Agriculture and Rural Development
Index-based rainfall insurance offers the potential to allow farmers to protect themselves against one of the most important risks they face – the risk of drought (or conversely too much rain).
Today, if you wander on over to the Millennium Challenge Corporation website, you’ll find a brief on the results from 5 impact evaluations of agricultural training projects. This is exciting for a number of reasons.
There is a minor buzz this week in Twitter and the development economics blogosphere about a paper (posted on the CSAE 2012 Conference website) that discusses a double blind experiment of providing different seeds of cowpeas to farmers in Tanzania.
So this past week I was in Ghana following up on some of the projects I am working on there with one of my colleagues. We were designing an agricultural impact evaluation with some of our counterparts, following up on the analysis of the second round of a land tenure impact evaluation and a financial literacy intervention, and exploring the possibility of some work in the rural financial sector. In no particular order, here are some of the things I learned and some things I am still wondering about:
I just spent the last week in Ethiopia and part of what I was doing was presenting some results from an impact evaluation baseline, as well as the final results-in-progress of another impact evaluation. In all, I ended up giving four talks of varying length to people working on these programs, but also to groups of agencies working on similar projects that started after the ones we were analyzing.
I recently came across a paper by Kelsey Jack which is a white paper for the J-PAL and CEGA Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI). This paper systematically explores the barriers to technology adoption that come from market inefficiencies, what we know about these, and what research is going on (under ATAI) to fill these gaps.