J-PAL's Agriculture Sector focuses on researching strategies to improve agricultural productivity. While agricultural productivity has dramatically increased in recent decades, these improvements have been uneven. The growth spurred by the Green Revolution, a movement that spread existing technologies to less industrialized nations, has left marginalized groups behind and has generated fewer benefits in certain regions of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa. Rural farmers are often unable to adopt beneficial technologies because of constraints that hinder adoption, such as poorly functioning supply chains, missing credit markets, or a lack of information about the technology or how to use it.
The Agriculture Sector investigates strategies to overcome constraints to adoption through the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI). ATAI is a collaboration between researchers at J-PAL and UC Berkeley’s Center of Evaluation for Global Action (CEGA). Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and an anonymous donor, ATAI identifies and supports research designed to tell us what is most effective in promoting profitable agricultural technology adoption.