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

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 walking in corn field
Evaluation

Innovative Finance for Technology Adoption in Western Kenya

Researchers randomly evaluated whether well-timed access to credit would allow maize farmers in Kenya to make better use of storage and sell their output at higher prices. The loan offers allowed farmers to store more maize and earn higher revenues, with larger revenue impacts for farmers granted...

Policy Insight

Agricultural information and extension services

Agricultural information and extension services in developing countries can be improved by adapting the pedagogical model, using information and communications technology (ICT) to reach farmers directly with more tailored and timely information, incentivizing trainers based on learning outcomes, and...

Evaluation

Diffusing New Seeds through Social Networks in Indian Village Economies

The researcher conducted a randomization in rural Odisha in India, by comparing adoption of a new seed variety through farmer-to-farmer networks in one half as benchmarked by door-to-door sales of the same seed. Trading between farmers leads to substantial under-adoption of agricultural technology...

Sector Chairs

Co-Chair, Agriculture

Professor of Economics

University of California, San Diego

Scientific Director, J-PAL Africa

Co-Chair, Agriculture

Co-Chair, Digital Identification and Finance Initiative in Africa (DigiFI Africa)

Associate Professor of Applied Economics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Sector Contacts

Headshot of Brindha Gopalakrishnan

Policy Associate, J-PAL Global

Senior Policy Manager, J-PAL Global

Senior Policy Associate, J-PAL Global