Agriculture

J-PAL’s Agriculture sector focuses on improving agricultural systems in developing countries and on ways to help farmers adopt practices and technologies that are profitable or environmentally sustainable, and on 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, manage the risks inherent to agriculture, better link farmers to markets, and promote environmentally-sustainable agricultural practices.

The Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI) promotes research that helps identify the constraints that keep poor farmers from adopting profitable agricultural technologies, as well as possible solutions to tackle those constraints.

Publication

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...

Two men from a distance in a green field

Lesson

Protecting Farmers from Weather-Based Risk

Weather index insurance protects farmers against losses from extreme weather and facilitates investment in their farms, but randomized evaluations have shown low demand for these products at market...

Farmers plow fields in Kenya.

Evaluation

Firm and Market Response to Saving Constraints: Evidence from the Kenyan Dairy Industry

In response to lack of access to savings products, farmers often rely on informal savings mechanisms. But how much do farmers value these savings services? In partnership with a local dairy...

affiliate

Elisabeth Sadoulet

Elisabeth Sadoulet is a Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley. Her research interests span agricultural technologies, microcredit, conservation, conditional cash transfers,...

Evaluation

Mobile Phone-Based Agricultural Extension in India

Researchers evaluated the impact of offering cotton farmers in Gujarat, India, toll-free access to agricultural information via mobile phone on their agricultural knowledge and practices. They found...

Publication

Make It Rain

Weather index insurance protects farmers against losses from extreme weather and facilitates investment in their farms, but randomized evaluations in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa have shown low...