IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Impacts of agricultural research on poverty


  • Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela
  • Adato, Michelle
  • Haddad, Lawrence James
  • Hazell, Peter B. R.


"This paper reports findings of a CGIAR research project including seven case studies of different types of agricultural research: aggregate investments in agricultural research in China and India; rice, vegetable, and fishpond technologies in Bangladesh; soil fertility replenishment in Kenya; hybrid maize in Zimbabwe, and creolized maize in Mexico. The case studies found adoption was influenced by the technologies' likelihood to increase or decrease vulnerability, whether the poor have the assets needed to adopt, the nature of disseminating institutions, and cultural factors such as gender roles and taste preferences. Dissemination processes have become increasingly diversified and have a significant impact on who is reached with the technology and how well they are able to take advantage of it. A wide variety of direct impacts on adopting households were identified, including those related to increased production, income, knowledge, changes in power relationships (favoring men or women; richer or poorer farmers), and increased or decreased vulnerability. Poor people often benefit from these technologies, especially if these technologies are designed to build on assets that they have, though the studies also showed that impacts on the poor were sometimes limited by asset requirements for adoption or dissemination practices. Indirect effects were also important. Poor people were helped by declining food prices, though benefits to poor farmers were dampened by falling output prices. Increased stability and even marginal improvements in agricultural production were valued by poor households for providing food security and a launching pad into other activities. Increased agricultural employment was also a major benefit, improving incomes and stability of employment. " Authors' Abstract

Suggested Citation

  • Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela & Adato, Michelle & Haddad, Lawrence James & Hazell, Peter B. R., 2003. "Impacts of agricultural research on poverty," FCND briefs 164, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:fcndbr:164

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gaspar, Jess & Glaeser, Edward L., 1998. "Information Technology and the Future of Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 136-156, January.
    2. Katherine M. O'Regan & John M. Quigley, 1996. "Teenage Employment and the Spatial Isolation of Minority and Poverty Households," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 692-702.
    3. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
    4. Haddad, Lawrence James & Adato, Michelle, 2001. "How effectively do public works programs transfer benefits to the poor?," FCND discussion papers 108, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Glaeser, Edward L., 1999. "Learning in Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 254-277, September.
    6. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-1152, December.
      • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. Carrington, William J & Detragiache, Enrica & Vishwanath, Tara, 1996. "Migration with Endogenous Moving Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 909-930, September.
    8. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2004. "Are experience and schooling complementary? Evidence from migrants' assimilation in the Bangkok labor market," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 489-513, August.
    9. Borjas, George J, 1995. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 365-390, June.
    10. Case, Anne, 1992. "Neighborhood influence and technological change," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 491-508, September.
    11. Case, A.C. & Katz, L.F., 1991. "The Company You Keep: The Effects Of Family And Neighborhood On Disadvantaged Younths," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1555, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    12. Montgomery, James D, 1991. "Social Networks and Labor-Market Outcomes: Toward an Economic Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1407-1418, December.
    13. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    14. Rauch James E., 1993. "Productivity Gains from Geographic Concentration of Human Capital: Evidence from the Cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 380-400, November.
    15. Kaivan Munshi, 2003. "Networks in the Modern Economy: Mexican Migrants in the U. S. Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 549-599.
    16. Fafchamps, Marcel & Quisumbing, Agnes R., 1999. "Social roles, human capital, and the intrahousehold division of labor," FCND discussion papers 73, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    17. Yamauchi, Futoshi, 2005. "Social learning, neighborhood effects, and investment in human capital," FCND briefs 190, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    18. Caces, Fe & Arnold, Fred & Fawcett, James T. & Gardner, Robert W., 1985. "Shadow households and competing auspices : Migration behavior in the Philippines," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 5-25.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Falck Zepeda, José & Barreto-Triana, Nancy & Baquero-Haeberlin, Irma & Espitia-Malagón, Eduardo & Fierro-Guzmán, Humberto & López, Nancy, 2006. "An exploration of the potential benefits of integrated pest management systems and the use of insect resistant potatoes to control the Guatemalan Tuber Moth (Tecia solanivora Povolny) in Ventaquemada,," EPTD discussion papers 152, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Linacre, Nicholas & Falck-Zepeda, José & Komen, John & MacLaren, Donald, 2006. "Risk assessment and management of genetically modified organisms under Australia's Gene Technology Act:," EPTD discussion papers 157, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Bellon, Mauricio R. & Adato, Michelle & Becerril, Javier & Mindek, Dubravka, 2003. "The impact of improved maize germplasm on poverty alleviation," FCND briefs 162, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Briones, M. & Dey, M.M. & Ahmed, M. & Stobutzki, I. & Prein, M. & Acosta, B.O., 2004. "Impact pathway analysis for research planning: the case of aquatic resources research in the WorldFish Center," Naga, The WorldFish Center, vol. 27(3-4), pages 51-55.
    5. Messer, Ellen & Cohen, Marc J., 2006. "Conflict, food insecurity, and globalization:," FCND discussion papers 206, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Paul J. Block & Kenneth Strzepek & Mark W. Rosegrant & Xinshen Diao, 2008. "Impacts of considering climate variability on investment decisions in Ethiopia," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 39(2), pages 171-181, September.
    7. Gruère, Guillaume & Giuliani, Alessandra & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Marketing underutilized plant species for the benefit of the poor: a conceptual framework," EPTD discussion papers 154, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    8. Gruère, Guillaume P., 2006. "An analysis of trade related international regulations of genetically modified food and their effects on developing countries:," EPTD discussion papers 147, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Pal, Suresh, 2011. "Impacts of CGIAR Crop Improvement and Natural Resource Management Research: A Review of Evidence," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 24(2).
    10. Falck-Zepeda, José & Zambrano, Patricia & Cohen, Joel I. & Borges, Orangel & Guimarães, Elcio P. & Hautea, Desiree & Kengue, Joseph & Songa, Josephine, 2008. "Plant genetic resources for agriculture, plant breeding, and biotechnology: Experiences from Cameroon, Kenya, the Philippines, and Venezuela," IFPRI discussion papers 762, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Place, Frank & Adato, Michelle & Hebinck, Paul, 2007. "Understanding Rural Poverty and Investment in Agriculture: An Assessment of Integrated Quantitative and Qualitative Research in Western Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 312-325, February.
    12. Valdivia, Corinne & Quiroz, Roberto, 2003. "Coping And Adapting To Increased Climate Variability In The Andes," 2003 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Montreal, Canada 22221, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    13. Renkow, Mitch & Byerlee, Derek, 2010. "The impacts of CGIAR research: A review of recent evidence," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 391-402, October.
    14. Di Falco, Salvatore & Chavas, Jean-Paul & Smale, Melinda, 2006. "Farmer management of production risk on degraded lands: the role of wheat genetic diversity in Tigray Region, Ethiopia," EPTD discussion papers 153, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    15. Pender, John, 2004. "Development pathways for hillsides and highlands: some lessons from Central America and East Africa," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 339-367, August.
    16. Smale, Melinda & Zambrano, Patricia & Falck-Zepeda, José & Gruère, Guillaume, 2006. "Parables: applied economics literature about the impact of genetically engineered crop varieties in developing economies," EPTD discussion papers 158, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

    More about this item


    Agricultural research ; Sustainable livelihoods ;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fpr:fcndbr:164. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.