J-PAL’s Agriculture sector focuses on improving agricultural systems in developing countries, including strategies to help farmers adopt practices and technologies that are profitable or environmentally sustainable, and programs that have the potential to better link farmers to markets.

Three-quarters of the world’s poor live in rural areas, and many depend directly or indirectly on agriculture. Agricultural technologies have the potential to improve their lives through higher yields, better prices, lower risk, and improved nutrition. But take-up of these technologies—from improved seeds to financial products like microinsurance—is low.

J-PAL affiliates are conducting rigorous research to test new ways to promote take-up, boost farmers’ profits, manage the risks inherent to agriculture, and better link farmers to markets.

In addition to supporting policymakers in applying evidence from randomized evaluations to their work, sector chairs and staff write policy insights that synthesize general lessons emerging from the research, condense results from evaluations in policy publications and evaluation summaries, and fund new research through the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative. See all evaluations in the Agriculture sector.


Market Inefficiences and the Adoption of Agricultural Technologies in Developing Countries

This literature review provides a theoretical framework for the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI), a joint collaboration with describing seven constraints that prevent the adoption...

Lori Beaman


Lori Beaman

Lori Beaman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at Northwestern University. Lori's research interests lie in development and labor economics with a focus on the role of social...

Farmer holds a hoe


Are Rainwater Harvesting Techniques Profitable for Small-Scale Farmers? The Adoption and Impact of RWH Techniques in Niger

Due to climate change, rainfall is becoming scarcer and less reliable in many parts of the world, jeopardizing the agricultural income of already vulnerable populations. Technologies that facilitate...

warehouse full of sacks of brown tobacco leaves


Reducing Barriers to Savings in Rural Malawi

Researchers analyzed the effect of reducing barriers to saving in rural Malawi on savings behavior, investment in agricultural inputs, and consumption. They found that farmers with access to formal...

Sector Chairs

Craig McIntosh


Tavneet Suri


Sector Contacts

Kyle Murphy

Policy Manager

[email protected]
(617) 324-9199

Rebecca Toole

Senior Policy Associate

[email protected]
(617) 324-1641

Emily Sylvia

Policy Associate

[email protected]
(617) 577-5854