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Strategic Research Areas

Improving Markets and Trade

Food security and agriculture-led growth depend on the right combination of institutions, policies, and infrastructure to deliver market access and inclusive economic growth in developing countries.

A direct seed-marketing program and input voucher system piloted in Ethiopia’s Amhara Region are being expanded to other regions, partly in response to positive results of an IFPRI evaluation. IFPRI found that farmers liked the new marketing system, which allows seed companies to sell improved seed directly to farmers and input dealers, replacing government allocation of seeds to cooperatives. The input voucher system—which reached 2.8 million households in 2016—allows farmers to repay credit at harvest time to a microfinance bank.

Agricultural micro-insurance products can potentially mitigate the impacts of weather uncertainties for the rural poor. Picture-based insurance, an innovative product designed in 2016 and underwritten by an insurance company, is being tested among wheat farmers in two Indian states. The Wheatcam smartphone app was developed to collect georeferenced pictures taken by farmers. Response has been positive in India, and the product will soon be extended to Argentina.

From the blog

By Ousmane Badiane


To forecast the impact of the global macroeconomic slowdown on progress in reducing poverty, IFPRI coupled MIRAGRODEP—a global computable general equilibrium model—with household surveys and single-country models. The extreme poverty rate is forecast to continue falling but more slowly than it would have without the global slowdown. For 2030, the extreme poverty rate is expected to drop to 5.2 percent—without the global slowdown, it would have fallen to 4.8 percent. However, the impact varies across countries, with poverty rates remaining particularly high in Africa.