Agriculture plays a central role in providing productive employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for young people in Africa. As the sector moves into a new era of ‘Agriculture 4.0’ – where solutions lie in digitalization, automation, and artificial intelligence – tech-savvy youth can be instrumental in transforming the food systems in their nations. This column argues

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Volatility in the prices of staple foods during a crisis can have damaging effects on both farmers and the poor. As this column explains, it is vital to track the effects of trade and market policies on domestic prices in real time. During the first wave of Covid-19, governments sought to insulate domestic consumers from


The productivity of smallholder farmers in developing countries is hindered by the considerable insecurity that they face in terms of both informal land tenure and crop theft. This column explores how farm security facilitates agricultural development, showing that insecurity can cause distortions in the use of productive resources. The big challenge for policy-makers is how


Many developing countries support their farmers by subsidizing fertilizer to improve crop yields. This column explores what factors constrain fertilizer application in India, with a focus on institutions of informal insurance, which push farmers to put in less effort and use less fertilizer than they otherwise would. The author concludes that fertilizer subsidies can be

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How can poor farmers be encouraged to make the investments that will lift them out of poverty? This column reports evidence that while greater security of land tenure may give them peace of mind, its potential to drive investment is far from certain. The new studies raise doubts about whether recent multi-billion-dollar investments in tenure


How can the knowledge of researchers, policy-makers, and local communities be combined effectively to address the challenges of climate change? This column outlines the potential of citizen-powered “knowledge hybridization”, and applies it to the objective of cultivating resilience among people living in mountain regions who are increasingly vulnerable to natural hazards. The ecosystems and communities


Farmers and other groups that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change need effective risk management strategies. This column outlines the potential and practicalities of implementing climate insurance for farmers in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Timely and accurate data on rainfall are essential to its success, as is a program


Climate change is leading to unusually high temperatures during the growing season in many parts of the world. This column reports research on the responses of Peruvian farmers to the experience of extreme heat. The findings indicate that they are adapting to short-run weather shocks by increasing household farm labour and land use to maintain

The process of economic growth in India is dispossessing millions of small-scale traditional agricultural and non-agricultural producers, who mostly find shelter in the informal sectors of the economy. This column outlines the peculiar phenomenon of “deepening dualism”, reflecting not only the formal-informal divide but also a fracturing of informality. The author calls for a response


Sub-Saharan Africa has a huge opportunity to grow more food through sustainable agriculture. This essay explains how seizing this moment will create wealth for farmers through expanding markets and trade, and benefit consumers through lower cost, better quality and more diverse food products. Africa should take the lead in forging a new African-made “Green Revolution”.