are addressed, potentially including: what caused the global food crisis? How can we evaluate the appropriateness of government policies, such as fertilizer subsidies? What is the impact of water scarcity on global food security in an era of climate change? Why is land reform a thorny issue in developing countries? Are there opportunities to increase the efficiency of resource-poor producers? What are the effects of trade and globalization on poor economies? What strategies and policies are needed to promote agricultural development? The unit is issue and problem solving oriented; it requires critical thinking and active participation. Policy implications of the topics are explored are discussed throughout the unit. Students are given the opportunity to discuss issues, to design policy briefs, and to carry out research on topics covered.
Students are able to (1) discuss, explain and review evolving themes and theories in agricultural development; (2) understand and appreciate the role of economic theory and policy in addressing challenges in agricultural development; (3) develop aboard overview of challenges in agricultural development both in the farm and nonfarm sector; (4) articulate the important characteristics of agriculture and its role in economic development; and (5) develop the capacity to apply analytical tools in economics to address policy challenges in agricultural development.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) examination; (2) policy briefs; and (3) assignment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Amin Mugera
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Agricultural Science (coursework or coursework and dissertation) (72510) or Master of International Development (coursework or coursework and dissertation) (71550) or Master of Geographic Information Science (coursework or coursework and dissertation) (71570) or Master of Agricultural Economics (73530)
Contact hours
lectures: 4 hours per fortnight; tutorials: 2 hours per fortnight for 10 weeks
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.