Retargeting Investments in Agriculture
January 23, 2017Competitiveness and Productivity

Agricultural productivity in Africa is about one-fifth of that in the US and half of that in South Asia. Growth in total factor productivity shows the gap is not narrowing. With 70% of the rural low-income population participating in agriculture, agricultural innovation is central to ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

In this talk, Florence Kondylis will show how retargeting investments in agriculture can speed up the pace of innovation, while moving away from “extensification” and towards input intensification. Strong research collaborations with governments—covering everything from investments in extension to irrigation—help governments test their own solutions and retarget their investments to achieve higher returns.

Do extension systems make sense given the way farmers learn? How do we retool extension services to speed up technology adoption? What is the role of land registration? How do we design infrastructure investments to unpack complementarities and promote structural transformation? How do we target high-potential farmers? Florence will present evidence from a portfolio of large-scale field experiments in agriculture designed to speed up adoption of practices that boost the returns to agricultural investments, and outline new research areas ripe for the picking.

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    Florence Kondylis, Senior Economist, Development Research Group

    Florence Kondylis joined the World Bank as a Young Professional and received a magistere in economics from the Paris School of Economics, a PhD in economics from the University of London, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Her main interests are in development, labor, conflict and agricultural economics. She founded and leads the Bank’s impact evaluation program in Agricultural Adaptations (AADAPT), which she runs in close collaboration with researchers and practitioners across a large number of donor institutions, governments, NGOs, and academic institutions. More recently, she started DIME Analytics to help generate and curate more, better data for impact evaluation. She is currently running experiments in the fields of agriculture, justice, infrastructure and transport, and natural resource management.
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    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Director of Research

    Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is the Director of Research in the World Bank. After joining the Bank in 1989 as a Young Economist, she has held different positions, including Director of Development Policy, Chief Economist of Financial and Private Sector Development Network, and Senior Research Manager, doing research and advising on financial sector and private sector development issues.
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    Daniel Peters, Director of the Office of Development Results and Accountability, U.S. Treasury Department

    Dan Peters is the Director of the Office of Development Results and Accountability at the U.S. Treasury Department. In his current position, Dan is responsible for coordinating U.S. government policy views on the environmental and social risk management systems of the multilateral development banks (MDBs) and their independent accountability mechanisms. Dan also manages the U.S. government’s review, monitoring, and evaluation of MDB projects. In addition to his work on the impact and results of MDB lending, Dan serves as the chair of the Steering Committee of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). Prior to his current position, Dan served as the senior advisor to the U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank and the Director of the Africa Office at the U.S. Treasury Department. Earlier in his career, Dan worked at the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer with assignments in Syria, Honduras, and the Economic and Business Affairs Bureau.

The Policy Research Talks showcase the latest findings of the research department and their implications for World Bank operations. The goal of the monthly event is to facilitate a dialogue between researchers and operational staff, so that we can challenge and contribute to the World Bank's intellectual climate and re-examine conventional wisdom in current development theories and practices.  Read More »

Event Details
  • Time: 12:30 – 2:00 PM, January 23, 2017
  • Location: MC 13-121, World Bank Main Complex
  • CONTACT: Tourya Tourougui