Agriculture

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 and the Digital Agricultural Innovations and Services Initiative

Robert Darko Osei stands under a wood structure with a mule in the background.
Blog

Affiliate Spotlight: Robert Darko Osei on the intersection of agriculture, technology, and development

Robert Darko Osei is an associate professor at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research and Dean for the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Ghana. Robert also serves as co-chair of the Digital Agricultural Innovations and Services Initiative (DAISI), which funds...

A male farmer standing in a field of crops looks down at a mobile phone that he is holding.
Blog

Evidence for digital and bundled services: Framing a research agenda for the Digital Agricultural Innovations and Services Initiative

As the reach of digital agricultural services has grown rapidly within the last few years, building an evidence base on how these services should be designed, implemented, and scaled to best align with the priorities of small-scale producers is an important and timely issue—and one that J-PAL's...

A woman stands in front of a bookcase wearing a black jacket and glasses.
Blog

Affiliate Spotlight: Tavneet Suri on the importance of locally-grounded research

A weak internet connection did not stop J-PAL Africa Scientific Director Tavneet Suri from getting her point across in our interview: Good research is done with an ear to the ground and a connection to the community. Calling in from her home country of Kenya, Tavneet emphasized how important it is...

green watermelons being sold in open air market in Vietnam
Policy Insight

Incentivizing higher-quality agricultural outputs

Despite making investments in technologies and practices to improve the quality of their products, smallholder farmers in low- and middle-income countries do not often receive higher prices for their higher-quality agricultural goods. Disorganized markets with many intermediaries may make quality...

Farmers use mobile phones
Evidence to Policy

Phone-based technology for agricultural information delivery

In this Evidence to Policy case study, see how Precision Agriculture for Development leveraged findings from two randomized evaluations to create and diffuse a new mobile-phone based model for agricultural extension.

Man in Uganda selling maize
Evaluation

Building Market Linkages for Smallholder Farmers through a Digital Marketplace in Uganda

Researchers conducted a randomized evaluation in Uganda to test the impact of a mobile phone-based marketplace for agricultural commodities on local market prices, entry of traders, farmer revenue, and trader profits. Overall, the platform increased trade flows and decreased price variation across...

West African woman and children sitting on the edge of a dirt selling home grown produce
Blog

Earth Day 2022: Evidence for climate-resilient food systems and nutrition

The effects of climate change will worsen over the next thirty years and will disproportionately impact the world’s poorest people in many ways. In recognition of Earth Day 2022, we're highlighting how food systems, food security, and nutrition are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts.

Sector Chairs

Co-Chair, Agriculture

Professor of Economics

University of California, San Diego

Tavneet Suri headshot

Co-Chair, Agriculture

Member, Executive Committee

Associate Professor of Applied Economics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Sector Contacts

Headshot of Sarah Coughlin

Policy Associate, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Brindha Gopalakrishnan

Senior Policy Associate, J-PAL Global

Initiatives Lead, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Emily Sylvia

Policy Manager, J-PAL Global