Mona, Nour-Ed-Din H. (1986-05). Structure and responsiveness of barley production in Syria. Doctoral Dissertation.
Syrian farmers and policymakers need information on how to better assess the relationships between barley and livestock (sheep) production. Since the production of food has not increased as rapidily as demand, resulting in trade deficits, the main objective of this study has been to conduct an analysis of barley production at the macro level by accounting for the effects of agricultural policies and developments in the livestock sector (sheep). This study examines the supply response of barley acreage to selected variables. Domestic barley prices, mutton price, annual rainfall, world barley prices, sheep numbers, and technology (time trend as proxy), were hypothesized to be the major explanatory variables for barley acreage. Three dynamic approaches of producer behavior were utilized for analyzing supply response of barley to changes in prices; the adaptive expectations model, the quasi-rational expectations model and the vector autoregression model. These models are useful for studying the dynamics of agricultural markets and were applied to Syrian data for the sheep-barley market covering the period 1951-82. Results showed that Syrian farmers responded to changes in domestic mutton prices, world barley prices, and domestic barley prices. Mutton prices and world barley prices were the major factors in explaining variation in the area planted to barley. World barley prices, population and annual rainfall dominated the other series in explaining variation in sheep numbers. This information, including the specific elasticities of supply response should provide policymakers with useful insights in meeting production targets.