Security analysis for agroterrorism

applying the threat, vulnerability, consequence framework to developing countries

Nicholas A. Linacre, Bonwoo Koo, Mark W. Rosegrant, Siwa Msangi, Jose´ Benjamin Falck-Zepeda, Joanne Gaskell, John Komen, Marc J. Cohen, Regina Birner
eptd discussion paper

We examine access to, use of, and participation in decisions on improved water supply in the Volta basin of Ghana, one of the first countries to introduce a community-based approach to rural water supply on a large scale. While 71 percent of the households interviewed have access to improved water, 43 percent of these continue to use unsafe sources as their main domestic water source. Our results indicate that quality perceptions and opportunity costs play an important role in households’ choice of water source. The effect of prices and income levels on this choice differs according to the pricing system used. Given that supply characteristics such as the location and pricing system affect household decisions to use the improved source, households may try to influence these characteristics in their favor during the community decision-making process for the improved source. However, less than 40 percent of the households interviewed participated in decisions on location or technology. We argue that the decision whether to participate depends on three main factors: (i) the household’s bargaining power, (ii) the potential benefits from influencing outcomes, and (iii) the cost of participation, (mainly opportunity cost of time). Our results indicate that bargaining power matters In some developing countries the potential exists for agroterrorism to cause widespread disruption through loss of sustenance, income and production. Defense of agriculture may also be problematic because of the lack stability and basic biosecurity infrastructure for the detection and prevention of diseases or invasive species. Currently new methodological approaches for terrorism risk assessments are being actively explored for resource prioritization. One such methodology for risk based allocation of resources is Threat, Vulnerability, and Consequence (TVC) Analysis. A qualitative application of the TVC framework is used to analyze the risk of agroterrorism in developing countries relative to industrialized countries. The analysis suggests that evidence exists to demonstrate general terrorist threats, vulnerability of agriculture and, depending on the country, potentially serious consequences arising from argoterrorism. Where specific threats emerge, action may be needed by the international community to strengthen biosecurity systems in developing countries through: increasing global cooperation, capacity building in monitoring, remediation and risk analysis technologies, and the dissemination of novel technologies for control of pests and diseases.-- Authors' Abstract