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Policies, Institutions and Markets

When policies, institutions, and markets fail, key public goods and services are undersupplied, incentives are biased against agriculture, consumers pay too much for food, and relationships that create wealth are ruptured. The Policies, Institutions and Markets research program generates knowledge on how these three areas can be improved to help smallholder farmers and poor consumers live better lives.

PIM Newsletter – June-August 2014

summer 2014 newsletter2See how we've spent the summer! An overview of the PIM program news, events, blog stories, and publications in our latest newsletter.

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New online resource highlights tools for value chain analysis


Cross-posted from IFPRI blog 

Ensuring that small-scale farmers and producers enjoy a bigger piece of the financial pie is the aim of a new web resource on agricultural development.

The Value Chains Knowledge Clearinghouse, led by the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets, is based on the concept of Value Chains Development (VCD). The approach seeks to build new or strengthen existing commercial ties between two or more actors, such as businesses and consumers. Several NGOs, donors, and governments have adopted VCD as a key element of their rural poverty reduction strategies.  read more...

Local warming and violent conflict in Sudan

This blog was originally written for Ideas for Africa

Farming in the rainy season

Photo: Flickr, UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

The study presented here sheds new light on the link between the occurrence of weather shocks and violence by looking at the case of Sudan and South Sudan. Using geographically-disaggregated data from 1997 to 2009, it finds that higher temperatures greatly affect the risk of conflict. The analysis also highlights possible channels of the climate-conflict nexus suggesting that competition over natural resources is one of the main drivers in a region where pastoralism constitutes the dominant livelihood.  read more...

Identifying agricultural expenditures within the public financial accounts and coding system in Ghana

Is the ten percent government agriculture expenditure overestimated?


Photo: Flickr, IITA

This new discussion paper just released by IFPRI is part of four country case studies supported by PIM that take a detailed look at public expenditures in agriculture, and at how the data on expenditures are captured in government financial and budget accounts. The objective of these studies is to unpack the black box of public expenditure statistics reported in various cross-country datasets, and ultimately to enable the use of existing government accounts to identify levels and compositions of government agriculture expenditures, with better understanding of what these data are in fact accounting for.


Advisory and Knowledge Services: Evidence for What Works

Photo: Flickr, part of the image collection of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)

A seminar under this title will take place on September 17, 2014 from 12 to 2 pm EDT, at IFPRI headquarters in Washington, DC.

The research team working on rural advisory and knowledge services under the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) will present recent developments in their work and talk about pluralistic extension services with a focus on how to make new frameworks and methods operational.  read more...

Mapping crops to improve food security


Photo credit: ILRI/Zerihun Sewunet

In the era of big data, unmanned drones, and satellite remote sensing, our knowledge of crop growing locations remains surprisingly limited. We have even less information on crop yields that vary from plot to plot. While some developed countries have started to map their crops, most developing countries have no such capacity. Information on the distribution and performance of specific crops is therefore mostly available through national or sub-national statistics, which are often too general for a focused analysis.  read more...

Rural advisory services: On the frontline of the fight against food insecurity

Bangladesh women farmer - learning

Photo credit: S. Mojumder/Drik/CIMMYT

Interview with Kristin Davis, PIM lead for Advisory Services within Research Flagship 3: Adoption of Technology and Sustainable Intensification, Research Fellow at International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and Executive Secretary of the Global Forum for the Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS)

- What are rural advisory services in agriculture today and what is their role in food security?

Our research team sees rural advisory services (RAS), also known as agricultural extension, as a broad function supported by many actors including government workers, the private sector, civil society, and farmers themselves. Advisory services help farmers to access information on technologies, markets, inputs, and finance, and upgrade their farming and managerial skills. These services are indeed complementary to development of new technologies because they support their uptake.  read more...

The CGIAR Development Dialogues 2014: Delivering solutions to realize the Sustainable Development Goals and Global Climate Agenda

CGIAR Development dialogue logo - FinalThe year 2014 marks an historic opportunity to communicate the importance of research on sustainable agriculture to stakeholders involved in the climate change and development policy processes.

The first CGIAR Development Dialogues event, organized with participation and support from all CGIAR research centers and programs, will focus global attention on the vital role of research on agriculture, livestock, forestry, fisheries, landscapes, and food systems in achieving sustainable development. The event will take place on 25 September 2014 in New York City read more...

Bridging the divide between women and men farmers in Ethiopia


Source: Flickr (Kate Holt/AusAID)
Women at the AusAid-supported Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Women make up about half of the labor force in Ethiopia. While their contributions are plentiful, women and girls face discrimination when accessing —and making decisions regarding— education, agricultural information and inputs, land, and other assets to aid food production. “If women and girls are left behind, we will never develop,” said Adugna Waggra, Deputy Director General at the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR). 

Waggra delivered these remarks at a workshop earlier this month that brought together people from diverse organizations to streamline joint efforts to close the gender gap in Ethiopia. The event, organized in partnership with the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture’s Women’s Affairs Directorate, the EIAR, the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), IFPRI’s Research for Ethiopia’s Agriculture Policy (REAP) project, and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM), drew a crowd of 70 professionals all working towards gender equality in various capacities. read more...

Building resilience for food and nutrition security: Highlights from the 2020 conference

2020ConferenceThis synopsis and related video present highlights from the international conference “Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security,” organized by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and its 2020 Vision Initiative, with support from PIM and other partners, on May 15-17, 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. read more...