Agriculture 

Explore J-PAL's current and ongoing work in agriculture.  
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Three-quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas, and the vast majority depends either directly or indirectly on agriculture. Technologies, like improved seeds and agricultural practices, have the potential to improve their lives through higher yields, better prices, lower risk, and improved nutrition. But take-up of these technologies is low. Rigorous research has demonstrated the effectiveness of new ways to promote take-up, such as commitment savings devices, which enable farmers to finance inputs. Ongoing research is investigating better ways for farmers to manage risk; innovative ways to solve credit market failures; alternative pathways to disseminate agricultural knowledge; and ways to promote agricultural practices that benefit the environment.

J-PAL's Agriculture Program 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 Program 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.