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 build partnerships and fund new research through the Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative, the Digital Agricultural Innovations and Services Initiative, and the UM6P-J-PAL Agricultural Lab for Africa

A farmer harvests seaweed in Bali
Policy Insight

Improving agricultural information and extension services to increase small-scale farmer productivity

Agricultural extension services can be improved by leveraging tools like information and communication technologies, trainer incentives, or social learning to support small-scale farmers’ decisions to invest in new, profitable practices. Extension programs that target both male and female members of...

Local farmers work in rice fields in Lombok, Indonesia.
Blog

Tailoring information to increase technology adoption among farmers

J-PAL’s updated Policy Insight reviews strategies to improve information dissemination to help farmers make optimal production decisions and investments to improve their livelihoods.  

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...

Farmer standing in his growing soybean field examining the progress of plants.
Blog

Identifying and testing gender-sensitive and climate-resilient agricultural solutions: The Digital Agricultural Innovations and Services Initiative’s first round of projects

J-PAL and the Center for Effective Global Action’s (CEGA) Digital Agricultural Innovations and Services Initiative (DAISI) was launched in 2021 to rigorously evaluate programs that increase the availability, quality, and reach of bundled, digital agricultural solutions and services for small-scale...

ATAI Data Portal
Blog

Making every research step count: Introducing the ATAI Data Portal

Today, ATAI launched a new open data platform to bring together the best evidence from ATAI-funded research in a single portal, making it easily accessible to researchers and policymakers alike. The initiative aims to foster collaboration and evidence-informed decision-making in the agricultural...

Farmer holds a hoe
Evaluation

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

In Niger, researchers conducted a randomized evaluation to test the impact of providing training and conditional or unconditional cash transfers on farmers’ adoption and use of an environmental technology, their resulting land use, agricultural production and profitability, and labor allocation.

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

Senior Policy Associate, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Leonie Rauls

Senior Policy Associate, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Emily Sylvia

Policy Manager, J-PAL Global

Headshot of Diana Warira

Policy Manager, J-PAL Global